Bathtime! How to bathe your dog

Bathtime! How to bathe your dog

How to bathe your dog – and how often to bathe your dog – are two big questions for pet lovers who want to keep their companions clean and healthy. Let’s dive in!

how to bathe your dog

How often should you bathe your Morkie?

One of the mistakes first-time dog owners make is bathing their dog too often.

Regular combing can keep your Morkie’s coat smooth and mat-free and can even reduce dirt and reduce smell.

It’s not hard to bathe your Morkie, and if you make it a habit when the dog is young, he may even enjoy it. Remember that your goal is more than a clean dog. You want to create a positive bonding experience between the two of you. Take your time, be positive and offer lots of praise.

Once every 6 to 8 weeks is plenty often enough

Generally speaking, more than once every 6 to 8 weeks is too often. Some experts recommend waiting 3 months between baths.

Too much bathing will strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat and can cause skin irritations.

Dry hair is more prone to tangle and go frizzy. Too much washing will actually harm your dog’s coat and skin rather than make it healthy. Your Morkie’s skin can become dry and flakey, and his coat will go dull when the natural oils are washed away.

 

frito feet on dogsTry a foot bath instead

Your dog’s feet can pick up lots of stuff outside, including road salt.

Plus, dogs sweat (almost entirely) from the bottom of their paws. Their little feet can end up smelling like a teenage boy who’s worn high tops all day! It’s called Frito Feet, thanks to its uncanny resemblance to a certain corn chip snack.

Keeping her paws clean will make your Morkie more comfortable, and a cleaner companion.

Dog expert Cesar Millan recommends a good long walk before the bath, to burn off your dog’s excess energy. I can attest that this is a great idea.

BEFORE YOU START, make sure your Morkie’s hair is mat- and tangle-free. A matted coat will only get worse when you add water. In my experience, there isn’t a conditioner or special treatment in the world that will help. In fact, these products can make it even worse. (I know professional groomers will bath a tangled dog, but I leave it to their expertise.)

Step One: gather together everything you need

 

You can’t dash off and get what you forgot; your Morkie might jump down from the counter and seriously injure himself. Keep everything you need within arm’s reach:

  • a plastic apron for you
  • 3 towels
  • a rubber non-slip mat on the bottom of the sink to keep your dog from skittering around on the slick surface
  • good quality organic shampoo
  • cotton balls
  • very wide toothed comb or “rake”
  • hair dryer
  • ear cleaner: an over-the-counter type of ear cleaner for dogs

Put the rubber mat in the bottom of the sink, and run some lukewarm water. (Dogs cannot tolerate hot water like we can.) A laundry tub works well, or you can use your kitchen sink.

 

dogs are more sensitive to heat than we are

 

Step Two: run the bath and start shampooing

 

Take your Morkie’s collar off and put one or two cotton balls in each ear. Don’t put them in with anything other than your finger. No need to jam them in hard.

Now, place her under the lukewarm running water, encouraging her to keep all 4 feet on the bottom of the sink.

Gently wet your Morkie’s body first – you can leave the head and neck area for last because dogs generally don’t like getting their heads or faces wet.

As you wet down your Morkie, praise her for being calm, and talk to her in a low, gentle voice. Your Morkie may even take a small treat or two.

As she gets used to the water, put the plug in the sink and let it fill to just the top of her legs.

Now, pour some of the dog shampoo in the palm of your hand, and rub to warm it up. Apply to your dog’s body – not the head.

Massage your Morkie all over with shampoo, starting with the top of the body. Work your way around to the tummy, giving the tail and genitals extra attention.

Carefully lift each leg and give it a quick shampoo; the legs will get rinsed in the water in the sink.

Don’t scrub too hard; your Morkie’s skin is sensitive and is irritated easily.

Let the plug out of the sink and rinse your Morkie with more lukewarm running water, starting with the head. Again, don’t run the water into your dog’s face – let a little run on top of the head and down the neck.

There’s no need to ‘rinse and repeat’ – one shampooing will do the job. And Morkies do not need a dog cream rinse or conditioner unless your home is extremely dry.

bath time

Step Three: finish the bath with a towel dry 


 

When she is fully rinsed, lift your dog out of the sink and place her on the waiting towel.

Be watchful she doesn’t try to jump down after her “ordeal.”

Quickly pat down the dog’s coat with the towel, then wrap her up in it. Don’t rub – that will cause mats.

Remove the cotton balls if they haven’t already fallen out.

Continue to pat her dry with the towel and have your hair dryer ready.

 

Morkie Puppy Getting Dry After His Bath

Is your Morkie crazy after a bath?


It scared me the first time I gave my tiny Maltese dog a bath. She was calm throughout and did not seem upset. But as soon as I put her down, she started running wildly around the room at breakneck speeds – the “zoomies.”

She rubbed her head on the carpet and the doormat, anything she could find. It was like she was trying to rub dirt BACK ON. I think if I had a pile of manure or a dead animal on the carpet, the dog would have been rolling in the stinky stuff. And all the while, she was making strange, growling noises, like a spinning tire in the snow.

This is nothing to worry about, and in fact it can be hilarious. Experts say dogs do this for a couple of reasons. They may be looking for a more ‘natural’ smell instead of that nice clean scent.

Drying and more combing

Your Morkie is clean but still wet, so let’s finish the job. Don’t worry, he’ll help dry himself with a few good shakes!
 Get the second towel you’ve set aside, and pat your dog all over with it. Then, with the setting on cool to medium, use a blow dryer on the coat. You can pause every couple of minutes and run a comb (or the rake or the de-matting comb) through your Morkie’s coat.

Keep the nozzle of the dryer moving constantly so there’s no chance of overheating any one area. Another safety measure is to leave one hand on your Morkie as you’re drying, so you can tell just how hot the airflow is.

Your Morkie hates air blowing in her face, so keep the dryer moving, and never focus the heat on just one area at a time.
The hair dryer’s sound might stress him, so take it slow.

Finally, when your Morkie is damp dry, wrap him in another fresh, dry towel and give him a snuggle.
Don’t forget to put your Morkie’s collar back on – a collar with legible, up-to-date I.D.

Finishing sprays?

Professional groomers often use a finishing spray at the end of bathing and drying. These are leave-in treatments to make the dog’s coat shinier and great smelling.

These sprays can be used (sparingly) between baths too, to freshen up your Morkie.

But as with shampoo, it’s important you avoid anything toxic. No parabens, phosphates, pthalates, DEA, synthetic dyes or perfumes.

Some sprays are harmful, or sickly sweet smelling. Avoid any that contain alcohol, which will dry out your Morkie’s coat and skin.

If you look for Certified Organic, you’ll find a spray that won’t hurt your Morkie or his coat. A finishing spray brand I like is K9|essence® Shine Conditioning Coat Spray, available online or in some retail stores. Heavenly Organics Grooming Products gets good marks from consumers and can be found here: www.animalsensepetproducts.com

Want to learn how to groom your Morkie at home?

You can keep his hair long and luxurious in just minutes a day – and forget that puppy cut!

Check out my ebook on Amazon – download it right away, and read on any device; your iPad, smartphone, Kindle device or computer.

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Can I use my shampoo on my dog?

Can I use my shampoo on my dog?

 

morkie having a bathYou might be enjoying some time off right now, and think you’ll give your Morkie a bath.

Two really important things to remember:

  • you can’t use your shampoo (not even baby shampoo)
  • please – get dog shampoo that’s “Certified Organic”

Why the fuss?

Simple – a dog’s skin is much thinner than our’s, so anything harsh can harm him. That includes people shampoo which is much stronger than dog shampoo, and it includes poor quality dog shampoo.

“Cancer is the primary cause of death in dogs over the age of two years. Minimizing our dogs’ exposure to harmful environmental factors is critical.”

Just 5% of dog cancers are hereditary, while 95% are a result of environmental toxins.

Since skin is a dog’s biggest organ (and our biggest organ too), it makes sense to take special care in picking products like shampoo. Toxic shampoos are not what we want.

 

—from the well-regraded DogsNaturallyMagazine online.

 

how often can i bath my dog

What makes shampoo toxic for dogs?

People shampoos can be toxic because they are too harsh and contain chemicals dogs don’t need. Our skin is FIVE TIMES THICKER than a dogs, so we can handle stronger formulas to clean our hair. Dogs can’t.

Plus, the PH level of dogs skin is close to NEUTRAL (7.5) but our skin is ACIDIC (7.5)

Regular Dog Shampoo

Cheap or regular dog shampoos, even well known brands, can be deadly unless they are clearly marked CERTIFIED ORGANIC. That’s because they contain poisons like:

  • Sulphites/Sulphates
  • preservatives, including those that release formaldehyde into the shampoo
  • artificial colours and fragrances
  • Parabens
  • a group of ammonia-like proteins such as DEA, MEA and TEA,
  • Isopropyl alcohol and mineral oil

Unless the shampoo you buy clearly states CERTIFIED ORGANIC, it’s garbage. Terms like natural, pure, green, naturally-derived and organic have no legally binding meaning.

The production of pet shampoos is a huge business and they are aggressively marketed. The more confused consumers are by labelling, the better.

 

But you can avoid all this by choosing “CERTIFIED ORGANIC.” These products undergo a great deal of scrutiny. They are verified by neutral third parties who determine that there are no GMO ingredients, no pesticides, herbicides, artificial colours, or artificial fragrance.

 


Want to learn more about grooming your Morkie? 

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Oh oh! It’s DOG BATH time!

Oh oh! It’s DOG BATH time!

dog in bubble bathLottsa questions lately from our readers about bathing their Morkie.

Like, what’s the best way to give a dog bath; how often should I bathe my dog and and what’s the best dog shampoo? So let’s jump in with the first of 4 posts about grooming your Morkie.

I’m a big fan of grooming my dogs myself.  That’s because grooming is about much more than looking good; it’s also about:

  • bonding with your dog
  • showing him you are the alpha leader
  • checking on his health by handling him all over during the grooming process

Three easy steps to bathing your Morkie

Giving your Morkie a bath isn’t hard at all and if you start when the dog is young, you’ll find your Morkie actually likes it! (Or at least, doesn’t hate having a bath).

BEFORE YOU START – make sure your Morkie’s hair is mat and tangle free. If his coat is matted, it will only get worse when you add water. In my experience, there’s no conditioner or special “detangler” in the world that will make mats better – usually they’re much worse.

Step One:  gather together everything you need

  • 2 large towels
  • a rubber non-slip mat on the bottom of the sink to keep your dog from skittering around on the slick surface
  • good quality, gentle dog shampoo plus Baby Shampoo – more about shampoos tomorrow
  • cotton balls
  • very wide toothed comb or “rake”
  • hair dryer
  • ear cleaner – an over-the-counter type of ear cleaner for dogs is fine

Step Two:  start the bath

  • put the rubber mat in the bottom of the sink, and run some medium warm water in a large sink – a laundry tub works or use your kitchen sink.  (You can clean and disinfect it after with a good scrub)
  • take your Morkie’s collar off and put one or two cotton balls in each ear – don’t jam them in with anything other than your finger
  • gently place her under the warm running water, encouraging her to keep all 4 feet on the bottom of the sink
  • gently wet her body first – you can leave the head and neck area for last
  • as you’re getting your Morkie wet, be sure and praise her for being calm, and talk to her in a low, gentle voice
  • as she gets used to the water, put the plug in and let it fill to just the top of her legs
  • now, pour some of the dog shampoo in the palm of your hand, and rub it to warm it up; then apply to your dog’s body – not the head yet
  • gently massage your dog all over starting with the top of the body and working your way round to the tummy – give the tail and genitals area extra attention
  • you can gently lift each leg and give it a quick shampoo; the legs will get rinsed in the water in the sink
  • if the tap is still running, refresh the coat with some more warm water
  • finally, wet the head area and carefully shampoo; try to avoid getting water into the ears and avoid using much shampoo on the face itself using Baby Shampoo not the dog shampoo you’ve used earlier
  • If the dog’s ears stand up, cup your hand over the opening of the ear while wetting and rinsing. Shampoo under the muzzle, where dogs sometimes get food stuck
  • let the plug out of the sink, rinse your Morkie with medium warm running water, starting with the head
  • don’t run the water directly into your dog’s face – let it run on top of the head and down, otherwise it’s like water boarding!
  • there’s no need to ‘rinse and repeat’ with your Morkie – one shampooing will do the job. And Morkies do not need a cream rinse or conditioner unless your home is exceptionally dry (remember, rinses and ‘detanglers’ will only make mats and tangles worse so be sure to comb or cut these out before you start)

Step Three: finish the job

  • lift your dog out of the sink and place her on the waiting big towel
  • give her a quick all over pat-drying, wrapping her snugly in the towel – don’t vigorously rub the coat – that will cause mats
  • remove the cotton balls (if they haven’t already fallen out!)
  • pat her dry with the towel, and then dry the body area with the electric hair dryer ON LOW
  • remember, your Morkie will hate that air being blown directly into her face
  • keep the dryer at low temperature setting and move it all around your Morkie; never focus the heat on just one area at a time
  • if you can, use the very wide toothed comb, or a coat rake, to work on her coat while you’re blow drying
  • finally, wrap your dog in the second, fresh, towel and give her a good snuggle
  • apply one or two drops of ear cleaner to each ear (never clean out the ears with a Q-tip or anything else that would go in the ear – if necessary, clean the visible part of the ear with another cotton ball. Never use tips.)
  • put her collar back on and she’s done

morkie-puppy-having-a-bathSafety Notes:

Never let your Morkie lick herself when covered in shampoo.

It’s not unusual for a small dog to vomit a little after the bath from the excitement – no worries, just carry on and continue to reassure your dog.

Make sure your Morkie can’t hop out of the sink and jump to the ground – in her dislike of water, she may do that and the results could be a disastrous fall.

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