How to properly wash a dog
Well–groomed dog hair is a real decoration and an indicator of a pet's good health, as well as evidence of the owner's responsible attitude. Any dog whose "fur coat" is regularly taken care of will acquire a neat, effective and even dapper appearance. In addition to cutting and combing the wool, care necessarily implies washing it. Gentle cleansing is an extremely important stage, since it performs not only an aesthetic, but also a hygienic function. Bathing a pet is an easy task for experienced owners who know how to properly wash a dog. Thanks to this article, those who will have to bathe a dog for the first time will cope with the task.
Dogs are quite clean animals, and in most cases they could do without taking baths. They do not sweat, they lick themselves, getting rid of dirt and dead hairs. In representatives of a number of breeds, wool has the property of self-cleaning. But a dog sharing housing with people still needs to wash from time to time according to human rules – under the shower, with hygienic cosmetics.
Water procedures help the dog to get rid of fat, dust, detached epidermis scales, dead undercoat hairs accumulating on its body and coat. It is this "garbage" that turns into a breeding ground for the development of various microorganisms. The animal becomes susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections, it can get fleas, other parasites. Such prospects are dangerous both for the dogs themselves and for their owners.
Dog Bathing Rules
- The dog is bathed after a walk, not before it. The time interval for the water procedure is selected in such a way that the pet has time to dry off before the next walk, given that representatives of a number of breeds can keep the undercoat wet for several hours. Otherwise, your pet risks a serious cold, especially in the cold season.
- The dog should be calm. If the dog is overexcited, wait until he calms down, otherwise bathing will turn into a dramatic struggle.
- The water for washing the dog should be warm. The optimal temperature for bathing large pets with dense wool cover is 34-37 ° C, for small dogs – 35-38 ° C, for "naked" dogs – 37-39 ° C.
- It is recommended to comb long-haired or curly-haired pets before bathing. The procedure is repeated after washing.
- Animals should be washed with special pet shampoos. It is advisable to first wash out the product in your hands with a small amount of water, and then apply it to the wool.
- Shampoo and conditioner should be washed off very carefully, checking whether there is foam left in secluded places on the dog's body.
- The dog is dried with a towel, delicately touching the wool. There is no need to rub and ruffle the hairs.
- If it's cool in the apartment, you can dry your pet with a hairdryer by choosing a mode with low RPM and low speed. The air flow should not be directed at the dog's muzzle. With frequent bathing of the dog, the constant use of a hair dryer is not recommended.
- Many dogs do not like to bathe, so they should be taught to wash from puppy age. But it should be borne in mind that babies are more prone to colds than adults. During the washing process and after it, special care should be taken to ensure that the dog does not get overcooled. The "scolding" should be delicate, not accompanied by causing pain to the puppy. After each procedure, he must be rewarded with a treat. Over time, puppies get used to washing, and, having matured, they do it willingly or, in any case, do not panic and do not rebel.
How often do I need to wash my dog
No one has been discussing the need to wash a dog for a long time, but the question of the frequency of this procedure is controversial not only among animal owners, but also among veterinarians. The main opinions on this matter are as follows:
- it is enough to wash a dog 2-3 times a year;
- the pet needs washing no more than once every 6-8 weeks;
- washing should be carried out once every 2 weeks;
- the dog needs to be washed as needed.
Supporters of the "moderate line" do not recommend washing the animal often without much need, advising to arrange bathing a couple of times a year, preferably during the molting period of the dog. They argue this approach by the fact that due to the immoderation in the use of shampoos or soap, the dog's coat deteriorates, becomes brittle, dull. A thin layer of fat on the pet's body, constantly being washed out, is lost, and the skin becomes dry. Cracks, dandruff may appear. In addition, frequent bathing leads to a decrease in the water resistance of the coat, and the dog has a tendency to colds.
Adherents of regular water procedures consider such arguments conservative, having lost their justification with the advent of professional animal hair care products. They believe that the rich selection of special pet shampoos, soaps, conditioners eliminates traditional concerns.
As a rule, dog owners who believe that bathing an animal is a hygienic procedure are not inclined to "scrub" their dogs with enviable constancy. They wash the dogs according to the schedule recommended by the veterinarian, depending on the breed, conditions of detention and as needed.
There are also owners who like to bathe a pet "for beauty". Their wards are usually miniature dogs of decorative breeds. But such dogs, unless, of course, they take part in exhibitions, do not need frequent washing at all. Many of them don't even have a place to get dirty: they do not spend much time on the street or "walk" on the hands and in the handbags of the owners.
Sometimes a dog needs therapeutic bathing. In this case, the frequency of water procedures is determined by the veterinarian. He also recommends special means for washing.
Smooth-haired dogs, dogs with stiff hair and dense undercoat, for example, do not require frequent washing, labradors . Their wool cover is capable of self-cleaning, and if water procedures are abused, this property may be lost. And here poodle , which has no undercoat, can and should be washed more often than representatives of other breeds, preferably monthly. Poodle needs a regular haircut, and before it it should be bathed.
A dog of any breed living in an apartment or in an aviary must be thoroughly washed if it has fallen out in the mud. This is done urgently, even if the dog was bathed the day before.
How to wash a dog
For bathing a pet today, special pet shampoos are used, created taking into account the acid-base balance of the animal's skin – from 6.2 to 7.4 pH (depending on age and breed). The "human" means for washing hair (the norm is 4-5.5 pH) should be abandoned. Neither will "universal" household soap, soap with a rich aroma. Such products are too aggressive for the dog's skin. Its use can cause an allergic reaction in an animal, dermatitis, and lead to eczema. In extreme cases, the use of baby soap or shampoo is allowed. At the same time, it will be necessary to wash off the foam especially carefully so that an unpleasant plaque does not form on the wool.
Specialized stores offer shampoos for various types of skin and hair of dogs. For soft–haired pets, detergents are recommended to prevent the cover from falling into tangles, for hard-haired ones - texturing shampoos. Dogs with long, tangled hair can be conveniently washed with a tool that facilitates subsequent combing. Separate shampoos for puppies and for elderly pets are sold.
Animals with problems with wool or skin are bought special products, which include proteins, extracts of wheat, aloe, eucalyptus, hydrocortisone. Dogs that have fleas are washed with shampoos containing insecticides, but they cannot be used on a regular basis.
In summer, the dog can be shampooed with a UV filter - this will protect his coat from burnout. There are even products with a bleaching component, with their help, the owners get rid of yellowish spots on the coat of pets. For a dog taking part in exhibitions, you can buy a shade shampoo.
When choosing products for hygienic bathing of an animal, give preference to colorless compositions. The shade is evidence that there is a dye in the shampoo, and it can act as an allergen. When buying a detergent, you should not save money: one container is usually enough for a long time. It is better to trust manufacturers with a good reputation, for example, Francodex, Beaphar, Perfect Coat, Iv San Bernard, Bio Groom.
Where to wash the dog
In a city apartment, adult dogs are usually bathed in the bathroom. Puppies and miniature dogs are convenient to wash in a basin or even in the sink, if its size allows. For this purpose, you can buy a special pallet or a plastic sunbed in a pet store.
For a large dog, a shower cabin is preferable. Here she will be more comfortable than in the bathroom, and it becomes easier for the owner to keep the situation under control. There are folding dog baths and convenient washing stations, but installing them in a standard bathroom can be problematic.
How to properly wash a dog
You should prepare for bathing your pet in advance. An hour and a half before the procedure, you need to close the windows, turn off the home air conditioner. Remove bathrobes from the bathroom, things that dry on the battery – this property can get wet when the dog shakes off. Prepare cotton swabs for the ears, a towel, a terry cloth or sponge, a washcloth, shampoo, conditioner for rinsing. If the dog is large, you may need a collar. He will allow you to keep your pet if he resists the "scolding".
Put a rubberized mat on the bottom of the bathroom, basin or on the floor of the shower stall so that the dog's paws do not slip on the surface. The sink can be covered with cloth. Lay a cloth next to the bathing place so that the dog does not get injured by slipping after the procedure.
If you have a long-haired dog, dilute the shampoo and lather it, this will allow the dog to lather evenly. Keep the jars of detergent and rinsing agents open so that you don't get distracted later. Fill the bathing container with warm water up to about the animal's knees. Get your pet into the bathroom and close the door.
- Insert cotton swabs into the dog's ears, they can be lubricated with vaseline. It is not necessary to push tampons deeply. It's enough that they don't fall out.
- Put the dog in the "pond", pour it out of the shower – first the back and neck, then the tail and paws. All wool should be well soaked with water.
- Apply shampoo or foam solution to the dog's "fur coat" and lather it evenly. If the dog has a long coat, rub the detergent in the direction of hair growth, otherwise they may get tangled.
- Rub the dog's entire body thoroughly, excluding the head. Wipe the muzzle separately with a damp cloth or washcloth (without soap). If there are creases, wipe each one. Wipe the ears only from the outside.
- Thoroughly wash off the foam with water from the shower. Especially carefully wash the armpits and the nape of the neck, where shampoo usually accumulates. The detergent is washed off until the water flowing from the wool becomes transparent.
- It is advisable for long-haired dogs to apply conditioner to a wet "fur coat". It is washed off after 3-5 minutes.
- Wring out the wool and cover the dog's back with a bath towel or microfiber cloth so that the fabric absorbs water.
- Lift the dog and put him on a dry cloth, considering that he will immediately begin to shake himself off.
- Take cotton swabs out of your pet's ears, hand him a treat and praise him, even if he rebelled.
Representatives of breeds prone to colds, it is advisable to wrap up and, without delay, deliver to a warm place. In summer, the dog can dry out on its own, and in winter it is better to dry the wool with a hairdryer.
In some cases, traditional bathing has to be replaced with "dry". The reasons may be domestic or medical, for example, postoperative period, vaccinations, eczema. In such a situation, sprays, dry shampoos containing talc, components with disinfecting and degreasing properties are used.
Before the procedure, the dog should be carefully combed out, eliminating tangles and dead hairs. The composition is applied to a small area of wool and combed – so you need to process the entire coat. Additional manipulations after "dry" washing are not required. Special products can be replaced with ordinary talc or wheat flour. After rubbing them into the wool, you need to wait about 20 minutes, then start combing.
There is another way. In a container (250 ml), boiled water at room temperature, medical alcohol (1 teaspoon) and boric acid (0.5 teaspoons) are dissolved. The dog's hair is combed against growth and the prepared substance is applied with a spray gun. The teeth of the comb are wrapped in cotton wool, then the wool is treated with it. Cotton wool in the process of combing will get dirty, and it should be changed. The procedure continues until the cotton wool remains clean. In a city apartment, it is better to hold such sessions on the balcony, weather permitting.