The end of the year comes with its own set of fragrances: Cinnamon, Apple Pie, Pine, Candy Cane, etc. Not part of this wonderful combination is the smell of a stinky pet that your relatives will notice as soon as they open your front door. So get ready: we’re washing the dog.
Before you start, brush your dog well. Mats and tangles, once wet, just get worse and will likely have to be cut out. So get them out of the way first. Let your brushed dog relax while you set up the proper tools and fill the tub. A bath mat in the tub or sink will make your dog feel more comfortable by giving him something secure to stand on. Set out your towels and some dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner where you can reach them.
Don’t spare the words of encouragement. In working with dogs, a good attitude can go a long way. Keep your attitude high and don’t let up on the praise. Lather up, rinse, repeat and rinse thoroughly (the biggest mistake most people make is not rinsing well enough – it makes the coat dull and flaky). Follow up with a conditioner or detangler if your pet’s coat needs either. Rinse well for a final time. Be extremely careful not to get any soap in your dog’s eyes and rinse the face thoroughly. Hold a towel over your dog loosely while he shakes. Your dog can get more water off by shaking than you can by toweling. So let him have at it, and then finish the job by rubbing him dry when he’s done.
Now, the cat. Bathe the cat? Yes!!!
Cats – especially shorthaired ones – generally do a pretty good job of keeping themselves well-groomed. If you have an allergy sufferer in the house though, a weekly bath (or just a rinse with clean water) will help to keep the allergens to a more manageable level. And, of course, if your cat gets into something he can’t safely clean off himself, he’ll need a bath. If your cat won’t cooperate, we can do it for you. We don’t want to see you or the cat getting hurt in the process. If your cat is tolerating the process, work as quickly as you can, wet your cat, lather, rinse, condition and then rinse again, thoroughly. Wrap your cat snugly in a “kitty burrito” to dry him with the towel, and then set him down in a way to minimize injury to you both and let him stalk off to reclaim his dignity and plot his revenge.