In this BestPetsLover article, we are going to explain how to bathe a dog at home to easily achieve the best results. For this, we will need hygiene products for dogs, such as shampoos or colognes. All of them are synthetically scented, but the importance of this detail is rarely taken into account. The smell is the most important and developed sense of the dog, it has about 200 million olfactory receptors, while humans only have 5.
For this reason, some smells go unnoticed by us, but not by dogs. Smell helps them to communicate, orient themselves and interact. After washing or perfuming our dog, it is common for him to run to roll over to try to get rid of the synthetic smell and recover his own, unique and natural one.
So how to bathe a dog correctly? Next, we explain what to take into account when choosing the right products and the steps to follow to bathe them.
At what age can a dog be bathed?
In general, it is preferred to start baths once the puppy has completed its vaccination schedule. It will have approximately 3-4 months to live. This is because during the bath the dog may get cold. Which, coupled with the stress of your first wash and your still immature immune system, can result in illness. Hence, it is preferable to wait.
Only in cases where the puppy has been stained a lot or with a substance that must be removed, can we consider hygiene before 3-4 months. We will limit ourselves to cleaning the affected area with warm water, wipes, or dry shampoo specially formulated for puppies, making sure that it does not get cold.
Products to bathe my dog at home
In the market, you will find a wide variety of products designed for the hygiene of dogs. The ones you choose must be formulated specifically for dogs because their composition will be suitable for their skin and hair, avoiding dermatological problems. Therefore, if you ask yourself “what soap can I bathe my dog with” or “what cologne is the best”, always make sure it is for dogs. Do not use products for people or other animals, as they will not be adapted to the pH or the characteristics of their skin. In addition, opt for the most suitable variety for your dog according to its age, color, the length of its coat, etc.
The hygiene product par excellence is the shampoo or shampoo. There are very different types of shampoos, for example, with an antiparasitic effect or designed for certain skin problems. The latter can only be used following the recommendations of the veterinarian.
When choosing a shampoo for your dog, we recommend you take the above advice into account, so try to avoid scents that are too artificial and unnatural for your furry. Remember that the dog’s sense of smell is much more developed than ours, so it can reject the product during the bath.
Some shampoos include conditioners, detanglers, or shiners. These types of products, which can also be purchased separately, are not essential, but they help to achieve a good finish, which is very important, especially in those dogs with a greater tendency to tangles.
after bath cologne
After bathing, drying, and brushing, we can spray cologne, although most dogs dislike its smell. Surely you have seen that as soon as you leave your dog perfectly clean and scented, he runs to roll in his bed, against the furniture, on the ground, etc. This is so because, for him, it is not a natural smell. Remember that dogs also use their sense of smell to communicate, so if they perceive a strange, hostile odor or one that could hinder communication, they will try to eliminate it.
To avoid the above, the brand of canine hygiene products Kamouflage has found the solution. They have discovered that dogs reject the synthetic odors that are used to contain all hygiene products for them. For this reason, the shampoos and fragrances they have produced contain 100% natural aromas.
In this way, dogs tolerate them better because they are not so hostile to them. They will no longer run to wallow at the moment to get rid of the new smell with which we have just impregnated it. Kamouflage markets conditioning and moisturizing shampoo, which facilitates subsequent brushing. It is available in 250, 500, and 1000 ml format, so you can choose according to the size of your dog. They also have a forest-scented fragrance with notes of rosemary, lavender, and sage. They can be purchased in packs and are suitable for all breeds and all hair types.
Again, we insist on the importance of acquiring products to bathe your dog at home that are suitable for him, also taking into account the ingredients used for the aromas. An unpleasant fragrance will not only lead your furry to want to remove it by rubbing against different surfaces, but it will also develop insecurity in him, which can translate into a defensive attitude against other canines, something counterproductive.
What would it be a good idea for me to wash my canine with in the event that I don’t have a cleanser?
If the bath can’t wait and you don’t have dog shampoo at home, you can turn to apple cider vinegar. You just have to wet the dog, apply the vinegar and rinse very well with warm water. You can also make a shampoo out of oatmeal. To do this, you need 500 grams of oatmeal, 250 grams of baking soda, and a liter of water. Then follow these steps:
1. Bring the water to a boil.
2. Once ready, add the oatmeal and baking soda and mix well. With a blender, it will be faster.
3. If the shampoo is too runny, add a little more oatmeal. On the contrary, if the texture is very thick, add water.
4. Let it cool and then put it in the container you are going to use.
What to consider before bathing your dog?
Now that you know what to bathe your dog with, it is important to mention a series of previous tips that will help you make bathing a more pleasant experience for you and your dog. Especially if it is the first time, it is essential to get him to associate this moment with positive stimuli, so prepare your furry friend in advance.
So, days or even weeks before, start to print all the elements, such as the bathtub and the brush. Let your puppy or adult dog smell the brush before brushing it and reward it with treats, petting, or good words. Once he feels safe and calm (probably after several contacts), you can proceed to brush him, again rewarding him with words of encouragement.
As for the bathtub, you can introduce it little by little, without water, so that it gets used to it. Remember to reward him so that he associates it with positive stimuli.
Once it’s time for your dog’s first bath at home, it’s essential to create a relaxed environment, and this includes you. Assuming you are apprehensive, your canine will be as well. Therefore, keep calm, be patient and act with slow movements that do not alert your dog. Put him in the bathtub carefully, reward him, let the waterfall, and let him come to explore. Positive reinforcement is very important to make the bath go well and get used to it.
If your dog is very excited and you cannot calm him down, it is preferable to leave the bath for another time. You must relate this moment with tranquility and calm and integrate it as part of his routine.
How to bathe a dog step by step?
First of all, have everything you need close at hand. The basics are water, shampoo, and one or two towels. The water has to be lukewarm, so the usual thing is that, at home, we bathe the dog in the bathtub, but if you don’t have one, you can use any container that allows you to introduce your dog completely. Put on comfortable clothes and be prepared to get wet, you and the bathroom, especially if it’s your first time.
1. Put the dog in the bathtub and turn on the faucet. Make sure the water doesn’t burn before it touches it and keep the tips above in mind.
2. With the shower, he ascends from one front leg to the area of the withers so that he is not shocked if the water hits him in the face. Always check the dog’s reaction to adjust the temperature of the water as many times as necessary.
3. Start wetting from the withers to the back, the tail, and, finally, the head, being careful not to get water in the ears or eyes. You can put plugs in his ears, always purchased at a veterinary clinic. To wash his face, use your hand. Finally, thoroughly soak the chest, belly, and legs.
4. Once well wet, apply the shampoo in the same sequence in which you soaked it. Rub well and use as much as you need to lather all over your body. You can take advantage of this moment to give him a gentle massage and get him to relax a little more, especially if you notice that he is starting to get nervous.
5. Rinse with plenty of water following the pattern of the cross, back, tail, head, face, chest, belly, and legs. If the dog is very dirty, you can repeat the shampoo application.
6. Close the faucet and, with your hands, squeeze the hair to drain the excess water.
7. Dry well with towels. Normally you have to use the dryer to obtain a perfect drying and prevent the dog from getting cold, but everything will depend on the type of hair it has, the ambient temperature, etc. To do this, we recommend you consult this other article: “ How to get a dog used to the dryer? ”.
8. Brush your dog during or after drying and scent him if you wish.
How to bathe a dog that does not like water?
If you have adopted a dog that hates water and bath time is real torture for both of you, it is best to carry out the above tips to promote a relaxed environment. In these cases, positive reinforcement is even more important, so try to positive all the elements before starting the bath. In this other article, we give you all the keys to know how to bathe a dog that is afraid of water.
On the other hand, you always have the option of going to a professional. Thus, if you wonder where to bathe your dog in case you cannot do it at home, the most appropriate thing is to go to a dog grooming salon, preferably with a veterinary consultation or canine ethologists in the team if your dog is fearful or reacts negatively to the bathroom.
How often to bathe a dog?
The frequency of the bath will depend on the characteristics of the dog and its living conditions. The ideal would be to bathe him only when he needs it, like 2-3 times a year. In any case, never more than 1-2 times a month. An excess is detrimental to the health of the skin. Of course, if the dog suffers from a dermatological problem, it will be the veterinarian who will guide us on the frequency of washing.