After your dog has eaten their meal, it is recommended to wait at least two hours before exercising or bathing them. Many dogs don’t like having a bath and can get anxious or upset when shampoo time comes around. Also, allowing their meal to settle reduces the risk of vomiting or diarrhea.
Even if your dog does enjoy bathtime, allowing a couple of hours to pass after eating reduces the risk of gastrointestinal problems, such as gastric torsion.
Gastric torsion is when the stomach is full and bloated and cannot return to normal size. As a result, the stomach can twist and cause internal blockages. This is more common in larger breeds but can occur in any size dog. Gastric torsion can be severe as it doesn’t just affect the digestive system. It also puts pressure on other organs and blood vessels. It can lead to death if left untreated.
Dogs are opportunistic carnivores, and their digestive systems can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours to digest food. Dogs ‘ digestive systems are slower than humans, who usually take 4 to 5 hours to digest. Larger dogs have a slower digestive system than smaller dogs. Different types of food are easier to digest than others. Wet food digests quicker than dry food. Bones can take a couple of days to digest.
Many factors will also affect your dog’s digestive system and metabolic rate:
- Age of the dog, metabolism slows as they get older
- Lifestyle, an active dog will have a higher metabolism than a sedentary dog
- Pre-existing medical condition
- Pre-existing digestive problems
Table of Contents
When should I bathe my dog
Unlike humans, dogs don’t need to bathe daily. However, several factors will affect when you should wash your dog.
Does your dog get walked in mucky terrains like the woods or fields? Does your beloved pooch like to roll in ‘omg, what is that! It stinks’? Do they like to swim in lakes, big muddy puddles, and horrible green ponds? If the answer to these is yes, your furry friend will probably need a bath reasonably regularly.
Whenever my girl went for a swim in the sea, I would hose off the salt and sand from her. But, of course, I wouldn’t bathe her every time since she’s a Husky.
If your dog just gets walked in a park or around town and they don’t get too dirty. A bath won’t be necessary too often. Instead, they may require their paws wiped.
It will also depend on your dog’s breed. Some breeds, like the Husky, should only be washed a few times a year, as they have sensitive skin, and over-bathing can ruin their natural oils, which keep their coats in good condition. In contrast, breeds with oily skin and wrinkles will need to be bathed every 4 to 6 weeks to help keep their skin and coats clean. But, again, your vet or groomer will be able to advise you on how often your dog should be bathed.
Some dog breeds are more prone to skin problems and may require medicated shampoos to be used regularly. In addition, wrinkly dogs need thorough cleaning daily and baths more frequently than other breeds. Your vet will be able to advise you on what to use and how often to bathe your dog.
However, as a general rule, you should bathe your dog at least 2 hours after eating and only when they need a bath. Your nose will tell you when that is!
What do I need to bathe my dog
Equipment for bathing your dog is relatively simple and will depend on whether you have a small dog or a large dog. If you have a small dog, they can usually fit comfortably into your sink. If you have a large dog that fits in your bath or shower, you can use that.
The only thing to note is the shampoo and conditioner. Use only the products that are specifically for dogs. Human shampoo and conditioner are not suitable for your dogs. Dogs have more sensitive skin than us, and human products will irritate, even baby shampoos.
A shower hose with a showerhead lets you wet the fur and rinse the products out of their coat much more manageably. You can also buy a brush to allow you to work the shampoo into the hair to remove the dirt.
You will need towels. Quite a few towels. There are a couple of towels on the floor, at least one to lay across the dog’s back, and possibly one for you.
You can also buy dog baths, either heavy-duty plastic or collapsible ones, which can be put away easily. These can be used either inside or outside if the weather is nice.
Having another pair of hands available can also be helpful if your pup doesn’t like bathtime. Bathing my dog is a 2-man job!
What steps should I take bathing my dog
It is good to have everything ready for bathtime that you will need. The last thing you want is to be trying to find shampoo or towels while you try to keep your dog in the bath or tub. Instead, you want a towel to hand to cover the dog before they shake the water from them all over you!
Since not all dogs enjoy bathtime, having some routine steps can help make it a more positive experience for your furry friend.
- Take your furry friend for a walk. It is easier to work with a pet who has got rid of some excess energy, but you don’t want them to be too tired.
- Brush your dog before their bath. This reduces matting and tangling during washing.
- The water temperature should be lukewarm. Test this on your arm.
- Try reducing the shower noise for your dog. Dogs have sensitive ears. The noise of the shower hitting the bottom of the bath can be upsetting. Add some water to the tub to reduce the noise. Additionally, putting some cotton balls in your dog’s ears can reduce the noise.
- Allow the shower water to hit your hand first and let the water run from your hand. Your dog is used to your touch and may find the shower spray too harsh. Do not spray the water directly onto your dog’s face. Instead, wipe their face with a damp flannel or damp cotton ball.
- Once your dog is completely wet, apply the shampoo, start at the paws and work your way up. Make sure you massage the suds well into your dog’s fur. A shampoo brush can be used to loosen the dirt from the hair if you prefer.
- It’s time to rinse all those suds off. Start at the top this time and work your way down. Again, do not spray the water directly onto your dog’s face or into their ears. Make sure that you get all the suds out of their fur. Any suds left in their coat will dry and irritate their skin. It is a good idea to rinse, then rinse again and once more to be sure.
- Dog conditioner can then be applied. Use the same method as shampooing. Start at the paws, work your way up to apply. Start at the top, and work your way down to rinse. Some breeds benefit from conditioners, such as a Golder Retriever or German Shepherd. However, this step can be missed if your dog has had enough bathtime after the shampoo rinse.
- Towel dry the coat as much as you can. Larger dogs expect to use more than one towel, especially if you have a double-coated or long-haired dog.
- It’s treat time! Lots of praise and treats to make this experience more favorable for them.
- A dog dryer can be used to finish off the drying. However, do not use a regular hair dryer on your dog. The heat that they produce can quickly burn your dog.
- Once your dog is dry, use a comb or brush to finish the grooming session. It would be best to wait until their coat is completely dry before brushing. You may wait until the next day before you brush them. Brushing while their fur is wet can be uncomfortable and cause matting.
My dog hates bathtime. Is this normal
My dog hates bathtime. She tries to escape throughout the entire session. Luna has never really enjoyed having a bath. She will happily go into the sea, a lake, a pond, and a muddy puddle. But she cannot stand having a bath. I have followed all the usual advice and steps. I have given her treats, which she accepts, but she still tries to escape. I have also learned the hard way: if she gets outside straight after her bath, she will go and find the muddiest area to lie in! So I would say that yes, it is pretty normal for your dog to hate having a bath.
Do I need to take my dog to a groomer
You don’t have to take your dog to a groomer. However, a groomer is a good alternative if you can’t face trying to bathe your dog and clip their nails. A good groomer knows how to handle dogs of every temperament. They have professional equipment and products to suit all breeds. They know how to brush and wash your dog with minimal distress. A groomer will also clip your dog’s nails.
Pet groomers are not regulated in every location. It is worth checking if your local area regulates pet groomers. If they aren’t regulated in your area, then ask around. Speak to friends and neighbors who have pets and use groomers. A good groomer will not mind you watching and will be happy to offer tips on brushing and products at home.
I hope that you found this article helpful.