How to Give Your Dog a Fast Dry Cleaning
Those who believed in bathing their dogs and those who did not used to be quite determined in their opposition to the theories of the other. However, modern research has taught us that if you use a pH balanced mild shampoo formulated for dogs, you can bathe as often as necessary.
How often you bathe your dog, though, will depend on his type of skin and hair, how often he gets dirty, and the cli mate of your area. For the average dog, a bath every few weeks or so keeps him really clean, stimulates his skin without drying his coat, and makes him feel “top of the morning.”
The exceptions to this rule, however, are the harsh double coated breeds. They are bathed less often because shampoo ing softens the coat texture.
In cold weather, be sure the room is warm so the wet dog won’t get chilled. Use your own bathtub or, if your dog is small, one side of a laundry tub. You can press a little ball of steel wool in the drain to hold back and collect the hairs. Have the water comfortably warm, not hot, and the shampoo mild.
To prepare the dog for his bath, first plug his ears loosely with cotton and put a drop of mineral oil in each eye to pre vent irritation. When the dog has learned to enjoy his bath and cooperates with you, these steps can be skipped; but if he resists or is in any way hard to handle, his eyes and ears must be protected or he will fight harder the next time.
Stand him in water up to the middle of his legs, leaving enough free space to hand scrub him well underneath. Wet him all over, thoroughly but gently, to avoid fright. Squeeze shampoo on the hair, and work from the top of his head down over the neck, back, and around the tail, underbody, legs, and feet, paying particular attention to the undersides of the legs, the base of the tail, and between the toes.
Massage the shampoo in thoroughly with your fingers so that it reaches the skin. Use a washcloth to go over the face last, taking care not to get shampoo into his eyes. Rinse quickly, then shampoo again. The first sudsing loosens the dirt, the second removes it. Rinsing is important, for even a light amount of soap left to dry in the hair causes dandruff and itching. A few drops of vinegar added to the rinse water helps to remove the soap. A creme rinse (applied after the shampoo) will make long hair glossier and more manageable.
Now lift the dog out of the tub and blot the excess mois ture from his coat with a terry towel. Keep changing towels and blotting the hair until it is dry, or use a hair dryer, point ing the nozzle at a section of wet hair, as you brush at the same time. In winter or unseasonably cold wather, confine the dog to a warm, draft free room for two hours or more. The coat may appear to be dry, yet is damp near the skin. Be sure the dog is absolutely dry before letting him go outdoors.
The way you give your dog his first few overall shampoos will do much toward making him like a bath, and once he does, he will save you time and trouble by lending himself willingly to the job. There are occasional dogs that battle their way through every bath, with two or more members of the family required to assist. For the most; part, however, fear of a bath is unnecessary and can be avoided if the handling is gentle but firm and the water temperature moderate.
A dog can be dry cleaned toothat is, washed without waterwith a “no rinse” shampoo. Such products are ap plied directly from the bottle onto the coat and worked into a lather; then the hair is towel dried. They work equally well on short and long coats. Powder shampoos formulated for dogs, or cornstarch for light colored coats and cornmeal for dark ones, may be sifted into the skin and then brushed vigorously out again. Much of the dirt and extra oils will be removed and the coat will be made soft and fluffy.