Giving your dog a bath

I am the owner of three large dogs, all of whom love to play outside 'regardless of the current weather conditions'. Until recently I was shelling out hundreds of dollars every year on grooming. Then I discovered exactly how to bathe a dog at home. I know it seems like an almost impossible task but trust me when I tell you, not only can it be done, but it can be easy! It is not that most dogs do not enjoy being clean, rather they are afraid of the process of getting there. It is all about making your dog trust you and convincing him that everything is going to be alright. By following the simple steps below you are not only on your way to having a cleaner happier pooch, but will also find that you wallet may gain a little weight.

1.' Introduce your dog to the bathroom & tub.

This is by far the biggest step when learning how to bathe a dog. Naturally dogs are afraid of the bathroom setting. Everything from the acoustics, to the cold slippery floor this can certainly be a scary place for your best friend. Start slow... Maybe coax your dog into the bathroom with his favorite toy or treat. When he gets in there, do not rush him into the tub but instead sit on the floor and show him some positive attention. Repeat this process each day bringing him closer to the tub each time. Do this a few times everyday and before you know it, your dog will not hesitate to enter this once scary room but will gladly climb in the tub on command!

2.' Buy quality environmentally friendly bath products.

There are hundreds and hundreds of Eco-safe pet products out there and while that is great, not just any product will do when it comes to bathing your dog. You need to make sure you find that one bottle of shampoo that is going to be a hit at bath time. It should be tear free, gentle and hypoallergenic and should feature a scent you won't mind of course.

3.' Getting the job done.

After gathering all the necessary products such a towels and shampoo, begin to coax your dog into the bathtub using the outlined steps above. Slowly turn on the water being careful to keep your hand on the dog the entire time. In a calming voice reassure your pet that everything will be ok and that he is a good dog. Be very cautious to not wet your dogs face or ears until very last as this will cause an immediate need to shake. Once you have gotten the dog saturated with water 'using either a hand-held shower or large cup', pour some shampoo in your hands and gently proceed to "massage" your dog from neck to tail. Only after you have completed this should you move up to his face and ears. If you are gentle, and patient you will find this process is actually relaxing for the dog in most cases.

4.' Rinse, dry and praise.

Once you have finished washing the dog, be sure to rinse all of the shampoo from his fur and skin. This is very important because if you are not thorough and leave some soap behind you may cause the dog to itch and that is no fun for anyone. Now you are ready to dry the dog. Start by taking a small hand towel and placing it over the dogs head and face. Now use a few small towels to dry the dogs back, legs, towel and belly. Once the dog is mostly dry you can remove him from the tub, allowing him to stand on a towel while you dry his face, and paws. Once you have finished be sure to give the dog a lot of affection and treats as you want this to be something he looks forward to in the future!