Giving a dog a bath can be as simple as rinsing him down in a child's swimming pool in the backyard during the summer, or as complex as a full-blown spa ritual, complete with bathing a harness and a bevy of fancy coat products designed to whiten, darken, brighten, do-tangle, shine, and leave your dog with a designer aroma to rival a fancy French perfume. However, there are many ways to make bathing easier, and many ways in which bathing makes subsequent grooming sessions easier, too.
Bathing Inventory Tools
Once your dog is completely brushed, combed, and tangle-free, he is ready for a bath. Now you must get ready, too, and that means preparing all the necessary equipment and supplies so that you can reach what you need when you need it. lf you put that dog in the bathtub under running water and then have to go in search of shampoo or a scrub brush, we all know what will happen: a jump, a shake, and you will be a left with a soaked bathroom and a wet dog bounding around the house.
To wash your dog, you will need some basic supplies: shampoo, conditioner, sponge, scrub brush, bath mat, a hand-held sprayer (or large cup for rinsing), a plastic apron for you to avoid getting wet, a nylon collar and leash (if your dog has a tendency to bolt away), and finally, a heavy towel
Choosing A Shampoo
With so many shampoos on the market, it's not easy to decide which to use. Yet, for most breeds, a basic, all-purpose shampoo is fine. If you want your shampoo to do more than clean, you might also consider a specialty shampoo.
* Accentuate your dog's coat color by choosing a shampoo made for white, black or red coats.
* Shampoos designed to deliver extra conditioning to long or curly coats can make post-bath grooming even easier.
* For wire-coated dogs, look for a shampoo designed to preserve the crisp texture of your dog's coat.
* Many dogs have sensitive skin or eyes. A hypoallergenic shampoo can minimize sensitivity reactions to bathing.
* lf your dog already has a rash, allergies, itching, or other sensitive skin conditions, look for a medicated shampoo designed to treat your dog's problem (your vet should be able to recommend a good medicated shampoo for your dog).
* Is it flea season? Then consider a shampoo containing a gentle anti-flea ingredient such as pyrethrin or limonene, or any of several natural botanicals designed to repel fleas, such as neem oil.
* If your dog has sensitive eyes then consider a "tear-less" shampoo.
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