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11 Steps To A Happier Dog Bathing ~ Raider On The Go!

Hi Friends!
 Having a dog, even a small dog takes time, love and care. I have a large dog. He's my Service Animal, now retired at the age of 11years old, but working with Raider daily helped me not only get a close bond with Raider, but we have adapted our life so that we do many of the same things, together. 
Raider at a Birthday Party. He's 5 years old here and will be 12 this year!

But today, I want to chat about bathing your dog. Raider gets a weekly, sometimes in mud season a daily, bath. I trained him at a young age to just walk into the tub and he stands there while I rinse him off, lather him up, rinse then condition his coat. Having a hand held shower head has been a true help. Many times, though, when he was young and when he just did not want to listen, bath time was stressful. Not only stressful for me, but stressful for him.

I learned to be calm, not get upset, be firm but loving and to take all the time it needs to get the job done. Not only was Raider more responsive, but it took less time in the long run.

Here's my doggie bath suggestions:

1. Have doggie designated scrubbie or cloth laid on the tub edge. Lay the doggie designated towel close by. Plug in the hair dryer, if you need one; we do! 

2. Open up the bottles you will be using and have them close by, but not too close that doggie will knock them into the tub. The loud sound does spook the doggie. I use both shampoo and conditioner on Raider. And because he is a Service Animal, I  have always used what ever brand of shampoo and conditioner that I currently am using on him. He also gets them frequently and the conditioner helps take the "wet dog" smell away. And switching up, as I do with brands, helps keep the dander down. I really am not a fan of the chemical dog shampoos. And Raider likes the extra "massaging" of the conditioner into his fur. *Remember to wash the tub out after washing your pet. The conditioner tends to stay in the tub floor, so be careful.

3. Place a mat on the floor of the tub. This helps Raider not slip or fall when he is taking his shower or bath. Place a large towel outside of the tub for doggie to step on after his shower. This is imperative, as bathrooms have linoleum or tile flooring and doggie could easily slip and get injured.
Here Raider is just getting his paws  sprayed off. The more the doggie is in the bath area, the more comfortable it will be during bath times.

4. Have the dog come into the bathroom with you. Help them into the tub before the water is turned on. Talk to them in a calm and friendly voice rather than, "You messy dog! Your getting a bath!" as I can attest, does not go over well with Raider!

5. Start the shower or bath with the hand sprayer down into the tub area. Start the hot water and increase the cold as the water heats up.

6. Shampoo doggie using the scrubbie or cloth. I leave the shampoo on as I go from side to side.  Then rinse all the soap off.  Then wash the face with just a small bit of soap in your hands and rinse off with bits of water in your hands. Laying the spray hose down in the tub gives you both hands to do this without getting water in the ears or eyes.  Talk to  doggie and tell it what you are doing. I do one side, then have him turn to get the other side. Praise it constantly and softly. No loud voices or noises.

7. Next Condition. Because the shampoo and conditioner are  cold, put a bit in your hands and rub it so it warms a bit. Massage it into the coat. Continue your soft talking and praising doggie as you go. Doggie may be getting tired of standing, as Raider does, so have it sit and do the under chest, legs and tummy. Always praising doggie assures it that you are happy with it's good behavior.

9. After the conditioner rinse, squeegie him off by brushing your hand over his coat, down his tail and legs. This helps get some of the excess water off before you towel dry. Now isn't that such a sweet face!

 10. I drape the towel over Raider and let him get use to the feel and warmth of the towel. I leave him in the tub till I have most of the towel drying done, then I walk him out of the tub. Yes he will shake, but I hold his collar and turn my head. After all it's just water! Right!

11. Lastly,
I blow dry Raider as he still goes out with me and I don't want to take any chances on getting him sick.

*TIP:  I taught Raider not to be afraid of the blow dryer by bringing him into the bathroom with me while I was blow drying my own hair and I would turn it on his fur, not his face, and tell him, "now that feels so good Raider!". The result, he waits for me to blow him dry even with the bathroom door open. 

So there you have it! 11 Steps to a happier bath time with doggie!

Here are some of the Cousins! Just because they are so darn cute!


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