Knowing how to take care of your dog is important. To help you, we’ve put together lots of information on everything from grooming and paw care to tips on looking after your dog's teeth.
Giving your dog or puppy a bath
Dogs used to be bathed twice a year. It was an all-out struggle, owner against dog. These days, you can get dog shampoos that don’t strip out all their coat’s natural oils. If you’re well-prepared, bathing can be a great adventure for both you and your dog.
Bath time doesn’t need to be a regular thing. But if your dog’s been rolling in something whiffy or their fur is saturated with mud, then it’s time to get them into the tub.
Start by brushing
If your dog’s not already wet, start by brushing their coat to get rid of any knots – water could make these worse. Then put enough lukewarm water in the sink or bath to come up to your dog’s knees – or turn on the shower nozzle at a comfortable temperature. A non-slip mat is a good idea too.
Washing your dog
Now lift your dog into the tub, with lots of encouragement and praise. Hold them in place with one hand and ladle water over their coat with the other. Or you can use the shower nozzle, holding it really close to your dog’s coat so they don’t get nervous. Apply the dog shampoo and gently work it all over their body. A soft paintbrush might be handy for cleaning between their toes. Use a sponge to wash their face – being really careful not to get any soapy water in their eyes.
Rinse thoroughly, using clean, lukewarm water so that you don’t leave any shampoo behind.
Drying your dog
Then squeeze out your dog’s coat with your hands before drying them with a couple of towels. Remember, what you don’t dry off, they’ll always shake off! You can now use the blow-dryer if you like, but keep the heat low and away from your dog’s face.
One last thing: check your dog’s ears are really dry, as bacteria love to hide in damp ears. Then praise your dog, reward them and cross your fingers that they don’t dive straight back into the mud!