Don’t you just love a long, luxurious soak in a hot bubble bath? We’re betting that this isn’t something you and your dog have in common. Most dogs just don’t like taking a bath, and for most dogs, they only need to be bathed every six weeks to six months. (Surprised? Read more…) For dogs with certain skin conditions, however, we may recommend a medical bath, which simply means a regular bath that uses a medical shampoo.
Grab a Towel. Because you want a medical bath to be soothing, we recommend that you bathe your dog as quickly as possible. Gather everything you will need before you get Scooter, and if possible, don’t let him know what you are doing. This will cut down on dread time.
Before you start, read the instructions on the medicated shampoo that we recommend. For the medicated bath, you’ll need a premeasured portion of shampoo, a brush and perhaps a flea comb, a towel, a washcloth, another towel (or four), a cup for rinsing, and a leash. You also need to decide if you are going to give a tub or a sink bath. Place a towel in the bottom of the sink or tub, to help prevent your dog from slipping. Fill the tub with lukewarm water. You may also want a container of rinse water available.
Before you bring Scooter to the water, we may recommend that you give him a good brushing which will detangle, remove debris, help open pores, and help secrete natural oils into the fur.
Grab the Door. Before you begin the bath, close off the room where you’re going to give the bath. Trust us on this one.
Grab the Dog. Gently put your dog in the water and shampoo, following the instructions that you read before you got your dog into the water. (Yes, we’re sort of nagging you about this. ) Some shampoos will not lather, so don’t be surprised. Be gentle when cleaning any open wounds or irritated areas. When your dog is clean, begin to rinse. Use clean, lukewarm water. If the noise of the water rushing into the tub frightens Scooter, you may want to have a tub of rinse water at the ready.
Grab the Wash Cloth. Wash Scooter’s head with a wash cloth instead of spraying or pouring water on their head, as this can force water into their ears. The excess moisture can cause ear infections. If you have a dog with cocker spaniel ears, put cotton balls in the ears to try and keep them dry as you wash the long hairs around their face and ears. Wipe dry with cotton gauze or tissue after finishing the bath.
Grab the Leash. When Scooter gets out of the bath, he’s going to bolt, which is why we advised above that you close the door. (We’re not nagging, but if you don’t, we told you so.) If you followed our advice and he’s in a confined space, it will be easier for you to clip on his leash. Dry him off. Let him shake. Dry him off again. Shake and repeat. When he’s dry, comb through the fur, again paying attention to tender areas. Again, use cotton or gause to dry long hair around face and ears. If your dog has had fleas, you may need to use a flea comb.
Dogs are notorious for trying to cover up bad smells with worse ones. Scooter may not like the scent of the medicated shampoo, and may scoot out and roll in whatever disgusting substance you have available on your property, so it’s probably best to keep him confined for a while.
Grab Your Calendar. Although allergies, general itchiness, hair loss, hot spots, and chronic skin infections can be soothed and healed by a medicated bath, you can often prevent the issue completely. Flea and tick preventatives, and treating allergies before they cause skin issues are both vitally important. So – go grab your calendar and make sure you have regularly scheduled preventions and checkups to keep your pet healthy, happy, and taking as few baths as possible.