The Dreaded Bath

Giving a dog a bath can be fun or it can be a terror.  Puppies either love or hate the water.  There is no middle ground.  When giving a puppy a bath, consider two things.  Do you know how and how many times a month should it be done?  Bathing the animal too much will strip away essential oils needed to keep the coat shiny.
Gather all your supplies before starting.  You don’t want a wet dog running behind you through the house.  You will need tearless shampoo, towels, and possibly a comb if your pup is a long hair breed.
Begin bathing when the dog is young and has time to acclimate to the water.  Place puppy in sink or a tub and reward him with praise for staying still.  Give him a treat or scratch to reinforce good behavior.
Use only lukewarm or tepid water and never put soap in his eyes or ears.  Take some water in your hands and pat their heads and noses gently.  Make sure the head area is washed last to minimize the urge to shake.  Rinse well because leftover soap can cause itching and flaky skin.
Pet odors are caused by a number of things.  Soiled fur on long haired dogs gets matted and traps dirt.  An ear infection can cause odor as well.  Make sure to check the dog’s ears during bathtime.  Dental problems can be quite a problem.  Check teeth at every bath and look for swollen gums or missing teeth.  Call your vet if you see something suspicious and have it checked.
Nail clipping should follow a bath unless you get a groomer to handle it.  Massage the paws and praise puppy for staying still.  Gently squeeze his paw to extend the nail.  Differentiate between the nail and the quick.  If you cut too far down, the quick will start bleeding.  If you are unsure, have a professional show you how to clip the nails without hurting the animal.

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