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Bathing Your Dog - A BIG Soapy Mess?

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

Read By: Pet Lovers
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Do you dread giving your dog a bath? Is it a big soapy mess? Do you let your dog go without a bath for weeks because it is too much of a hassle?

Well, you're not alone.

My friend, Margie, has a little black and white Terrier named Chips who just HATES baths. Every time she mentions the word "BATH," he runs away and hides under the sofa. It takes the entire family to catch and bathe him. Margie even tried SPELLING the word. "It's time to give Chips a B-A-T-H," she would say. But Chips soon caught on and began running for cover at the very spelling of the word "BATH." (Who said dogs aren't smart?)

There are other challenges to washing your dog, too.

Large dogs can be more of a handful just because of their size. Dogs with thick coats are always more difficult to bathe because it's hard to clean through the fur, down to the skin. In some climates, it can be too cold to wash your dog outdoors during winter months - but for some dogs, the job is just too messy to be done indoors. Professional groomers are always a good option, provided it's in your budget (not always the case -- especially these days).

If bathing your dog has become a challenge or if you want to try to save some money, then I have a few tips for you.

Here they are:

1. Never wash your dog outside if the weather is cold. This is particularly true for puppies because they have trouble regulating their body temperatures. Puppies should be at least four weeks old before they receive their first bath.

2. Before bathing, comb and brush out all mats. Otherwise, the water will turn the mats into solid masses, which will require clippers to remove. If your dog's hair is matted with paint, tar or some other sticky material, trim with clippers or soak the area with vegetable or mineral oil for 24 hours. (You may want to speak with a professional groomer if the tangles are really difficult.)

3. Prep your dog. Put a drop of mineral oil in the eyes to protect them from suds. Some people use cotton balls in the ears. If you use cotton balls, make sure they're the right size for your dog's ears; if they're too small, they may slip down the ear canal.

Finally I want to tell you about a product that can make the actual bathing process MUCH easier. It is a power-wash system that will wet, wash and rinse your dog in about 3 minutes, penetrating down to the skin to remove dirt and dander. And all you do is point the hose. It's so easy, even the kids can do it (really). The product is called Rapid Bath and it uses the same powerful washing technology found in professional dog-grooming tools.

RapidBath® video

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Our team veterinarian, Dr. Karin Szust, tested RapidBath® on her Boxer, Star. Karin felt it was a great product. It was easy to use and did a very thorough job. Karin's cleaning time was about 5 minutes.

Star liked it, too. She really seemed to enjoy the feel of it, and she cooperated with "mommy" the entire time. Star is just one of Karin's Boxers. (Karin was able to bathe all 5 of her Boxers quickly and easily with RapidBath®.)

I think this is an excellent product, and it could make bath time much easier for you and your dog. This product works great for indoor and outdoor bathing. Just screw it on to any garden hose or showerhead and you're ready to go. Dogs love the way the powerful spray massages their skin, so they won't try to get away. They actually like it!


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