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Cleaning a dog – Bathtime without tears — 6 Comments

  1. Wow, Ian, what an awesome blog!!

    There are so many aspects to washing your dog that most people don’t know.

    We have two shelties right now, and needless to say, that’s a lot of hair, lol. Thankfully they grudgingly accept the fact that they get bathed. I know they don’t like it, but they stay put anyway. We’ve put them in the bathtub since they were pups, so they’re used to it. So much so that when we bathe the grandkids, they’re nowhere to be seen, haha.

    Our previous dog was a cross between a keeshond and sheltie, so that involved the wet-wool smell too. But she was so good. And she’d even put her paws up on the side of the tub so we could start drying her. Boy, did that take several towels!

    I find that if we drape a towel over the dog’s back when outside the tub and on the mat, it keeps them from wanting to shake. At least until you’ve soaked up most of the water.


    • Hi Suzanne – thanks for reading and your kind comments about the site. And thank you for telling us about your shelties. Murphy didn’t like getting washed but he also put up with it.

      What I find odd is the fact that he’d happily swim in the freezing sea, splash through brooks and puddles, and even cross streams with ice floating on them but he didn’t like a nice lukewarm wash 🙂

      Dogs, eh? 🙂

      That’s a great tip about the towel. It’s something I used to do, when the dogs were puppies and I washed them in the bath but when they got bigger I moved to washing them outside. They still shake when you take off the towel – you need to be really quick to get another one on them before they start shaking! – but, as you say, at least it mops up a lot of the water.

      I did try all of them with a hair drier but they did not like the noise so that didn’t last long.

      Here’s to clean dogs!

  2. Well, our Irish setter absolutely hates the bath, which is a surprise really when you see her bounding through the sea on the beach outside our house (we live on the coast!). 

    Thanks for these tips to make the whole process easier – we’re all getting sick of the sudden leaps to leave the tub that leave us, and everything around the bathroom, soaked. 

    You do touch on not washing your dog too often – would once a week be deemed too often?

    • Hi Chris – ah, dogs, eh? 🙂 They love one type of water but  not another! Murphy was the same and really hated being in the bath so we took to washing him outside. He didn’t like it but he learned to tolerate it and at least there was no bath to jump out of or bathroom to soak!

      The concern over washing your dog too often is that it removes the natural oils from their skin and coat. Washing frequency depends on how dirty your dog gets. Maybe once or perhaps twice a month would suffice. However, when your dog goes in the sea, you probably want to wash her after each dip to avoid the salt drying into her coat. That should be fine, too, but you may want to use a  leave in conditioner to help replace the oils and protect her coat.

      Irish setters have a very high-maintenance coat and ought to be brushed and groomed t least once a week. That will also help keep her coat tangle-free.


  3. These are great dog-cleaning tips, and I really wish I had come across your tips before now.

    I usually put my dog in the bath, certainly not without protest, and I can’t think why I did not use treats – that would really have made life much easier!

    And I never thought of putting cotton wool in her ears!

    I must confess that I found the whole process much easier when it was possible to use a hose pipe outside!

    Very many thanks for your really helpful and informative post.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Hi Chrissie – the secret of my success is that most dogs will do a lot of things for a treat! 🙂 Having said that, Murphy would often snaffle the treat and THEN try to get out. We went through a lot of treats 🙂 And then we took to washing him outside.

      Outside has many advantages. Why do you not do that now? We use a hosepipe – gently! – when it’s warm, and buckets of warm water when it’s colder. Rinsing takes the most time but it’s important to rinse thoroughly.

      After a walk, I used to wash Murphy’s paws outside with a hose. He didn’t mind that so much – and he had a treat afterwards so perhaps that is a way to get back to outside washing.


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