Posted on May 12, 2016
Avoid washing your dog too often. There is usually no reason to bathe a dog unless he has a skin infection or he smells bad. You can usually bath your dog once a month to keep him smelling pleasant. If you bath him more than that, you can cause skin irritation and he may scratch a lot.
Brush your dog’s coat often. This will help keep him clean in between baths, and it’s also good for his skin and coat.
If your dog has a skin infection, consult with your vet to see how best to wash and treat your dog.
If your dog is terrified of the bath, place your dog in an empty tub (or wherever you wash your dog). Don’t run water yet. Speak to him and give him a treat or toy to play with. This will help him associate bath time with something he enjoys. Get your puppy used to the bath by washing him after he is five weeks old. Getting your puppy used to bath time as a pleasant experience will make it easier for him to accept baths when he’s older.
Choose the right shampoo. A mild shampoo formulated for dogs is the best idea. Look for a shampoo that has a neutral pH balance, around 7. Avoid artificial fragrances and colors, as these can also irritate your dog’s skin.
You should never use human shampoo to wash your dog. Dogs’ skin has a different pH balance than human skin, and human shampoo can disrupt that balance. Disrupted pH balance can foster bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Some shampoos can help prevent flea infestations. Look for shampoos containing pyrethrin, pyrethrum, or citrus oil.
Your dog has small sacs on his back end, at the edge of his anus. Some dog groomers offer to “express,” or squeeze, the anal sacs during cleaning. If your vet approves and you know how to do it safely, it’s okay to try doing so at this point. Otherwise, leave them alone.
If your dog has inflamed or irritated anal sacs, consult your vet.
If your dog’s nails need trimming, trim them before you give him a bath. This will help keep him from accidentally scratching you if he gets agitated or fussy.
Do not cut your dog’s nails too short! You can easily cut into the dog’s quick, which can cause bleeding and infection. If you aren’t sure how to trim your dog’s nails, many groomers and veterinarians will do it for a small fee.
Clean off tear buildup.Some dogs have a condition called epiphora, which occurs when your dog’s tears overflow onto his face. This is very common in brachycephalic breeds such as many terriers and chihuahuas. Wash this extra tear buildup away to avoid irritation or bacterial infection.
Colloidal silver is commonly recommended, as it is safe to use around the eyes. It comes in spray or liquid drops form. Apply colloidal silver to a clean cotton ball and wipe your pet’s eyes.
Dabbing a bit of coconut oil beneath the eyes where the tear stain “tracks” are can help keep the skin from getting irritated.
Do not use hydrogen peroxide, apple cider vinegar, makeup remover, human eye drops, or milk of magnesia to clean your dog’s eyes.
Have a Happy Bath Time