5 Mistakes to Avoid When Giving Your Dog a Bath

Bathing once a month works for most breeds of dogs. However, you may have to do this more or less often, depending on your pet’s natural coat.

For instance, dogs with water-repellent coats, like Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees, need less frequent baths to preserve the natural oils in their hair coat. Breeds with oily coats like Basset Hounds need bathing more frequently (e.g. once every week).

But no matter how often you need to give your pet a bath, you have to make sure he likes the experience. After all, not all dogs find the whole process relaxing or enjoyable. The sound of the water, the confinement, the suds, and scrubbing can make your canine friend want to jump out of the tub even before you are done.

Making Bath Times Enjoyable for Your Canine Friend

Using the right dog grooming and hair or fur care products can get you off to a good start during your pet’s bath times. By using a shampoo and soap specially designed for pooches, you avoid irritating his skin. Moreover, you ensure his coat does not lose natural oils, which is essential for making his fur or hair shiny and soft.

Also, if you want your pup to like taking a bath and avoid having difficulties when he sees a tub, make sure to avoid these mistakes…

1. Not checking the water temperature when drenching your pup.

Whether you are taking a shower or soaking in the tub, you never get your body wet until you have checked the temperature. You should always do the same when giving your dog a bath.

When you suddenly wet your dog with water that is too hot or too cold, you introduce a negative stimulus which your pet will remember. He will end up associating bath times with these unpleasant experiences and dislike them.

To make bathing a comfortable and pleasant experience for your pet, always use lukewarm water.

Testing your pet’s bathwater is easy, so you should always take the time to do it. If you are using a shower head or sprayer, spray it first on your elbow or forearm to check and adjust the temperature.

If you are using a tub, dip your hand or elbow to check the temperature and add more hot or cold water to adjust it.

2. Splashing water on your pet’s eyes and ears.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when giving your dog a bath is getting water and shampoo or soap in his eyes and ears. The sensation is uncomfortable for all pets.

Additionally, water and shampoo can get stuck in the ears, which can cause an infection.
Always use a wet washcloth or sponge to wash his face. Use gentle but firm strokes when wiping this area.

If you need to remove dirt or tear stains from under or around your dog’s eyes, use a damp soft washcloth or sponge to wipe the area gently. Avoid touching the eye itself.

Use a slightly moist washcloth when cleaning your pet’s ears.

3. Applying shampoo and soap incorrectly.

Getting the right shampoo and soap for your dog is one thing; using them correctly is another.

If you only let the soap or shampoo soak in your pet’s coat after application, you won’t remove all the dirt and excess oil. You have to massage his fur or hair to trap all the grime and wash it away.

Massage the soap or shampoo into your pet’s coat for at least four minutes. Start with his legs and work your way upwards. As mentioned, avoid getting shampoo or soap on his face, especially his eyes. Use a moistened washcloth or sponge to clean this area.

Once done, rinse the lather off. Start with your dog’s head and work your way down to his paws. To know when to stop, keep an eye on the water: it will be clear of suds once your pet is completely lather-free.

4. Failing to dry your dog correctly.

Drying your pet improperly is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Failing to do this correctly can cause your dog to feel uncomfortable and even develop a chill.

Using a towel is the best way to dry your pup without frightening him. You can also use a hair dryer, but make sure your pet does not get scared by the noise and hot air.

And when you use a dryer, set it at the lowest setting. Keep moving the nozzle to avoid concentrating the heat in one area of your pup’s body and make sure it is at least two inches away from his coat.

If your pet is clearly uncomfortable and frightened of the dryer, stop using it immediately.

5. Brushing your pet’s coat incorrectly.

Lastly, brushing can be uncomfortable for your dog, particularly if there are knots and tangles on his fur or hair. As such, be a bit careful when grooming your pup.

Brush your pet before and after he takes a bath, but only if you brush his coat at least three times a week. If you don’t do this regularly, his coat or areas of it will be matted or knotted, making combing difficult and painful for your pup.

If your pet’s fur or hair is severely matted or tangled, it is best to have a professional groomer deal with this issue.

As a bonus tip, always keep a stock of pet cleaning and hygiene supplies, which you need for tidying up the bathroom or bathing area of your dog.

To keep your pup clean, healthy, and happy, avoid making these mistakes when giving him a bath.

Can Dogs Protect Your Home From Pests?

A question we often get from homeowners is: Can I use my beloved canine as a natural pest control solution? Many people assume that dogs, being bigger and more or less aggressive might act as a natural pest repellent, which would save them some trouble. This may be true, but if you have a pest problem, it is always best to hire a pro for help.

Why would dogs act as a natural pest repellent?

Well, you’d think pests would tend to keep away from dogs since the dog is more or less likely to give chase and then endanger them. Dogs also have a much keener sense of smell and hearing, which allows them to detect the presence of a pest long before we learn of it ourselves. So technically, they will know there’s something off even if you don’t. But does that mean they’ll protect the home?

The answer here is a bit more complicated.

First of all, it depends on what type of pest we’re talking about exactly. For example, squirrels are known to keep away from properties that have dogs, since the dog (as we well know) will give chase and practically make the critter’s life a nightmare. But squirrels can still be a nuisance even with the presence of your dog. For more information visit howtokeepsquirrelsaway.com.

Not all pests are as easily scared as squirrels. Skunks, for example, will not be impressed by a dog, and while they will try to avoid it, their smell acts as an ultimate weapon, so it’s far more likely that your dog will avoid the skunk and not the other way around.

Then, of course, there are the pests that your pet will chase, putting itself in danger. Raccoons, for example, are known to carry a lot of bacteria in their fearsome claws and they will not shy away from scratching and biting your beloved pet, should they get into a fight. This, of course, poses the threat of rabies, as well as a variety of diseases, and potentially even death.

Dogs have also been known to chase after snakes, which as you can probably guess, is not such a hot idea. Snakes are not keen on biting, usually, as that leaves them without defense (aka venom) for days as their stock replenishes. So most snakes only bite when they feel they’ve got no other choice, but if your dog is persistent about catching them, have no doubt, they will bite. Bites both from venomous and non-venomous snakes can be potentially life-threatening to your canine.

So all in all, while it might seem like a good idea at first, you don’t want your pet to give chase to wildlife in your yard, as this can endanger both the pet and yourself. Instead, what you’ll want to do is look for a dog that is a natural at dealing with other animals peacefully.

Some dogs are known to keep Canada geese and other birds away and have some level of success in deterring other pests from approaching. Animals like a German Shepherd, for example, can be trained to herd some types of unwanted pests off of your property safely and efficiently.

Bottom line: Will dogs protect the home from pests?

While some dogs are effective in keeping pests away, it usually depends on the size and aggression levels of the canine in question. For example, pests such as raccoons, opossums, and the like want to avoid a property where they hear the bark of a big, angry dog. While they may fight back, they know they will lose, and so prefer to keep out of the dog’s way. But this only goes for big, fierce dogs. Most lapdogs won’t instill fear in pests, and might actually be threatened by the presence of wildlife.

Honestly, you should take all the necessary precautions (e.g. keeping a clean, tidy yard and home) to prevent pests from approaching. Prevention is the best protection. And if you are dealing with some pest problems on your property, it would be a much better idea to either research DIY pest control options or even call a local wildlife removal company to rid your property of pests. Don’t just assume that because you have a dog (or cat, for that matter), your property is safe from local pests, because that might well put both your life and the life of your pet in considerable danger.

Oakley the English Shepherd

Oakley, a five year old English Shepherd, is nothing short of extraordinary. He was born on April Fool’s Day in 2015, which should’ve told us everything we needed to know. He is very sassy yet lovable, wanting to cuddle only when HE feels like it. He loves his stuffed sloth bear. He cuddles with it often. He has many fears, including the dishwasher, brushes, anything that sprays, and of course, the vacuum. Our family would not be the same without him. Submitted by Audrey C.