Bathing a pet is one facet of responsible pet ownership that supports healthy skin and a clean coat. The process, however, isn’t always easy. Certainly, having the right supplies and know-how will bolster ultimate success – but what does your pet have to say about standing on a slippery, wet surface and having his or her body, paws, and head cleaned?
Introducing your pet to the concept of “bath time” as early as possible helps tremendously. Training him or her to enjoy it might be a different story, but it’s not impossible with our tips and tricks:
- Introduce the idea of bathing a pet gradually.
- Give lots of praise and create positive associations.
- A walk before bath time can help reduce excessive energy and give your pet the ability to relax.
Assemble Your Equipment
Summer is the perfect time for bathing a pet. Not only can you do it outside, but drying the coat is much faster and easier in colder temperatures.
No matter the season, you’ll want to line up all supplies you intend to use while bathing a pet. A non-slip mat or towel should be placed on the bottom of the tub and where you’re sitting to reduce slips and falls. If you’re using the bathroom, place all products within easy reach in a row next to the tub.
The Right Supplies
All products should be specifically designed for your pet (do not use bath products for people). Animals have a different pH, and their skin is very sensitive, requiring a hypoallergenic pet shampoo that is mild and gentle. We’re happy to help you find the right products that do not cause drying or irritation. You will also need the following:
- Brush – A good brush will remove mats and tangles. Make sure to do this before you get your pet wet, as mats tighten when moist and can lead to irritation and infection.
- Washcloth or sponge – You’ll need this to wring out suds onto your pet’s back, underarms, and neck. Of course, be very careful when squeezing out soapy water onto the head. Avoiding the eyes is very important.
- Cotton balls – Gently placing a ball in each ear can prevent water from entering the ears. Without them, water can lead to infection.
- Conditioner – After massaging the shampoo into your pet’s coat and rinsing it thoroughly with lukewarm water, you can apply a hypoallergenic conditioner. Massage and rinse after a few minutes.
- Towels – Have absorbent towels ready, and do your best to dry your pet off after a bath. It’s likely he or she will shake off most water left on the coat.
It depends on your pet’s personality and aversions, but bathing can be fun. Using treats as rewards, soothing encouragement, and accolades can all keep your pet invested in the procedure.
Bathing a pet is wonderful when necessary, but your pet’s skin can dry out if it’s done too often. Of course, bathing a pet is critical when dirty, muddy, matted, or especially odoriferous, but to keep naturally healthy oils on the skin, do not bathe your pet excessively.
If you notice strong, persistent odors coming from your pet’s skin, coat, or ears, please make an appointment to see us.