Bathing your dogs at home is a great way to bond and get to know your dog’s body better. It allows you to be familiar and in touch with what is going on with your dogs. For instance, has your dog put on a little more weight than expected; is his coat drier than usual; does he have a new mole.
Noticing these signs is key in ensuring our dogs are healthy and clean at the same time.
However, a simple task as bathing our dogs can be done wrongly and do them more harm than good. We may unknowingly make them uncomfortable and cause additional health issues.
Some dogs are prone to ear infection and if your dog is one of them, you might want to consider the following steps.
We need to religiously clean their ears both before and after their bath. Cleaning their ear before their bath allows you to remove visible debris and dirt. This is to prevent dirt from travelling further down the ear canal.
After their bath, apply a few drops of ear cleaning solution to change the PH of the ear canal to prevent bacteria from growing while conditioning their ear. It is crucial to repeat this process every time your dog gets wet.
Dry and/or Itchy Skin
Is your shampoo drying out your dogs’ skin? Does your pet get more itchy before or after their shower? Are you using dog shampoo or human?
Humans perspire and create excess oil. Some of this oil is trapped on their scalp. to counter this, most human shampoos contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) to create suds to remove this excess oil.
But that is not the case for dogs. Dogs sweat through their tongues and their pads. They cannot use human grade shampoos as it will dry out their skin excessively. To avoid this, pet shampoos are specifically formulated to remove dirt and not the essential oils needed to maintain healthy skin and fur.
Any residue from the shampoo or conditioner can cause them to itch. To avoid this, dilute the shampoo and conditioner when bathing. Be sure to rinse out the dog completely especially heavy coated dogs.
Hair Breaks or Dog Gets Dirty Quick
Some dogs are more active than others. They may also appear dirty faster. Long haired dogs may have have breaking fur or split ends. A simple products such as a conditioning shampoo may solve the problem.
A conditioning shampoo will leave the coat soft and manageable. This is also seal the hair cuticles to lock in the nutrients and keep dirty out. Like in humans, split ends in dog’s hair can leave them looking unkempt despite having been groomed recently.
If conditioning shampoo is not an option, apply cold press coconut oil in place of a leave-in conditioner for the same effect.
Clipping nails is as stressful for the dog as much as it is for the owners. Although there are many tutorials around to show us the right way of clipping their nails, it is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ result.
Dogs naturally get anxious after their bath. This increases their blood pressure pushing blood closer to the tip of their nails.
The best time to trim the dogs’ nail would be before bathing to avoid the risk of trimming too much and causing them to bleed.
Whites Not Getting White
White furred dogs tend to get yellow over time. This is not just due to aging. It could be dirt build up over time. It could even be the shampoo and conditioner being used.
Most groomers recommend a ’blueing shampoo’ to brighten up the white fur. You could also use this to ensure your dogs gets the extra benefit.
Other that the shampoo and conditioner, chances are you may not be leaving the shampoo on long enough. To avoid this, start by applying shampoo on the dirtiest areas (legs, paws, privates) and move up to the head last. Rinse in the opposite direction, starting at the head. This way the shampoo will sit longer on the dirtier areas and will reduce any chance of dripping into their eyes.
A healthy pet makes for a happy paw-rent.