Whether your dog is a wave-diving hose-chaser or a run-and-hide hyrdophobe most dog owners know that there’s definitely an art to bath-time!
Some of you may already be bath-time masters, but we totally understand what it’s like if you’re new to bathing your dog, or struggling with particularly a nervous Nellie. No matter what your canine-cleanliness initiate level there are some simple tips and tricks out there that can make make bath time a fun and positive time for all involved!
Just like humans, dogs have their own unique personalities, loves and fears - both intrinsic and learnt. And just like humans, with some understanding and encouragement many fears can be transformed into positive experiences. A fear of water is a common one for a number of dogs, and one that can make bath-time a nightmare without a little help to overcome.
One of the best ways to start the bath-time journey is with no water at all! Familiarise your dog with the empty bathtub everyday for a few weeks. Encourage them to get in, sit and stay, rewarding positive behaviour with a treat, praise and a cuddle. Always be patient, never scold or punish as it’s very important that this is established is a positive, safe place for your dog. Once they’re familiar and comfortable with the tub you can introduce a little water into the mix, less is more at first and always encourage and reward good behaviour.
As with any form of training, the younger you can start familiarising your puppy with water in a safe and positive way, the better. But even with older water-phobic dogs a little love and patience can do wonders.
For the ultimate level of bath-time success it’s important to be gentle with your bathing technique and to understand the areas that are particularly sensitive to water.
Be very careful not to get water in your dog’s ears. Water in the ears is uncomfortable for dogs and can also lead to fungal or bacterial ear infections. To avoid the ears it’s a good idea to only wash from the neck down. If your dog lets you put a cotton ball into each each before their bath that’s an even better way to protect those ears, if they’re not a fan of that idea just take care not to spray water in or around the ears.
Be cautious around the eyes and mouth too as spraying or flowing water over a dogs head can often cause anxiety. That, and we all know how much shampoo in the eyes can sting! A great solution is to use a damp wash-cloth to gently clean the face. I like to do this last after the rest of the body is all done and rinsed.
Silky Coat, Happy Skin
Choose your weapons wisely! When stinkiness strikes and cleanliness intervention becomes an a matter of urgency, you can take comfort in knowing your favourite dog-friendly shampoo is on hand. Always remember that canine skin has a different PH to human skin. Avoid using shampoos and soaps designed for humans as they can disrupt the PH and natural balance of oils causing irritation, itching and even dermatitis. Instead choose products specifically designed for dogs and free from parabens, synthetic dyes or fragrances, sulphates and petroleum derived mineral oils.
Here at Organic Bone we’ve hand picked some of the very best natural, skin-safe canine like the wonderful and the gorgeous range. So go forth and transform yourself into a bath-time Zen master leaving only silky coats, happy skin, delightful scents and wagging tails in your wake!