If your dog has spondylosis, which is a degenerative spinal osteoarthritis, he may begin to soil his fur or get food stuck in his coat due to difficulties maneuvering. This means you'll have to give more frequent baths to keep him clean and fresh-smelling. If your dog suffers from pain, stiffness or restricted movement that makes bathing difficult, wash him only when absolutely necessary. If you have trouble bathing your pooch by yourself, consult your vet for advice.
Bathe your dog with warm water and a shampoo designed for use on dogs. Warm water may help soothe his pain and stiffness.
Place towels in the bottom of your tub to make it softer and less slippery during your pup's bath. This will help him feel secure and prevent falls.
Help your pooch in and out of the tub if he has trouble getting around. If your tub has a high side wall, or if lifting your dog causes him pain, consider bathing him in a location that does not require such movement, such as in a walk-in shower.
Support your dog's neck during bathing if he suffers from neck pain, stiffness or paralysis. Lather and rinse him with one hand while using your free hand to hold his head up.
Lather him gently and use a handheld sprayer to rinse his underside so he need not move around. If he's partly or fully immobile, a hand sprayer will help you reach under his neck, between his legs and other difficult-to-reach spots.
Allow your dog to lie down in the tub if it's more comfortable for him. If this makes it impossible to bathe part of his body, concentrate on the exposed areas and tend to the rest of him on another day.
Dry him gently and thoroughly with a soft towel. This is especially important if he cannot shake himself dry. If he takes a long time to dry or if the weather is cold, use a blow-dryer set on low heat to speed things up. Be very careful not overheat your dog or burn his skin with the blow-dryer.
Give your arthritic pooch peace and quiet after the bath so he can rest and recover. Bathing can be a stressful and painful experience for a dog with spondylosis, and your pooch may need to nap after his bath.
Items You Will Need
- Dog shampoo
- Large towels
- Handheld sprayer
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."