Clean up your own canine to cut costs.
Dirty dogs need baths, but this process is pricey. Professional pet grooming, in our experience, can cost anywhere from $30 to $70 more per visit, depending on the size and breed of the dog. Extra services (such as haircuts, nail clipping, and de-shedding treatments) cost extra. Groomer tips add to the cost. Canine care experts recommend bathing dogs every four to six weeks. Those cleanings can quickly grow expensive, particularly when performed by popular and licensed professional dog groomers.
How can you give your own dog a bath?
Many dog owners opt to save money by washing their own dogs. It’s a little tricky to clean up a canine, especially the first time. With practice, however, it can become much easier for both hound and human. Here are 10 steps to help you bathe your own Basset, Beagle, Bichon Frise, Bloodhound, Boxer or other canine breed.
1. Remove your dog’s collar.
Pet stores offer slip leashes, which slide over the dogs’ heads. These waterproof restraints are helpful for bathing. A slip leash covers less of the dog and can be easily shifted, allowing you to clean the dog’s neck without his collar.
2. Place the pet in a large tub.
It’s best to enlist a strong, dog-confident helper to assist with the process, especially when bathing a larger canine. Hold the animal securely in a bathtub or laundry sink. Leave the drain unplugged to allow constant drainage.
On a warmer day, a kiddy pool, a washtub, or a clean muck bucket can work well for outdoor dog bathing. Just be sure to replace the water frequently.
Expect the dog to shake, rattle, and roll after a bath. It’s important to pick a place where he can do this without damaging carpet, drapes, furniture, wallpaper, or other home décor.
3. Wet down the dog with warm water.
Test the water temperature before soaking the dog. Use a gentle spray, shower hose, or small bucket to pour clean water over the pet.
4. Lather up the pup.
Squirt a handful of shampoo into your palm. Rub your hands together, and apply the soap to the dog. Be sure to soap him up everywhere, including between his toes and in all his crevices.
Dog shampoos are available, but baby shampoo and even gentle liquid dish soaps may do the trick. Frequently bathed pets may benefit from shampoos fortified with Omega 3 fatty acids to keep their coats shiny and healthy.
Show dog owners often skip the shampoo stage and go right to coat conditioning, if their pets are washed extra often.
5. Rinse him completely.
Carefully rinse all of the soap from the dog, testing the water temperature again first. Shampoo a second time, if the rinse water still runs dirty. Follow up with hair conditioner, and rinse again. Cheap conditioners marketed for human use work fine for canines, as long as you rinse fully.
6. Towel dry the dog.
Grab a big beach towel, and fluff the pet vigorously to remove as much water as possible from his coat. Remember, he is likely to shake at this point, especially if he hasn’t already done so.
7. Blow dry.
Professional dog groomers usually have big dryer cages, in which pets are placed for blow drying. However, you can use your own hand-held hair dryer for this purpose. Choose a cooler setting, if possible, to prevent possible burns.
8. Brush your canine’s coat.
Pick up a large-toothed comb or a soft slicker brush, and smooth the dog’s coat. Gently loosen any tangles. Brush out his undercoat as well. This is the favorite step for many dogs.
9. Trim his nails.
Like human fingernails, a dog’s nails tend to be softer after bathing, making clipping much easier. However, if the dog tends to be more rambunctious or panicky with handling, it may be a better idea to complete this step before the actual bathing takes place.
Use clippers designed specifically for pets, and be careful to trim his nails only slightly. Do not clip them too short, as this can cause bleeding. It’s better to clip a dog’s nails more conservatively, but more often.
10. Clip your dog’s coat, as needed.
Long-haired breeds, such as Poodles and Lhasa Apsos, often receive haircuts before bathing. Others are best styled afterwards. Use electric clippers or round-pointed scissors to neaten the dog’s muzzle, paws and coat, if needed.
A simple brushing with a looped shedder blade is usually sufficient for most breeds.
Increasingly, canine keepers practice home bathing in-between professional baths, particularly in warmer months. Licensed dog groomers can be valuable allies for pet owners entering their canines in breed competitions and other dog shows.