In rainy weather, it is not uncommon for our dogs to carry dirt into the apartment. It is usually enough to rub our furry four-legged friend properly with the towel. But what if the dog has rummaged deep in the mud? In this case, we are often forced to bathe our dog. But be careful: washing them too often can be harmful to their skin. We have summarized the most important information about bathing our four-legged friends – including wellness tips. If you are wanting to learn all about “how do I properly bathe my dog”, then continue reading.
Can I bathe my dog?
There is nothing wrong with showering or bathing your dog every now and then. Especially when your four-legged friend has treated himself to an extensive mud bath. The best thing to remember is as a rule of thumb: Wash your dog as rarely as possible, but as often as necessary.
What are the effects of bathing too often?
As the largest organ in the dog, the skin performs many important functions for the body. It serves as a protective layer against external influences, regulates the heat emission, and can perceive various stimuli such as pain, temperature differences, and pressure using certain sensory receptors. A lipid layer surrounds the surface of the skin. This is predominantly made up of fats and proteins – also called sebum. The lipid layer has an important protective function. It protects the skin from environmental influences and dehydration.
If dogs are bathed too often, or the wrong care products are used, this can damage the lipid layer and trigger skin problems. Signs of this can be reddening of the skin and severe itching. Your dog may scratch or lick more after bathing. If this happens over a longer period of time, bald patches of skin or, in the worst case, bacterial skin inflammation can result.
Which shampoo is right for my four-legged friend?
Choosing the right grooming product is important to avoid skin problems in dogs. But always ask yourself first whether a care product is necessary at all. Often it is enough to rinse your favorite’s fur with clear water and, at the same time, massage out the dirt.
To remove unpleasant smells or heavy soiling, however, a care product is sometimes required. In this case, be sure to use a shampoo that is suitable for dogs. Dog shampoos are specially adapted to the skin of our furry four-legged friends and contain no irritating ingredients. If your dog does not tolerate the care product or is allergic to it, you can test special allergy dog shampoos. These have a particularly mild and gentle effect on the skin.
Choosing the right dog shampoo helps avoid skin problems with your darling.
How do I properly bathe my dog?
Have you taken all the precautions and want to know what else you can look out for when bathing a dog? The following tips will help you:
- Before showering the dog, ensure that the water temperature is pleasant. You can estimate them on the back of your hand, for example, because this area of the skin is very sensitive to heat and cold.
- Many dogs do not like splashing water and are frightened when the water jet is directed directly at them. Therefore, the bottom of the bathtub can be carefully filled with slowly running water. You can then use this water to loosen the dirt.
- Start on your dog’s legs and continue to massage the water towards the chest and belly. Once there, you can continue stroking the back and neck.
- Wash your four-legged friend’s head at the very end. Dogs react particularly sensitively there, and you may trigger his shaking reflex.
- Like us humans, our dogs don’t like it if they get water or even foam from care products in their eyes. The eye area should be left out during washing.
- Give your dog the time it takes to get used to the situation. There is no point in holding a panicked dog and continuing to shower with the water jet. Instead, take a break and calm the dog down, for example, with appropriate words.
My dog can’t stand bathing – what now?
Going to the bathroom for most dogs is associated with a slippery surface and lots of unpleasant splashes of water. This makes some four-legged friends fidgety to panic and often leads to a filthy bathroom. With a few tricks, you can make bathing a positive experience for your dog.
First of all, make sure you are calm and normal when you enter the bathroom with your darling. Above all, don’t show any negative excitement. Dogs are very sensitive and quickly notice when something is wrong.
To positively link bathing, you can also reward your dog with treats. For example, give him a biscuit when you take him to the bathroom, put him in the bath, or while you’re washing it. Praise also shows the dog that bathing is something positive.
Non-slip mats give the dog sufficient support in the bathtub or shower. Without this hold, many dogs quickly become scared and try to jump out of the bathtub in panic. This often leads to injuries to the dog or the dog owner.
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