Bath time can be a challenge for you and your dog. The ASPCA recommends taking your time, remaining calm during the process, and giving the dog reason to associate the bath with good things by giving rewards. It's important to wet your dog completely, rinse completely and dry completely. Meanwhile, properly applying and lathering the shampoo between wetting and rinsing is just as crucial. Several shampoo application options exist, including your hand.
Shampoo Bottle Cap
Most dog shampoo bottles have an applicator cap. Squeeze the cap or press on one side of it to open the applicator. Squeeze the bottle and dispense the required amount of shampoo directly onto your dog's back in a straight line from neck to haunches. Work the shampoo into a lather and distribute throughout your dog's coat. Do not dispense shampoo onto your dog's head, as eye contact with the shampoo can cause irritation. Instead, use a damp washcloth to gently clean your dog's face.
Applicator and Brush
A shampoo bottle with applicator top and bath brush is a practical means of lathering and scrubbing your dog at the same time. Fill the bottle with dog shampoo, close the top, and it’s ready for bath time. When you wash your dog, dispense shampoo directly from the bottle onto the coat or into your hand, then use the rubber brush to massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat from neck to base of tail, sides of body and legs. Don't forget to wash your dog's undercarriage, tail and paws, using your hands to gently clean those parts.
A shampoo mitt fits over your hand and wrist, allowing you to dispense shampoo into your palm for direct application onto your dog’s coat. Some mitts have small nubs for massaging action while gently scrubbing your dog clean.
Rubbing the shampoo into your dog’s coat with your hands helps make the distress of bath time less and forges the dog's confidence in you as handler and pack leader. Dispense some shampoo into the palm of one hand, rub your hands together and apply the shampoo to your dog’s coat. Using a gentle massaging action, work the shampoo onto all of your dog’s body parts from front to back, including legs, paws and toes.
Jennifer Carey holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from an East Coast university. She has written about topics including health, fitness, parenting and pet care since 2005.