Bathing Your Dog
I am frequently asked instructions on how to bath our pets. In
dogs, there are many different answers to this question depending
on the age, breed, type and length of coat, condition of
the skin, etc. But I want to offer some tips that are generally
true across all the different breeds:
- It is extremely important to use a pet shampoo, not a product
made for people. While there are some products made for people that
are very mild (such as baby shampoos), there is still a difference
in the "pH" of the products (this is a measure of the acidity or
alkalinity of the products. If you are
still confused, find a 10-year-old. They can answer these questions).
The pH of dog shampoo is two points different than people shampoo,
which is a huge difference. Using products made for people can really
dry out a dog's coat.
- Bathe less frequently not more. On average, once a month is plenty.
Many breeds can go much longer than that. My own dog goes about
three months in between baths. Ask your veterinarian or groomer
what the correct interval would be for your type of dog.
- Brush them before AND after you bathe them. Brushing before makes
the brushing afterward part much easier.
- Place some cotton balls in their ears before the bath. Water
in the ears is one of the most common causes of ear infections. Please remember to remove
these once you are done with the bath!
- Keep the shampoo out of their eyes. You can use a bland eye ointment
(Paralube or similar product) that can be purchased in most pet
shops prior to the bath. If you do get soap in the eyes, simply
wash with warm water or saline such as you would use if you wear
- Rinse thoroughly. It is easy to leave some shampoo residue, especially
between their toes. This will cause them to lick and irritate their
- Be sure they are dried thoroughly. Dogs love to run and
roll after a bath. If they are still wet, they will pick up all
kinds of things from the ground and ruin all the work you have just
So just follow these simple rules and your bathing experience can
be less stressful.