The day is sunny and warm in Fort Collins. However, you are now slightly wet and your dog is soaking wet. Now it’s time to finish your dog’s summer bath by applying the shampoo.
After the dog is wet, begin applying the shampoo just behind his head. Work up a lather and spread some onto his head. Continue applying shampoo along the dog’s body and working it into the dog’s coat with your hands and fingers. Most dogs love this massaging action and will often lean right into you for more.
Now is the time when dogs love to shake and get you full of shampoo too! To keep him from shaking, when you see your dog start to put his head down, quickly put your hand on his head or neck. Use a firm tone to say no, and keep your hand there until the urge to shake passes. Praise him when he does not shake.
Start the rinse at the dog’s neck and head.
(Photo by TexasDarkHorse, Creative Commons)
Rinsing-the most important step
Start the rinse with the hose on the top of the neck just behind the dog’s head. Then hold his muzzle up while you wash off the shampoo on his head using the same technique used at the beginning of the bath to wet his head.
Continue rinsing by directing the hose on the top and then sides and front of his neck. Rinse each spot thoroughly before moving on to the next. This way you will not repeat rinsing of areas that are already done and potentially wash shampoo down onto spots you already rinsed.
Rinse thoroughly to eliminate any trace of shampoo. (Photo by TexasDarkHorse, Creative Commons)
Now hose down his back and work down each side from top to bottom with the hose or sprayer. After rinsing his rear legs, rinse off his tail and then groin area. Finish by rinsing his belly, chest and front legs. Working in this order prevents shampoo running from his belly back onto his chest and front legs if you were to rinse them first.
Repeat the shampoo and rinse if your dog was really dirty. Repeat the rinse if you have any suspicion that shampoo may still be on the coat. Un-rinsed shampoo can create itchiness, dandruff, or hot spots.
After the final rinse you may apply a conditioner if your dog has long hair. Use the diluted conditioner you have already prepared in the old, dish soap bottle.
Or put a small amount of the undiluted conditioner in your hand and work into the coat. Avoid your dog’s muzzle as the hair there does not usually need conditioner.
Rinse the conditioner thoroughly. Rinse lightly if your dog’s coat may still have some tangles in it. Most conditioners will help to remove tangles if you do not rinse it all out.
For the final touches see How to give your dog a summer bath part 4.
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