Keeping your dog clean and healthy is very important. Your dog needs to be groomed regularly, regardless of hair length. This keeps his coat clean and you can check for burrs, ticks, parasite or any matting. A long-haired dog should be groomed and brushed every day to distribute the oils that accumulate in their skin right down to the ends of their hair.
Frequent bathing is not necessary for most dogs. If a dog has a skin irritation, bathing too often can make it worse. Dogs can suffer from sunburn, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and grass pollen allergy so sometimes a cool bath might alleviate the suffering. Heat, temperature changes and chemically treated sidewalks and roads can also bother a dog.
You can easily purchase dog shampoo from a veterinarian or from a pet store. Alternatively you can make it yourself. If you choose to use homemade shampoo on your dog, you will know exactly what it is in it and that it does not contain anything harsh or artificial.
The recipe for a homemade dog shampoo is as follows. There are several slight variants of this recipe around but they are pretty much the same. You should mix together a pint of liquid dishwashing soap (Ivory, Dawn or Dove are gentle enough), a pint of water, a pint of apple cider vinegar and 4 ounces of glycerine. You can buy glycerine at the pharmacy. Combine the ingredients until everything is mixed together well. Keep it in an airtight, easy to pour container and clearly label it. You can use one of your old shampoo bottles if you like.
If you want to make more at once or if you have several large dogs, you can make two or three times the amount at once, to save time. This recipe is very cheap. Soap, vinegar and glycerine should only cost a couple of dollars, if that, and water is free! Not only is this recipe easy to make and cheap, but you are using natural ingredients and not adding any chemicals which might cause skin reactions on your pet.
Many shop-bought dog shampoos contain harsh detergents such as SLS or SLA and artificial fragrances which might result in skin irritation. Shake the homemade dog shampoo before use to ensure the glycerine is mixed thoroughly. When your dog is in the tub, you should start washing the dog from the rear and move towards its head. If you start on the head, the dog will begin shaking and you (and the bathroom) will end up drenched before you have even started! Get the dog wet all over. Apply the homemade dog shampoo, lather it and rub in thoroughly making sure you don’t miss out any creases or rolls.
Do not apply your homemade shampoo or any shampoo in the ears! In fact, never poke anything into a dog’s ear. Make sure you rinse him thoroughly after the bath because any leftover residue might cause skin irritation. Also, a well rinsed coat will be shinier. The dog should then be towel dried. No matter how well you towel dry him, he will still insist on shaking water all over the place so you might want to keep him in the bathroom for a few minutes!