Woof Woof It's Bath Time!

Kirby is an inside dog which means he must be clean.  He has his favorite spot on the couch, playsat the bottom half of the recliner when I'm using it, and sleeps in mybed.  For day to day grooming all I needare wet wipes.  A wipe for his face afterhe eats, a wipe for dirty paws when he comes in from outside.  If he has been digging, or its muddy, then Iwash his feet in the kitchen sink.  To avoid stinky breath we had been using a doggie toothpaste but just recently began using Tropiclean Fresh Breath which we both love. I brush his coat almost every night which he tremendously enjoys.

Grooming isn’t just a way of giving affection.   Keeping your dog clean and well groomed canpositively affect his physical and psychological health.  A long, dirty coat can tangle and matcollecting dirt.  Uncut claws can bequite painful when walking.  Your dogshould also receive regular cleaning around the ears and eyes to removedischarge and prevent infections. Starting a regular routine early not only teaches your dog what toexpect lessening any anxieties but can also alert you to any skin or healthproblems your dog may acquire.

Kirby has a bath once a week, usually on Sundayevening.  If we have gone swimming at thelake then he will have a bath as soon as we get home.  A clean dog is a happy pet pawrent!

Never use your own shampoos on your dog since they’re notformulated for a dog’s skin and can cause irritation.  Kirby has silky hair which requires aconditioner to keep it soft and manageable. I have experimented with different pet shampoos and conditioners.  The brand I like best so far is Tropiclean.  I prefer to use the shampoo and conditioner inone since it eliminates a step for me.  Theseproducts are organic meaning I can read and understand all of theingredients.  It doesn't sting orirritate his eyes which is a plus since I scrub his face.  An added benefit is it is soap free so it won'tirritate or dry out his skin.  There areseveral variations to choose from designed for specific hair problems orcertain desired results.  I alternatebetween the Papaya 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner enriched with oatmeal tosoothe his skin and the Opti Neem Shampoo to protect him (and me) from fleas. 

I used to bathe him in the kitchen sink but found as he grew that he is morecomfortable in the bathtub.  I have ahandheld showerhead which makes rinsing very easy.  When bathing your dog please check the watertemperature.  Kirby prefers lukewarmwater.

First I wet him down being careful not to get water in hisears (you can place cotton balls in your dog’s ears to keep the insides dry)and then I pour some shampoo on his back. This product is creamy and lathers very well.  Be sure to scrub everywhere.  If your dog is fussy about having his facewashed then try wetting a washcloth and using a small dab of shampoo, thenre-wetting the washcloth to remove the suds. If you are using a separate conditioner, smooth it through the coatafter shampooing.  Leaving any shampoo orconditioner residue can cause dry, itchy skin so rinse, rinse, rinse.

Kirby has his own microfiber towel.  It really soaks up the excess water in his hair sohe dries quicker.  He inherited theYorkie hair meaning he doesn’t have an undercoat so it dries quickly withoutthe need to use a hair dryer.  If youfind you need to blow dry your dog's hair, take it in stages.  First get him used to the sound then used tothe wind it produces.  Keep the settingon cool so as not to burn him.

Of course the final step after every bath is a treat.  Kirby always gets a favorite treat for beingsuch a good bath boy.  Once we are donehe runs around the house a few times then meets me in the kitchen sitting onthe floor rug in anticipation.  He knowshe has earned his treat!

These are pictures of Kirby at six weeks old getting his first bath on the day I brought him home.  (Even though the date on the pictures says 2008 he was born 01/09/2009.  The camera had the wrong date set which we didn't realize until the pictures were developed)