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Dog Bathtub 101 – Everything You Should Know About Bathing Your Dog

Dog Bathtub

Hey there, I’m Nala, that’s me up there. Am I not the cutest when in the bathtub? I bet your dog is too. Bathing can sometimes become a little frustrating, especially when you’re new to it!

You’re probably bathing your dog for one of many reasons: they stink, they are dirty, or they have not been bathed in a while, and you’re worried about their cleanliness.

There are many benefits to bathing us! It removes any dirt or odor we picked up while playing at the park. It also keeps us clean while we were outside playing in the mud.

Baths also strengthen our trust in you. We will trust that you will keep us clean and safe in our journey in the bath.

Bathing us makes us softer, meaning we are even more irresistible than when we are not bathed, plus we do not stink.

We shed a lot less. It is because you will pull more loose fur from our coats when brushing us after we are out of the bathtub. Plus, you know all the extra conditioner you used on us. It will help remove any mats we may have gotten while you brush us out.

It helps to regulate our allergies. Bathing dogs that have allergies helps to eliminate irritants that have attached to our fur while outside.

Regular baths will help to monitor our health! As we get a bath, you will have the opportunity to feel for lumps, find any cuts, and do other maintenance on us. Brush our teeth, trim our nails, and check our ears.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?

The frequency at which you should bathe your dog depends on a variety of things. Although a common rule of thumb is typically once a month. Though there are exceptions, such as if our coat looks oily or feels dirty, we more than likely need a bath. Here are some common questions you can ask yourself about your pup before bathing them:

  • What is their coat type?
  • Do they have skin sensitivity? Do they have medical needs?
  • Are they active?
  • Where do they sleep?
  • Where do they spend most of their time?

What Is Their Coat Type?

There are five common coat types in dogs. All 5 have different bathing requirements and frequencies associated with each. Too many baths too often can damage our natural oil barrier, making our skin irritated and itchy. Here are the five most common coat types:

  • Smooth coats
  • Double coats
  • Wire coat
  • Long coat
  • Curly coat

Smooth Coat

Smooth-coated dogs need to be bathed monthly. They tend to have shorter fur and need daily brushing to control shedding. Common dog breeds with smooth coats are:

  • Pit bulls
  • Greyhounds

Double Coat

If we have a double coat, try to bathe us every 1 to 12 weeks. Sometimes we are overactive and play outside a lot more than usual. Meaning we may need an extra bath. Sometimes, brushing us extra hard can help to remove that extra bit of fur we have been shedding.

Common double coat breeds are:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Rottweilers

Wire Coat

Bathing a wire-coated dog can cause the fur to dry out. If the fur dries out too much it may irritate us. Use shampoo specifically for wirehaired dogs, and do not bathe us too often.

Common breeds are:

  • Scottish terriers
  • Schnauzer

Long Coat

Some dogs have long coats, and they rarely need baths. They also do not tend to enjoy the water. When their long fur gets wet, it gets very heavy. When it is heavy and not dried properly, it can irritate the dog and its skin.

Common breeds with this type of coat are:

  • Huskies
  • Chow-Chows

Curly Coats

If we have curly fur, it can be difficult to manage. We should be bathed every 4-6 weeks. Although these breeds tend to see their groomers more often to maintain their curls and avoid any mats.

The most common breeds with this type of fur are:

  • Poodles
  • Portuguese Water Dog

Do They Have Skin Sensitivity? Do They Have Any Medical Needs?

Some of us dogs just naturally have sensitive skin, making fragrant washes hard on our skin. If we have sensitivity, we may need to bathe less. You might also want to use one that is non-fragrant and wash us using caution while looking out for any skin dryness or irritation.

If we have an environmental allergy, having more baths will be perfect for our health. It will cause less irritation to the dog’s skin. Another option for your dog is asking about a regular schedule with your veterinarian. We may prescribe shampoo for their specific condition.

Are They Active?

Depending on how active we are, you might choose to bath us more than recommended. If we like swimming and playing in the mud, or constantly going on hikes with you in the woods, you might choose to bathe us after each trip because of how dirty we get.

If we mostly stay indoors and only go outside to relieve ourselves and our daily walk in the city, we will not need a bath nearly as often.

Where Do They Sleep?

Where Do They Sleep

If your pup is anything like me, they get to sleep in the bed with you. The dogs that sleep in bed with you tend to get more baths because people do not like it when we track dirt into the bed with us.

If we sleep in our bed, you may not choose to bath us nearly as often because we are not cuddling with you all night long in your bed.

Where Do They Spend Most of Their Time?

If we spend most of our time outside, we will require more baths. Whether we are playing in the yard or are on a leash, regular baths will help to control the dirt that will get under our coats. If we aren’t in and outside very much, we don’t need many baths.

What Steps Should I Follow to Wash My Dog?

What Steps Should I Follow to Wash My Dog

Depending on the type of coat we have, bathing instructions may vary. Because every coat has different maintenance, it’s important to know which steps you should follow for your dog’s coat.

Smooth Coat and Double Coat

For a smooth coat, you will want to follow these steps so that your pooch is getting all the right treatment for their baths.

Step One: Brush them. Brush them head to tail to remove any excess fur from their bodies before putting them in the dog grooming tub.

Step Two: Rinse. Rinse us down to remove any loose strands that you may have missed when brushing us. Use a wet washcloth to wash our face and ears. Avoid putting water directly in our ears, as this can give us an ear infection.

Step Three: Shampoo, rub our whole body down with soap and scrub away any dirt with your hands.

Step Four: Rinse off thoroughly. Be sure to get all of the soap. Any leftover soap may dry up and make our skin so itchy.

Step Five: Use a bit of doggy conditioner to make our coats soft. Drizzle it along our spine, then rub it along our fur. Let it sit for five minutes. Not all of us enjoy the water. So, a minute will do too.

Step Six: Rinse out the conditioner. Again, get all the residue out to avoid any skin irritation.

Step Seven: Pull us out of the bathtub and dry us off with a towel. You may need a second one for when the first one becomes soaked. Use the second one to get a more thorough dry.

When a smooth coat dog is drying, keep them in a warm room. Smooth coat and double coat dogs tend to get cold much faster than other dogs.

Wire Coat

Step One: Rinse. Rinse us down to remove any loose strands that you may have missed when brushing us. Use a wet washcloth to wash our face and ears. Avoid putting water directly in our ears, as this can give us an ear infection.

Step Two: Shampoo, rub our whole body down with soap and scrub away any dirt with your hands.

Step Three: Rinse it all off. Be sure to get all of it. Any leftover soap may dry up and make our skin so itchy.

Step Four: Pull us out of the dog bathtub and dry us off. You may need a second towel for when the first one becomes soaked. Use the second one to get a more thorough dry.

Step Five: Use a blow dryer and brush to get the wire fur nice and dry!

Long Coat

Step One: Brush us. Brush us head to tail to remove any excess fur from their bodies before putting them in the bathtub.

Step Two: Rinse. Rinse us down to remove any loose strands that you may have missed when brushing us. Use a wet washcloth to wash our face and ears. Avoid putting water directly in our ears, as this can give us an ear infection.

Step Three: Shampoo, rub our whole body down with soap and scrub away any dirt with your hands.

Step Four: Rinse off all the shampoo. Be sure to get all of it any leftover soap may dry up and make our skin so itchy.

Step Five: Use a bit of doggy shampoo to make our coats extra soft. Drizzle the conditioner along our spine. Rub it along our fur. Let it sit for five minutes, if possible. Not all of us enjoy the water. So, a minute will do too.

Step Six: Rinse out the conditioner. Again, get all the residue out to avoid any skin irritation.

Step Seven: Pull us out of the dog bathtub and dry us off. A second towel may be needed when the first is soaked. Use the second one to get a more thorough dry. Be sure to blot our coat dry to prevent tangles and future mats!

Step Eight: Brush fur again. This will help catch any new loosened hair from bath time!

Curly Coat

Step One: Rinse. Rinse us down to remove any loose strands that you may have missed when brushing us. Use a wet washcloth to wash our face and ears. Avoid putting water directly in our ears, as this can give us an ear infection.

Step Two: Shampoo, rub our whole body down with soap and scrub away any dirt with your hands.

Step Three: Rinse off all the shampoo.

Step Four: Use a bit of a doggy conditioner to make our coats soft. Drizzle the conditioner along our spine. Rub it along our fur. Let it sit for five minutes, if possible. Not all of us enjoy the water. So, a minute will do too. With curly-coated dogs, you will want a detangler. It is to detangle any knots that may have occurred thanks to our curls.

Step Five: Rinse out the conditioner. Again, get all the residue out to avoid any skin irritation.

Step Six: Then, pull us out of the tub, and dry us off. You may need a second towel for when the first one becomes soaked. Use the second one to get a more thorough dry. Be sure to blot our coat dry to prevent tangles and future mats!

Step Seven: Use a pin brush, and brush hair straight every day.

By following these simple, step-by-step instructions, bathing your pet should be a delight! If you are having a hard time bathing us, or have serious mats, take us to the groomers. They can dramatically help in getting the right cut. See what the proper bath has done for us.

You may want to find a groomer to have anal glands cleaned, nails trimmed, and teeth brushed.

Other reasons to see a groomer may include:

  • The coat being heavily matted
  • Medicated shampooing
  • Fleas
  • Difficulty bathing

Hopefully, you enjoy our bath time as much as we do!

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