Bathing Your Pet

posted: 05/15/12
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How often should a dog be bathed?

Only bathe a dog when they need it - once a month is fine for most dogs. Schedule it so that you bathe them at the same time you are due to put on their flea protectant.

How do you keep a dog calm in a bath? What isthe easiest way to bathe a dog?

A lot of dogs that enjoy water activities like swimming, don't like baths. If your dog enjoys swimming, try bathing him outside if it isn't cold.

For indoors, put non-slip mats down in the bathtub and use the shower head instead of the faucet. A hand-held shower head is best. I recommend putting cotton balls in their ears to absorb water. As with other grooming activities, make it fun for your dog. Talk to them and praise them while you bathe them.

Moisturizing, Odor-control, Medicated ... there are so many different types of pet shampoo on the market now. What types of shampoo do you recommend for a healthy dog?

Ask a professional, "What shampoo should I be using?" Your vet can tell you if your dog needs a special shampoo. Never use dog shampoo on cats; read the label on pet shampoo beforehand to make sure it's for the correct species and age of pet you're bathing.

Can I use regular human shampoo on my dog?

Never use human shampoo. It is a different pH level, and the chemicals are too harsh for pets.

What is the best method for drying a dog?

Towel drying is probably best, but if you do use a blow-dryer, make sure to use it on the lowest setting. Your dog's skin can burn easily. I also recommend using a blow-dryer (again, on the lowest setting) for puppies or kittens, because they will get cold much faster than an adult dog or cat.

Is it true that you can't bathe cats?

It is true that cats don't like water and they are self-grooming, so you don't need to bathe a cat unless there is a need - if the coat looks unhealthy, or the cat has fleas or a skin condition. But it is a fallacy that you can't bathe a cat. You could bathe your cat once a year during high-shedding season, but as long as cats don't smell they are OK. Below are the steps I recommend for bathing a cat:

Trim their nails first and brush their coat, removing any knots or mats.

Have cat shampoo and big, absorbent towels within your reach.

Using the kitchen sink, fill one side with lukewarm water. Make sure the other side is empty and clean.

Pick the cat up, holding it by the scruff (between the shoulder blades and behind the neck), and lower it into the water

Next, move the cat into the side of the sink with no water.

Lather up with shampoo - let it sit for 10 minutes. Allow the cat to hold on to something, like the edge of the sink. Talk calmly and rub the cat as the shampoo works.

After 10 minutes, lower the cat back into the water to rinse.

Then towel-dry really good. Cats do not like blow-drying.

How often should a dog be professionally groomed?

If you aren't properly maintaining your dog's ears, nails and coat, you should take him to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks. You should always ask your groomer to do the following:

1. cut hair out of ears

2. clean ears

3. express anal glands

4. cut nails

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