Bath Time For A Senior Dog

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Dogs love to roll in mud, grass, and other nasty outside elements, and like with children, bath time can be a challenge.

A senior dog needs some special products, such as shampoo and conditioner specific for the needs of dry and sensitive skin. The water temperature should be tepid, never hot. As you bring your elderly dog to the sink or tub, speak softly and pet them. Gently place them in the inch or so of water that you have prepared.

Larger dogs that have painful joints due to arthritis will be grateful for a low tub that they can easily step into. If your dog suffers from severe arthritis, speak to your veterinarian about prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs and to administer them about 30 minutes before bath time.

Consider your aging dogs failing eyesight when bath time approaches. Allow them to hear the running water and to stand in very shallow water. Gently and slowly splash water on them so they don’t panic. The warm water is soothing to your senior dogs’ aching joints, and the massage you give them when rubbing in the shampoo and conditioner is a wonderful combination for a “senior spa” experience for your top dog.

Don’t forget to use a soft washcloth to clean under their chin, around their eyes, and in and around their ears, all the while inspecting for anything out of the ordinary. With a cup, thoroughly rinse your dog with lukewarm water to remove all soap and residue, leaving their fur and skin feeling fresh and clean.

Continue using a soft tone in your voice while towel drying your dog. Please remember to use the lowest (coolest) setting if you decide to use a hair dryer on your dog. Once you are done, praise your pup and provide a small treat as a reward. With patience and tender-loving care, bathing your senior dog should be a pleasant experience for both of you.

If you choose to take your senior dog to a professional groomer, make sure they are aware of your dog’s special needs and advise them of any health concerns.