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How to groom and bath your dog

You may be keener than your dog on giving him a bath – especially if he has been rolling around in something unpleasant outside. But to make life easier for you both, there are a few things you can do to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

  1. Choose the best location for bathing your dog. A bathtub is usually easiest, but if you have a very small dog, it may be more comfortable for you both to use a bowl or sink. If your dog has long hair, be warned this may clog the drain.
  2. Make sure you comb or brush them first. This will help to remove any loose hairs and tangles which are harder to deal with when wet. Many dogs love being brushed as a treat, which can help to relax them too.
  3. Put on an apron or some old clothes. Chances are, you’re going to get wet!
  4. Place a non-slip mat into the bath (particularly if you have a large dog) to prevent either you or your dog slipping as you lift him in and out.
  5. Run some warm water into the bath or sink. Cold water is no fun for dogs (imagine having a cold bath yourself) but you don’t want it too hot either.
  6. The depth of the water depends on the size of your dog, but don’t make it too deep as this could cause them to panic. The noise of the tap running may also scare them so pre-fill the bath before you put your dog in.
  7. Pick up your dog and place him in the bath. He will probably try to get out again straightaway but persevere.
  8. Use a plastic cup or jug to pour water over your dog. (You can use a shower attachment if your dog isn’t alarmed.) They may try and shake off the water (covering you too).
  9. Rub the pet shampoo onto your hands or dissolve it in a little warm water and pour over your dog. Then, using your hands, gently massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat – make sure you are getting through to the skin. Try and avoid getting any shampoo into his eyes or ears.
  10. Rinse with warm water. Ensure your dog’s coat is completely free of shampoo or he could develop dry skin.
  11. Lift him out of the bath – be careful not to let either of you slip – and let him shake some water off. Then rub him dry with a nice warm towel (or use a hair dryer if he’s not alarmed by the noise).
  12. Give your dog a treat for being good, then a final brush.
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