A dog being bathedRegular grooming is essential in order to keep your dog looking and feeling his best. Grooming is also a good way of spending time with your dog and should be an enjoyable experience for both of you. Grooming is a good time to take the opportunity to check the condition of your dog’s coat and skin as well as looking for any abnormalities such as swellings, wounds or evidence of parasites. If you notice anything which is out of the ordinary, contact your veterinarian for further advice.

Dogs only need bathing when they are dirty or on the advice of your veterinarian. Make sure that you only bath your dog in fine weather or indoors to avoid chills. Only use shampoos and conditioners, which have been designed for use on dogs; your veterinarian may recommend a special type of product. Always read the instructions carefully before use and never use domestic detergent or disinfectants.

It is advisable to get everything prepared before you start to bath your dog because he may try to get away from you during bathing! You will need to prepare the area where you will wash the dog, where you will dry him, including all the equipment you will need, such as combs and brushes. When you bath your dog, you should also air and wash his bedding at the same time, which, of course, should also be done at regular intervals between baths.

A dog being bathedBathing outdoors in warm weather may be the best place, because it can be a messy job. Have a tub or other container half filled with warm water (not too hot!), and make sure you have a ready supply of warm water for rinsing the dog. Gently lift the dog into the container of tepid water. Use a clean bottle or jug to pour the warm water over the dog, from the back of the neck downwards, doing the head last. Use a mild canine shampoo and start by applying it to the body and legs. Rub the shampoo well into the coat to give a good lather and make sure all the coat has been shampooed. The dog’s head should be shampooed last, paying particular care to ensure that no shampoo gets into his eyes. Rinse the shampoo from your dog by pouring warm water onto his coat. It will take quite a lot of water to rinse the shampoo out of the coat thoroughly. Your dog will probably shake himself vigorously and this will remove most of the water from his coat. Dry your dog with a clean towel. Depending on the breed and the length of hair, you may want to use a hair dryer on a low temperature setting. By using a brush with the hair dryer you can speed up the drying process considerably.

Always pay attention to areas which matt easily, for example, behind the ears. It is much easier to prevent these mats from forming than it is to remove them once they have formed. Dogs tend to moult all year round if they are kept indoors, but they shed hairs more profusely in the spring and autumn. Brushing your dog every day during this period will help the process, and will reduce the amount of hair shed over your carpets and furniture.

Long-haired dogs may need to be groomed several times a week, short-haired maybe once a week, depending on the condition of the coat. It is better to spend a short time every 2 or 3 days than to leave the coat ungroomed and encourage matted hairs. You will need a comb and brush, which you should keep especially for your dog. Large dogs are probably best groomed standing on a table, small dogs sitting on your lap. Groom the dog from the head downwards, running the brush or the comb in the direction of the dog’s hair. You may need to lift the upper hair if the dog has a thick undercoat. Brush from under the coat outwards, removing dead hair and mats. If you can put the comb through the hair without catching knots, you know that you have thoroughly groomed your dog.

WALTHAM - The World's Leading Authority on Pet Care and Nutrition

This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at www.waltham.com




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