Imagine if you couldn’t wash every day. You could still go on living but… would it really be the same? Dogs are like you. Although our canine friends do know how to remain hygienic, we can always give them some help. For instance, we can try and speed up the shedding process according to seasons, especially when the dog days are coming, we can give them a good clean-up after they’ve been playing in the mud, or check that they don’t have thorns stuck in their ears after a long walk in the forest.
Let Gudog give you some handy tips for easy grooming at home. Dedicating only a few minutes a week to the hygiene of your dog will make it feel cleaner and avoid possible infections which could affect its health. Remember that shared moments such as walks or meals are what unites dogs and people. In this article, we will explain how to brush and wash your dog.
Let’s get grooming!
How to brush your dog ?
Each dog has a different coat: short, long, curly, dark, light… and thus needs more or less grooming in order to keep it silky but above all healthy. Dogs naturally shed hair several times a year (now almost all year long as seasons have become irregular). A routine brushing session several minutes a week can give your pooch a hand. That way, you will help keep its coat healthy but also reduce the amount of hair scattered around your house. Now that’s something!
Best start brushing your dog as a pup so that this becomes a habit and then later on even an acquired taste – all the while spending quality time together. It will also enable you to spot any anomalies on its skin: ticks, bumps, scabs…
Best start as a pup
You should always brush your dog’s hair, regardless of its coat type. Keep its fur clean and healthy, remove dead hairs, untangle knots, improve its blood flow and spread the natural oils produced by its skin.
Depending on its hair length and type you will have to use a different brush. You can find metal pin brushes or synthetic ones, whose size should be proportional to your dog’s hair length. If the hair is short, you may use a currycomb which will be more efficient than any other brush.
Brush your dog from front to back, from head to tail in the same direction that the hair grows and in gentle motions. Don’t pull too hard, else this shared moment could become a real ordeal for your dog. Lastly, if you want to brush and wash your dog the same day, ideally proceed with the brushing first and then with wash.
How to wash your dog?
After brushing time, comes the most dreaded moment for the majority of dogs: bath time. Just like we advise you get your pooch used to brushing from an early age, the same goes for bathing. The younger dogs get into these habits, the better. Before its first shower/bath, you can try practising exercises where you hold its paws while touching its stomach, neck… Start with five minute sessions and then progressively make them longer. Then you can add other elements like brushing while touching its ears, nose, all the while distracting it with the help of toys. And remember to reward your dog with a treat if it’s been good!
Some recommend never to wash a dog, others on the contrary encourage to do so every week. Who’s right? Actually, there is no rule of thumb, your dog should be bathed when it needs washing. You may space out baths as we have explained earlier. You can also use disposable wipes, specially made for dogs or dry shampoo.
Only wash your dog when it’s really necessary
It does not matter whether your bathroom is equipped with a shower or a bathtub. What matters is that your dog feels comfortable and has enough space. Best use a non-skid shower or bath mat or an old towel. No skidding means no panicking and you will have it so much better! Dogs never feel more reassured than when they know they can count on their human. If you can, don’t hesitate to get in the water with them.
Make sure the water is the right temperature, not too hot nor too cold, and with the use of a small container, start moistening your dog’s body parts while making sure you avoid head and ears. Stay calm at all times; this is what will make your dog stay calm too. If it starts fidgetting, do not yell, else it would be traumatised or could slip trying to get away,
Once the dog is completely wet, work the shampoo into a good lather in your hands and then start rubbing! First goes the rump, then chest, belly, tail and lastly paws. Now is the time to put theory into practice. In order to clean sensitive zones like the head, use a damp cloth with a bit of soap and gently mop around.
Now relax, you’ve done the hardest bit! It’s time to rinse your dog. Use the container again, or if your dog is not scared, directly use the shower head with little water pressure. As you rinse, gently massage your dog. Never pour water directly onto its face and ears. Once rinsed, time for treats galore! That way, your dog will link bath time to a positive moment.
Dry your pooch with clean towels. We advise you also place one on the floor so that it can roll around in it and dry quicker. Give your dog a good and thorough rub-down with the towel and don’t forget its little pads! Drying is a crucial step because during the wash you remove one of the skin’s protective layers which will later have to regenerate.
Now your dog is all brushed and speckless. Enjoy!