How to Wash a Rescue Dog

Medium
10 - 25 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Your rescue dog is very lucky to have you to call family. He comes with quite the history and you may never know his true story. Regardless of how he got to you or what he did before you gave him a furever home, he probably comes to you in need of a bath. You may see your little guy's personality come to life with something as simple as a bath, but you may also notice your new best friend needs some time before diving into his new life. Washing your rescue dog could be simple and easy, or it could be quite the challenge

Dog's Perspective

It's very common for rescue dogs to be anxious, nervous, and even fearful of new surroundings and tasks. Because you and your rescue dog are just getting to know one another, take his cues and go slow with his first bath in your home. More than anything, he needs to feel love.

The Slow and Simple Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Towel
Step
1
Prep a bath
The better prepared you are, the quicker reaction time you will have when it comes to your rescue dog’s unknown behaviors. Gather all the supplies you will need including dog shampoo, towels, and a brush before you get your dog ready. Fill the bath water if you are bathing in a tub or sink. Placing a towel on the bottom of the tub will keep your dog from sliding. The material will also be soft on his feet.
Step
2
Wet dog
Set your pup right into the water. Know the power of a loving and calm voice will go a long way to keep him calm. If you are anxious, he will sense that and be anxious as well. Work with slow, methodical motions and wet your dog down with a cup. If he tolerates the rushing sound of running water, you can use a shower head faucet. Be careful not to get his eyes or face wet. You want to make him comfortable, not scare him.
Step
3
Wash
Use a dog shampoo to scrub the dirt and grime off his body. Use this time to massage his muscles. Talk to him while you work the suds through in a circular motion. Try to work fast while getting him clean. Let your new friend guide and gauge just how much he will tolerate.
Step
4
Rinse
Using your cup or shower head faucet, rinse the soap and suds out of his fur. Ideally, you’d like to use fresh, clean water for this rinsing, but as you are getting to know your little guy, rinsing with the bathwater may have to do if he panics at the sound of running water. You can also prepare in advance for a nervous dog by filling gallon jugs with warm water for clean rinsing.
Step
5
Dry
Take your dog out of the tub and place him on a bath mat or towel. Use a towel to rub him dry. He might shake some water out of his fur. When he does this, use the towel to shield yourself and your bathroom from the flying water.
Step
6
Brush
Once your dog is dry, brush him with a slicker brush. Because he’s a rescue, he might also need a good haircut, but if clean is good enough for now, end the day’s grooming session with a tasty treat.
Recommend grooming method?

The Tips for Happy Dog Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Towel
Step
1
Full tummy
If your new friend is anxious, give him a meal before his bath. He’ll be full and comfortable during his cleaning. Be sure to take him outside to go potty after he eats so he’s not worried about having to go while you’re washing him.
Step
2
Tired dog
Wear out your new rescue dog by playing before bath time. Whether you are washing him in a tub or wiping him down with a wet wipe, if he’s tired, he might relax a bit before his bath.
Step
3
Be ready
Prepare your space and the dog for a special bath. Prepare in advance for a bath in your bathroom by warming the room. Keep the door closed while bathing, so your dog stays warm during his washing.
Step
4
Face, eyes, and ears
Before you get your dog into the bath, use a wet wipe or wet washcloth to wipe your little guy’s face, eyes, and just the insides of his ears. Because he’s new to your home, you’ll want to clean his ears soon, but pick your battles at first. Unless he’s shaking his head often or scratching a lot, it might be able to wait a few days.
Step
5
Rewards
If your pup is worried about being washed, give him treats during his bath or cleaning to reward him for patience and tolerance. The more you reward him, the more likely he will be happy to bathe each time he needs to be washed again.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Rescue dogs, like any other dog, come with their own personality and troubles.
  • You need to be aware of your rescue dog’s anxieties for you do something like try to bathe him. He could enjoy a bath, or it may terrify him.
  • Your rescue dog may need to be eased into several activities, including bathing.
  • Some dogs will need to be bathed as soon as you bring them home. Many rescue dogs come from dirty or abusive environments which will mean they are filthy and smelly when you adopt them.
  • Other rescue dogs have gone through a rescue service or a shelter and have been cared for during their stay. If your rescue dog is fairly clean when you bring him home, you may want him to adjust to your home for a few days before you try to bathe him.
  • If your new friend hates bath time, make his first bath as simple and quick as you possibly can and give him lots of rewards for tolerating the procedure.
  • Your rescue dog will need to be trained even if he knows commands already. Start as soon as you bring him home with reward-based training to set the stage for a great relationship to come.

Conclusion

Welcome your new dog to the family by treating him to a good dog wash. He might be a tad nervous or he may be excited to get clean. Pay attention to the signs he gives you to gauge his comfort level. Each time you wash him, add a new grooming task. With some patience and time, he'll be comfortable with you and dog baths in little time.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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