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Lathering Up With Your Dog

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Quality time.
We all want it.
We all need it.
And so do our pets.
Bath time can provide just that for you and your dog.
On almost a weekly basis I find myself soaking wet, laughing as I brace myself for the "big shake"! When my baby shakes it is no small matter, see, he is 175 lb.
Great Dane, Olliver.
I have heard people say they don't believe in bathing their dog very often.
That it is too harsh on their skin and hair.
But actually the natural oils come back in about 24 hours and if you use a quality product you shouldn't notice any extra dryness, flaking or itching.
Fortunately I an a stylist and have access to professional pet products from one of my distributors and my baby does very well.
We bathe so frequently because he is a visiting animal at the local hospital where we volunteer and it is required before we visit.
Typically a bathe every couple of months or just when they get "doggie smelling" is sufficient.
When started early bath time can be such a wonderful bonding time with your dog.
My dog thoroughly loves the process! We begin with a good brushing, loosening up any loose hair.
This is a great time to check for any abnormalities such as sores, infections, parasites or lumps.
Check well around the mouth, ears, eyes and paws.
I like to take a little extra time massaging him well.
This brings on the stretching and happy rumbles, he loves it! Think of how good a massage feels to us, well, it is the same for our pets.
Now we are ready for the tub.
You may choose to bathe your pet outside.
The choice is yours.
My baby is quite spoiled and I wouldn't think of using cold water! Hey, I don't like a cold dousing so why would I do it to him! All I have to do is tell him to get to the tub and away he goes, climbing right in.
You may want to put a mat in the bottom of the tub so he doesn't slip and get frightened.
It can be a good idea to put cotton balls in their ears to keep water out.
There again, I don't like water in my ears so..
..
I like to use a spray hose but you could also pour the water over him.
Just don't fill the tub, you're asking for a real mess! Saturate the hair well and lather up with your favorite shampoo.
I like to alternate with an oatmeal moisturizing shampoo and one with tea tree oil to help prevent attracting fleas and other insects.
I also like to use a soft brush and work the hair well, oh that belly scratching must feel sooo good because Olly lifts up his legs and really stretches out.
Use a soft cloth to clean the face, rinse well and rub out as much excess water as you can.
Remove the cotton balls and wipe the ears out with the cloth.
At this point I tell Olly to stay and go open the back door, reminding anyone else in the house to get out of the way and he gives one good shake and away he goes for a few laps around the yard.
If you happen to have a small petite pet you can easily warp him in a towel and dry him off saving yourself the job of wiping down the whole bathroom! But hey, it needs cleaned anyway, right? You may want to use a hair dryer and if your pet has long hair a brush to fluff it out.
When it is cold outside I let Olly dry off in front of the fireplace, wiping him down with a towel and letting him know what a good baby he is.
So, start your pet when he is young, make it relaxing and enjoyable.
Use this quality time to really bond with your pet and give them the extra love they crave.
Remember, they aren't just pets, they're family!
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