Rubber Ducky Aside

by Kris Phillips

DSC_0353Ever notice how your average pup will jump headlong into a raging river or slime-filled pond, but respond to bath-time like it’s some arcane form of puppy-torture. Overall Yukon and Swota are pretty well-behaved but each and every bath turns into a wet, smelly, soapy wrestling match. By the end of it I’m pretty sure there is more water on the floor, the walls, and me, than there is in the wash tub. But after all is said and done the pups are clean, and I’m in need of a shower. I suppose I could pay someone else for the joy of the experience. But my fur-kids just need to get clean, no fancy haircuts or tools required. So being a child of Google I decided to do a little research and share what I’ve found.

20140808_143751There are some benefits to grooming your pup yourself. Even if it’s not your pets favorite activity it is an opportunity to bond.  We all live super busy lives and it can be hard to find activities to share with your pup, so why not a good body scrub. It’s also a great chance to inspect for lumps, bumps, and bugs.

It’ll come as no surprise that most experts recommend starting early. Brushing, bathing, nail trims and really anything else you want to do with your pup are best started while he or she is, well, still a pup. But if you’ve adopted a grown dog, or just recently decided to do your own grooming that might not be an option. So start small. Keep grooming sessions short, just a few minutes, with lots of praise and/or treats.

Brushing- Brushing should be a frequent part of your routine. This will help your pets coat stay shiny, healthy, and a bit cleaner. Plus, if you have a heavy shedder it’ll reduce the fur on the furniture. With my big double-coated huskies I am a huge fan of the Furminator. Not sure what kind of brush to use? Wahl has a pretty expansive breed-specific grooming guide. You’ll definitely want to give your dog a good all-over brushing before bath time. And a nice tiring walk might also help the who process. 

20160706_142120Round up your supplies. Use a shampoo specifically formulated for pets. People shampoos can cause itchy skin in some dogs. Grab more towels than you think you’ll need. A rubber mat for your tub will keep your pup from slipping and sliding. If you want to save your back and your plumbing consider going to a self-grooming place. They will have the tubs, hand-held shower heads, the towels, and maybe even the soap. If you live in a pet friendly apartment they might even have a dog-wash.

Keep bath-time  as quick as possible. A good rinse, a good lather, and another good rinse. Be careful not to get water in your pups eyes, ears, or nose. Make sure to include lots of praise and treats to make next time even easier. A little elbow grease and a lot of love will have your pup looking laid back and extra cuddly in no time.

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