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Bath time!

If bathing the dog conjures images of wet-dog-wrestling and a smell of quenched canine that resembles cheesy feet and kitchen waste then perhaps our guide to bathing your dog may be of use!Bruce Bath 1 At this time of year (summer) dogs are usually well into their summer coats, however the unusually cold spring has meant that many dogs are still shedding. My dog Bruce still has a thick coat and is malting like mad - a good wash and scrub with a high quality dog shampoo helps to loosen much of this excess fur, and brushing your dog directly after a wash is much more comfortable for them as the hair is looser than it usually would be. "Make love not war!"... When you approach your dog for bathing try to avoid feeling anxious or assuming your dog will hate it; most dogs love water but are taught to hate bath time from an early age due to the stereotype that they'll hate it, as well as incorrect introduction to bathing. I was always advised by mentors to "make a game of it", so as a puppy Bruce was gently placed in a few inches of luke warm water and praised profusely whilst being encouraged to splash around and enjoy being stroked with the shower head. As Bruce got older and larger this progressed to chasing a jet of water from the hose around the garden so he got used to getting wet and saw the hose as a positive/fun object rather than a punishment. Admittedly Bruce isn't a huge fan of sitting still whilst I wash him, but he does sit still as he is washed and really enjoys the rinse-off part of it where he is tousled with a towel and praised highly. I then allow him to charge around the garden for 10-15 minutes to dry off a little before I give him a brush through to remove any remaining fur. Ticks...Bruce Bath 2 Whilst I administer various medications to try and stop Bruce being covered in ticks or attracting other parasites, I have personally found that he still picks up the odd tick unless I wash him regularly with a shampoo designed to deter ticks and other biting beasties. By washing your dog on a regular basis you can remove and kill any ticks he has (which would otherwise drop off after a few days and live in your garden until they are hungry again), and also enjoy the benefit of a clean smelling dog that is not a tick magnet! Considerations... Many tick and flea shampoo's (and all drops) are highly toxic to aquatic life, so ensure your dog does not enter natural water sources for at least 4 days after using these treatments. As Bruce is working most days I use our Lavender Dog Shampoo which is much kinder on the environment as it does not use harsh chemicals. In addition to repelling ticks and fleas, it has natural antibacterial properties which help with cuts and scrapes he picks up during work... and it smells nice too!