Bath Time – What You Should Know About Bathing Your Pet

With all the extra summer romping around it’s not unusual for your pet to need a bath a little more often. Taking a bath may seem super straight forward to us but for pets things get a little more complicated. Does your pet have skin allergies that may make it sensitive to soap? Is a bath dangerous for my type of pet? If my pet cleans itself, do I ever need to give it a bath?

Bath time!

Bath Basics

Dogs need regular baths, it’s a simple fact. They don’t groom themselves and get up to (and in to) all sorts of unpleasant thing. Dog baths are pretty straight forward barring any specific skin allergies or water phobias. The basic steps to giving most pets a good bath are as follows:

  • Give them a good brush down to get rid of any loose fur or mats
  • Place them in an un-stopped up tub so the water drains freely and poor warm water over their coat.
  • Be sure the water is penetrating your pets coat of fur.
  • Lather them up with pet shampoo! Be sure to use appropriate shampoo for your pet. Do you need extra flea protection? Is your pet sensitive to fragrances or detergents?
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Towel off!

Some pet owners may add in a pet safe conditioning step or even rinse their pooch with a little vinegar to help shine the coat and nix any lingering scents.

What about other pets though?

    • Cats – Cats groom themselves but on occasion may require some extra help. Cats can get into some sticky and smelly situations too and it’s perfectly safe to give them a bath. In addition to following the steps above you may consider trimming their claws before hand and loosely tucking a couple cotton balls in their ears to keep water from getting in them.
    • Rabbits – It is often highly advised against giving a rabbit a bath. They are prone to hypothermia once water penetrates their fur to their skin. Rabbits can also die of fright and are more prone to injure themselves when frightened. If your bunny really gets into a mess that they just can’t handle themselves consider a good brushing followed by a thorough wiping down with a wet cloth.
    • Potbelly Pigs – Pigs may be associated with being dirty but they are actually very clean critters! Under normal circumstances there is no need to bathe your pig. Brush them and wipe them off like a bunny and you should be good to go!
    • Hedgehogs – Hedgehogs usually love baths! A sink with a small amount of water in it is often a great source of fun for them! Be sure the water is not too deep or warm and never leave them unattended. Dry thoroughly when done!

photo credit: The mascot pup after a bath 1943 via photopin (license)

 

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