Grooming 101: Short hair care
Many pet parents who have short haired dogs often think their dog can forgo regular trips to the groomer. While it is true that many of the grooming basics can be done at home like trimming nails, cleaning ears, and the occasional bath; these at-home tips are not meant to substitute professional grooming visits. Groomers can do more for your short haired dog than just a bath and usually your dog will behave differently being taken care of by someone else outside of their home environment.
Taking care of basic grooming for short haired dogs like a simple bath and brush can be done provided your dog does not become too stressed, at which point it is best to leave the grooming to the professionals.
First, be sure your dog can fit in your bathtub, with enough room to rince them off. If you have a detachable shower head, it will make the rinsing easier, but it is not a necessity. If you dont have a detachable shower head, just be sure you have a few large cups.
Shampoo and conditioner: depending on your dog’s needs (dry skin, allergies, etc.) depends on what shampoo you’ll want to use. If your dog has skin allergies or sensitivities, your vet can prescribe you a specialty shampoo. If your dog does not have these issues, and you are just looking to get them clean and smelling good: read product reviews, ask your groomer and other pet parents what they like and what works well for them. I have always liked the Pet Head brand of shampoos and conditioners for my dogs. They clean and moisturize, rinse out completely and don’t leave residue, and they smell great even after the bath.
Brush: When you have a short haired dog, the only brush you will ever need is the Zoom Groom from Kong. You can use it as a regular dry brush, you can use it in the bath to help scrub the shampoo onto your dog, you can use it while you dry the dog to help brush out loose hair.. it’s small and easy to use both wet and dry.
Eye Wash: Even the most careful of pet bathers needs to have this on hand, even if you are using tearless shampoo. Be sure to keep this within arms reach during the bath just in case your dog gets soap in it’s eyes. This will also help rinse out any hair that gets into the eyes during the bath as well.
Bath Mat: This is optional, if you have one around the house or already in the bathtub you are planning to use it can help your dog keep their footing. If not, your dog may slip around a little but it’s not essential.
Towels: You’ll want at least two bath towels to dry your dog with , and possibly more to cover your floor with for after the bath. The only thing I have learned the bigger the towel, the better.
Your dog will more than likely not want to be in the tub. If you have a larger dog, you will probably need a second set of hands to help you get the dog in and out of the tub, and to keep them in the tub during the bath. Be sure you and (if needed) your help are wearing clothes you don’t mind getting wet, dirty and furry. Be sure your water is lukewarm, not too hot or too cold: dog skin is different from ours and hot water can burn dogs more easily and dogs don’t enjoy being cold as much as we do, avoid using cold water or outdoor hose water. Bath water should never be hotter than what you’d run for a human baby. Keep it a little cooler for large-breed dogs, who can easily overheat.
Be gentle around the face and any sensitive areas and remember if you do get any soap or debris in the eyes to use your eye wash. Using your fingers or your zoom groom brush, be sure to scrub the shampoo in to ensure the best clean and also use your fingers or your zoom groom to be sure you rinse out all of the shampoo to avoid irritation.
Once your dog has been bathed and rinsed, it’s time to dry. Towel dry your dog as much as possible and if they don’t mind loud noises dry them on the cool or lowest heat setting with a hair dryer. The more dry your dog, the less ‘wet dog smell’ later.
If bathing at home, your dog will more than likely run around the house after the bath. So after the bath and they are as dry as you can get them.. be prepared.
Photo Courtesy: R0Ng
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