How to wash your dog: Tips and tricks

March 15, 2020

When you adopt a dog, you also take on a fair share of responsibilities and chores. Case in point: When it’s time for their bath!

At this time of the year, when sidewalks are a dirty mess, you’re probably tempted to wash your 4-legged friend more often than usual. But as benign as washing might seem, it requires taking a few precautions. What’s the best way to wash your dog? Read on.

Use high-quality products
To take the best possible care of your animal’s fur, be careful when choosing shampoos. Some soaps contain chemicals which may be harmful to dogs, as well as to those who pet them. It’s best to only use shampoos that are 100% natural. And, because dogs have a keen sense of smell, avoid strong-scented products. When in doubt ask a professional.

As you wash your dog, be especially thorough when rinsing their armpits, paws, groin and mucous membranes.

Don’t overdo it
Unlike in people, your dog’s smell shouldn’t necessarily dictate when you give them a bath. It’s a good idea to wash your dog no more than once per month—or even once every 8 weeks—unless your veterinarian says otherwise. Washing them more frequently can lead to irritated skin and eliminate too much of their sebum. If your dog gets dirty quickly, consider rinsing them with water (only).

Pay special attention to …
It’s important to clean your dog’s eyes, ears and teeth more frequently than the rest of their body.

  • Eyes

Daily washing using warm water should do the trick. Be sure to trim any fur that falls on your dog’s face and eyes.

  • Ears

Help prevent ear infections by cleaning your dog’s ears on a weekly basis, following each bath and when you get home from the groomer. Use a product that’s specifically designed for cleaning dogs’ ears. Follow directions, which will usually involve placing a couple of drops in your dog’s ears and massaging at the base of the ear.

  • Teeth

Clean your dog’s teeth daily. Use a soft toothbrush or a clean face cloth (positioned on the tip of your fingers) and wash using water only or with a dog-specific toothpaste available in stores.

Now that you’re a dog-washing “pro”, all you’ll need is some patience as you wait for better weather … and cleaner streets!


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