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Five Tips for Simpler Dog Washing

Pet Grooming

Dog washing can be a chore, depending on the dog involved. Many don't like water or the idea of being restrained or the feel of the shampoo on their coats. That can lead to an animal struggling to break free. However, there are several things a pet owner can do to help to ensure that the dog washing part of a grooming goes as smoothly as possible. Here are 5 tips for dog owners to follow:

1. Start young. It's important to get your pet used to the process of dog washing almost as soon as he or she becomes a new member of the household. Animal experts say puppies are literally sponges and can soak up plenty of new information. It's a great time to train your dog to walk on a leash or to do tricks and it's also a perfect time to show your new dog that the water and shampoo isn't so bad. Remember to introduce the bath in steps and try to end the first few sessions on a bright note.

2. Have all your supplies. If your dog is at all anxious about the dog washing part of grooming, don't give the animal time to get really uncomfortable. Have everything you need for the bath and grooming at your side or on the grooming table before you even bring the dog over. That should include the combs, brushes, shampoo, gloves, wash rag and anything else you intend to use. Having to stop the dog wash before you realize you don't have towels or a blow drier can only lead to trouble.

3. Wear groomer's gloves. These gloves can be a huge help if your dog looks comfortable or is beginning to resist the dog washing. The gloves have grips that will grab onto any dead hair or skin in your dog's coat. As you pat and stroke the dog to help to make your pet more comfortable, you're also making progress on the bath at the same time. While many dogs like the feeling of brushes, gloves are a great alternative to accomplish the same end.

4. Ensure solid footing. Nothing will sabotage a smooth dog washing more easily than your pet slipping and sliding as he or she gets wet. That's why it's imperative that the dog washing take place on some sort of non-slip surface. Depending on the size of your dog, a bath mat or smaller mat for the sink will do the job. If you use a dog grooming table, all come with some type of rubber or padded top that allows a dog to get a good grip.

5. Don't spray in your dog's face. When it comes time to soak your dog to prepare for the shampoo or to wash the shampoo off, spraying a pressurized hose around your dog's face can be a huge mistake. Instead, use a dripping wet wash rag to dampen the dog's face and ears. For the rest of the dog washing, either use a hose pressed closely against the dog's body, or a pail of warm water.

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