So your dog is enjoying a romp in the yard. Good for her. That is until she paws her way into a muddy rabbit hole, mucks around in dirty snow, or (much worse) gets into trouble with another animal’s poo.
Many dogs don’t need regular baths. Do some research on your dog’s breed to see what’s best for her in the bathing department. Sometimes, all that’s needed to get a dog smelling better is a sprinkle of baking soda brushed into her coat. Still, there are times when a bath is a necessity. If that’s the case with your dog, here’s a recipe for a homemade dog shampoo and some tips about how to clean her.
• Several old towels.
• A dog brush
• An empty resealable plastic container
• 1/2 cup clear liquid dish soap
• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup water
• 1.5 Tablespoons clear glycerine
• Cotton balls
1. Make the shampoo by mixing the dish soap, vinegar, water, and glycerine in the plastic container. This amount of shampoo is enough to wash a medium-size dog. Note: Your homemade shampoo is thinner and less concentrated than the kind you’d buy in a store.
2. If your dog isn’t disgustingly dirty, brush her before her bath to get out the knots and matted areas. You may need to clip the matted hair with a nail clipper or small pair of scissors. Use this time to also look for ticks and fleas.
3. Gently put a cotton ball in each ear.
4. Place your dog in the tub and turn on the bathwater. Make sure it’s lukewarm since hot water can burn a dog’s sensitive skin.
5. Stay calm! Many dogs hate baths and wriggle and whine at this stage. Gently douse your dog in the warm water. You don’t have to completely douse her—just make sure she’s wet enough for the shampoo to do its work.
6. Lather your dog’s coat. Be careful not to get shampoo in her eyes.
7. Rinse using the now-empty plastic container as a scoop to pour clean water over your dog until the shampoo is gone. Drain the water from the tub. Don’t forget to remove the cotton balls.
8. Towel-dry your dog while she’s still in the tub. Do not use a hair dryer since they are often too hot.
9. Keep your dog in the bathroom (or carry her to a mud room) until she’s completely dry.
Tip: Give your dog her favorite treats throughout the bathing process to reinforce her good behavior.