Bathing your pet is an essential part of their hygiene routine. It plays a necessary role in keeping their fur and coats healthy as it removes the accumulated dirt, dead hair, and excess oil in their fur. It also keeps your pet clean and free from parasites that may harm them. Not to forget, it makes them smell good and fresh for some time. 

Bathing your pet depends on its breed, fur texture, size, environment, and several other factors. It is suggested to bathe your pet once every month, as this works for most cats and dogs. If your pet is short-haired, be stress-free as they require fewer baths(mostly when they get dirty or stinky). If they have oily coats, they need frequent baths every week or every other week. If they have water-repellent fur, keep bathing to a minimum, maybe every couple of months, and if they have thick double-coated fur, they need daily brushing but a bath only once in three months or so. If your pet has any skin condition, follow the bathing schedule provided by your veterinarian. Do not bathe your kitten till they turn one month and your puppy till they are two months old. If it is needed, clean them with a wet warm washcloth.   

Excessive bathing can dry out your pet’s fur and coat and may lead to other problems, while if you barely bathe your pet, the risk of matting and tangling of their fur increases, and it can also lead to skin irritations and infections. The best way to know if your pet needs a bath is to smell them before seeing them.

1. Set up the bathing area.

It is crucial to get your bathing area and supplies ready to bathe your pet quietly before they see or hear you and flee at the thought of ‘B-A-T-H-I-N-G’ (don’t say it out loud, as they might listen to it!). 

Where to bathe my pet?

Pet parents of small pets can easily plop their pets in a sink or small tub for a brief hassle-free bathing session. Pet parents with medium to large pets can shower them outdoors in a big plastic tub, dog pool, or collapsible tub with the help of a garden hose on low pressure or buckets of water. You can even use your bathtub to bathe your pet with a non-slip mat to prevent your pet from slipping and letting the water run through the drain, as pets are susceptible to drowning. It is essential to check that the water is lukewarm before getting your pet in the water as it tends to make your pet more comfortable and cleans them better than cold water. 

What are the things needed to bathe my pet?

The most important thing to bathe your pet is shampoo and conditioner to bathe your pet, as it helps to clean them thoroughly and keep their fur soft and smooth. Some of the best pet shampoos are Himalaya dog shampoo, Lozalo dog shampoo, and Wahl shampoo. Before using the shampoo or conditioner all over your pet’s body, do a patch test to see if it is a suitable product for your pet. Do not use the ones made for humans as dogs and humans have different skins, and human shampoo and conditioner will likely cause your pet’s coat to dry out as it has harsher chemicals. 

Loosen the cap of your pet’s shampoo and container and keep it at hand to effortlessly get it when needed. Keep treats in your pocket or by your side for your pet if they feel unusually anxious, a washcloth to wipe their face, with absorbent towels in a dry area to dry your pet quickly after bathing them, and don’t forget the non-slip mat in the bathtub.

Tip- Wear some old and comfortable clothes to wash your pet as they are going to get you wet knowingly or unknowingly.

2. Prepare your pet 

Getting your pet comfortable with the idea of bathing is crucial for their well-being. Slowly and gradually introduce them to bathing while praising them and giving them treats every step of the way. Get them familiar with the bathing equipment and environment by speaking calmly and positively. Take the whole process one step at a time. It is also best to get all the energy out of your pet by taking them on walks and letting them play so that they are too tired to act out during the bath.  

Remove any accessories on your pet before bath time, even their collars. Before getting your pet in the water, it is safe to put cotton balls in your pet’s ears to avoid water entering it, as water in your pet’s ears, especially your dogs, may lead to easily avoidable ear infections. Clean their ears later with a disinfectant with cotton or an ear wipe.   

3. Brush out their fur.

It is a good idea to brush your pet’s fur with a nice brush and to trim knots or mats before bath time. It is crucial, especially for pets with thick, shaggy, or double coats. As matted hair holds water, it may leave your pet with irritated skin. Brushing your dog before bath time also helps to remove loose hair, debris, and dirt from their coat, which makes it easy to bathe your pet. You can even check for any skin irritations, fleas & ticks, and lumps & bumps in your pet’s coat while brushing them.  

4. Wet their fur

After putting your pet in the water at the right temperature, start wetting them by putting water from the hose, showerhead, bucket, or pitcher from their neck to tail, as you should not get your pet’s face wet. Make sure the coat is wet( this might take a bit of time if your pet has a thick or even more if they have a water-repellent coat).

5. Lather the shampoo and massage their fur.

After your pet’s body is wet, take a generous amount of your pet’s favorite shampoo in your palm, lather it, and massage it into your pet's body. You have the other options of directly pouring shampoo into your pet’s back or diluting it in water and then using it to increase liquidity. Whichever method you use, apply the shampoo right down to their undercoat. Massage the shampoo gently from their neck to tail, not forgetting their toes, as it helps them relax and cleans them better. Be careful with their underside as it can be ticklish for them. Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes. 

6. Rinse the shampoo off.

After letting your dog’s coat sit with the shampoo for some time, rise it off with enough water. Use your fingers in the same motion as you did while shampooing to ensure that you remove the shampoo from every nook and cranny. Rinse and repeat till all the shampoo is out as left out shampoo can cause your pet’s coat to dry. 

7. Condition 

Now, take a reasonable amount of conditioner and massage it in your pet's coat, just like you did with shampoo. Use conditioner as it helps to retain natural oils in your pet’s hide and makes it smooth and soft. Let the conditioner sit on the body for several minutes, then rinse it off entirely. 

8. Clean their face, eyes, and tear stains.

Washing your pet’s head and face is one of the trickiest parts of bathing them. That is why you should do it after you clean their body. To clean their head and face, take a washcloth and make it damp with warm water and clean their head and face, with slow sift motions. 

Avoid cleaning their ears and eyes as that area is sensitive. If your pet has eye boogers, apply a little pressure and clean them with a damp washcloth.  

9. Dry them thoroughly

Drying your pet is almost the last step of bathing your dog. Your pet’s instinct will be to shake themselves dry, so be ready for it. After this, take the towel(a highly absorbent microfiber towel is better) and start patting it on your pet (do not rub it like you do with your hair as it can cause the matting of your pet’s fur). 

If your dog has a short coat or is young, let them air dry themselves. If not, use a hair dryer at the lowest setting or (even better) a pet hair dryer, and keep it at a distance from your pet to completely dry them. Brush their coat in a single direction while using the dryer to avoid tangling.

10. Give a treat

It is the best step so far, probably your pet’s favorite. After your pet is bathed and clean, praise and give them a treat like meo creamy treats and dogsee chew as a reward. This praise and reward will most likely make them associate positively with bathing time.   

Even with regularly bathing your pet, getting your pet groomed by a professional groomer is essential. So, don’t forget to book your pet’s appointment with the best grooming service right here at Petzzing.