Washing your pets can turn into a nightmare of soap suds, hysterical humans and confused or frightened animals.
Follow our guide to the best way to wash your pets and avoid the pet bath time dramas!
Firstly you will need a good quality shampoo and conditioner.
- Oatmeal shampoo and conditioners: Good for sensitive skin and soft coated breeds. Oatmeal is a gentle cleanser and is great for dogs that might have itchy skin, allergies, or need extra moisture. Oatmeal dog shampoos also work well for hairless breeds.
- Special shampoo and conditioners: For dogs with skin problems, hot spots, seborrhea, bacterial, fleas or fungal problems, you will need special products
- All-purpose shampoo and conditioner: Most dogs do well with all-purpose products, although you can find special puppy products, moisturising products, all natural products, etc. One of the best? Baby shampoo!
- Or you can make your own! Check out our recipe for Homemade Pet Shampoo!
Where you bath your pet is up to you, depending on their size.
For small dogs, kitchen or laundry sinks with spray hoses work well. Larger breeds can often fit inside a shower, and you can use a shower hose for them. If they are really big consider going to a DIY dog wash station.
Wherever you choose to bathe your dog, inside or outside, you should always use warm water to bathe them. It is more comfortable for the dog, better for their skin, and forces more dead coat out in each bath.
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Before the Bath
- Do a quick brush through your dog’s hair
- Keep your shampoo close by, along with towels.
- Make a vinegar rinse by filling a small bucket with warm water and adding up to half a cup of vinegar. This will be used after shampooing to cut all of the soap out.
- Squirt a little eye ointment in each eye to help prevent water and products from getting in your dog’s eyes.
- Put a large cotton ball inside your dog’s ears to prevent water from going into the ear canal.
During the Bath
- Wet your dog down with warm water, avoiding his face and ears.
- Gently rub shampoo into your dog’s coat. Small dogs will only require the amount you use for your own hair, but large dogs require more. Squeeze small amounts into your hand and rub into the coat until fully covered.
- Rinse out the shampoo and follow with the vinegar rinse, if using, to make sure all the soap is out.
- Finish off with a conditioner, rinse then towel dry. After drying thoroughly brush.
Time baths for when your cat’s at their most mellow.
Then for your own protection, experts recommend trimming claws before bathing.
Next, give your cat a good brushing to remove any loose hair and mats and gently place some cotton in their ears to keep the water out.
Use a hand-held spray hose, cup or watering can to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in their ears, eyes and nose. Gently massage your pet with a solution of one part cat shampoo (human shampoo can dry out their skin) to five parts water, working from head to tail, in the direction of hair growth. Take care to avoid the face, ears and eyes.
Rinse thoroughly and use a facecloth to carefully wipe your pet’s face.
Wrap your cat in a large towel and dry them with it in a warm place, away from drafts. If your pet doesn’t mind the noise, you can use a blow dryer, on the lowest heat setting.
What tricks do you have for a stress-free bath time experience with your pet?
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