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Tips for Safely Washing Your Dog At Home

Dogs need to be kept clean, but unfortunately, most people who are dog owners are probably aware that dogs also love dirt! It's a common tendency for dog owners to skip bathing their dogs or bathe them infrequently. But bathing is important to the health of their coats and skin, helping to keep them free of dirt and parasites, as well as prevent their coats from getting tangled and unhealthy. Most people can't afford the time and hassle of regularly taking their dog to a professional groomer, so it's helpful to know the proper way to bathe them at home. Here are a few top tips about bathing your dog at home that might help you next time it's bath time for your pooch. 

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

Unlike us, dogs don't require daily grooming, but they do require regular bathing to keep them healthy. Exactly how often you need to bathe your dog varies, though, typically depending on their breed and the type of coat they have. Although it's best to ask a veterinarian or professional groomer for exact details on how often you need to bathe your dog, here are some general guidelines:

  • Monthly bathing is typically enough for most dogs.
  • Dogs with oily coats, like Basset Hounds, may need bathing more frequently, sometimes weekly.
  • Many short-haired breeds with smooth coats, such as Beagles and Weimaraners, will be just fine without frequent baths. They often need bathing only once a month and can sometimes go a little longer if need be. 
  • Breeds that have naturally water-repellent coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors, should be bathed less often. This is to help preserve the natural oils in their coats.
  • Dogs with thick, double coats, such as Samoyeds, Malamutes, and Huskies, need regular brushing but can be bathed fairly infrequently. Brushing gets rid of loose hair and helps distribute natural oils that keep your dog's skin and coat healthy.

Of course, the conditions your dog lives in and how much time they spend outside also have a direct effect on how often they need to be bathed. Dogs who work outdoors in muddy conditions, for example, will need to be washed much more often than an apartment dwelling pooch in the suburbs.

Even though frequent bathing is important, it should also be noted that you shouldn't bathe your dog more than necessary. Bathing too often will cause your dog to lose its natural oils, which will cause the coat to become dry and prone to dandruff, frizziness, and matting. Bathing the dog less frequently is also recommended if you notice that some shampoos dry out or irritate the skin more than others. For this reason, it's critical that you also choose the right products to wash your dog's coat.

Where Should I Wash My Dog?

Smaller dogs are, of course, much easier to bathe than their larger counterparts. Small dogs can safely be washed in a sink, and when a sink isn't available, you may have to get in the bathtub or shower with your dog and use a detachable nozzle. If need be, you can purchase a portable dog tub or even wash your dog outside, provided the weather is nice enough and they don't run the risk of getting too cold. Washing your dog outside when it's cold can cause dogs to dislike the process of being bathed since they're likely to feel very uncomfortable. So, make sure the weather is warm enough if you plan to get the hose out

How Should I Give My Dog A Bath?

If you plan on bathing your dog at home, here are some helpful tips to make sure the experience isn't stressful for you or your dog:

  • If your dog is going to be bathed, brush his coat before. When your dog's hair is matted, it holds water and causes irritation to the skin. If your dog's coat is very matted, have a professional take care of brushing them.
  • Avoid using water that's too hot. Dog skin is very sensitive to hot water, so even if it feels okay for you, it might be too hot for them. You shouldn't run the bathwater any hotter than you would for a human baby. If you own a large breed that's likely to overheat easily, make the water even cooler.
  • Make sure to speak to your dog in a calm and reassuring manner. If you get frustrated, your dog will start to learn to fear bath time.
  • Once your dog's coat has dried, any leftover soap in their fur can irritate them. Rinse, rinse, and rinse again.
  • Let them air dry. Human blow-dryers can generate too much heat for their skin. Let your dog's coat air dry unless you have access to a proper dog blow dryer.
  • Only use high-quality dog shampoo. People shampoo simply isn't suitable for use on dogs. The ingredients can be irritating and potentially harmful if accidentally ingested. What's more, they can be overly drying for a dog's skin. Be sure not to get soap in your dog's eyes when you work the shampoo into a gentle lather and massage it all over their body.

Making sure to use the right products when bathing your dog is important to ensure their coat and skin stay healthy, but also to prevent any irritation. Hand Over Heart's Pure Bark Bomb is an all-natural soap that will leave skin nourished and soft and carry away dirt without irritating. Bark Bombs are safe to use and gentle, hypoallergenic, and contain no sulfates, parabens, phosphates, perfumes, dyes, or other harmful ingredients. Even better, they're completely cruelty-free, vegan, biodegradable, and made in the USA. There's no better option out there to ensure your dog's coat is left clean and shiny with no risk of irritation. 





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