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Pet Care » Grooming Your Dog

Bathing Your Dog

Choose the right products to make this an enjoyable Spot-cleaning event

We've all seen the pictures of people washing their dog outside while the less-than-happy pooch is standing knee-deep in an oversized suds-filled metal tub. Usually the person doing the washing looks as wet and uncomfortable as the dog that's quickly loosing his status as the toughest hound in town. With a little planning on your part and a few better bathing supplies on hand than your own hair shampoo and an old kitchen sponge, bath time for Spot can prove to be an enjoyable experience for both of you.

Some people insist that their dog's bath has to be done outside because it's too hard to get Spot in and out of the tub as well as keep him there. For these dog owners, there are several products available to make indoor baths not only an option but also a safer event for everyone involved.

For starters, a sturdy lightweight dog-bathing tub with an "open end" for easier dog access can be purchased. Such tubs have an optional ramp that can be attached to them for even greater ease of access. This style of tub is often elevated which makes giving the bath a much easier and less-riskier task for the person who is doing the scrubbing.

Indoor baths are also possible with the use of a bath-restraining device that often features one or two tethers that attach to the sides or bottom of the tub. Such devices are also made in outdoor versions to help keep Spot under control while being bathed in the yard.

Using one of the several styles of faucet or showerhead hose attachments can help in thoroughly rinsing bath products out of your dog's coat. There's even a sprayer kit to attach to your washing machine water lines.

If Spot needs to be bathed outside and the only water that you have available is quite cold, you can rely on a portable electric water heater with a thermostatic control to help get the job done and to keep your dog comfortable. Numerous garden hose attachments are also available with varying spray patterns, attached scrubbing heads, and additional lengths of flexible coiled hose.

The selection of actual dog bathing products is almost as wide-ranging as the ones used by their human companions. Whether you need to bathe your dog because of a close encounter of the smelly kind with the neighborhood skunk or because of a flea infestation, there's a product to help you get the job done. Maybe your dog has a skin condition or causes members of your family to have an allergic reaction due to their dander. Again, bathing solutions exist. Choose from hypoallergenic shampoos, herbal preparations, degreasers, crème rinses and conditioners, coat color-enhancers, hot spot applications, and even after-bath colognes.

Read the labels to make sure that the bath product you're considering using is safe for your dog's age and current health status. The most important thing to remember is don't bath Spot any more than is necessary. Make the times that you do bathe your dog a happy and safe occasion by having the necessary supplies ready and waiting. The hardest part related to bathing Spot should be catching him.

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