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Bathing

Giving Your Poodle a Bath

By Jacki Panzik

1. PREPARATION

First, get EVERYTHING you are going to need in the way of equipment to properly bathe your poodle. Once the bathing process is started, you do not want to walk away from the dog to get something. It can be dangerous for a pooch to jump from a tub, even if it’s ground level. They can slip and break a hip or sprain a body part. Here is a list of equipment you will need:

For Inside Bathing…

  • Rubber mat to line the inside of the tub to prevent slipping
  • A lead to attach to stationary object so that you have control of your pet
  • Cotton balls for ears
  • Towel for drying
  • Small towel for wiping around eyes if shampoo gets too near
  • Shampoo diluted with water into a small bucket
  • Medium-size sponge for applying the shampoo
  • Coat conditioner
  • For poodles with long coat, a rubber scrubby brush is helpful

For outside Bathing…

  • A mini trampoline for poodle to stand on while being bathed
  • A Y-shaped plumbing hose hook up to be put on washing machine hot and cold faucets for temperature-controlled bathing
  • Adjustable spray nozzle for end of garden hose
  • A lead to attach to stationary object so that you have control of your pet
  • Cotton balls for ears
  • Towel for drying
  • Small towel for wiping around eyes if shampoo gets too near
  • Shampoo diluted with water into a small bucket
  • Medium-size sponge for applying shampoo
  • Coat conditioner
  • For poodles with long coat, a rubber scrubby brush is helpful

2. PROCEDURE

Place poodle in the tub. Do not allow your poodle to jump into the tub on his/her own unless they are in very good shape and the surface they are landing on is not slick.

Place a cotton ball in each ear. Two balls are necessary if ears are large.

Apply the shampoo mixture. DO NOT SATURATE YOUR DOG WITH WATER! Saturate dry coat with a sponge that has been dipped into warm soapy water, starting at the top of the head. Work back, soaking the top of the head and the ears and moving along the back to the tail. If your pet has fleas – start flea shampoo in the same manner, but first put a ring of flea soap around the neck and also a ring of flea soap around the tail to prevent flees from crawling into orifices to escape death.

By applying shampoo to dry coat, you will not skip areas, you’ll have more control of shampoo application around sensitive areas, e.g. eyes and ears, and you will be getting the most mileage out of your shampoo. Even if your shampoo does not say it’s dilutable go ahead and mix it with water in your bucket. If your shampoo says it is dilutable, use less than is recommended. By applying to a dry coat, you don’t need as much as usual. Make sure you get shampoo in the tricky spots like under the front legs, the chest and belly.

Rinsing and conditioning. Shampoo and rinse twice, then apply conditioner by squirting it on entire coat and letting it sit for 3 to 5 minutes and rinsing thoroughly. I cannot stress enough how important it is to rinse, rinse & rinse again. I use a pressure sprayer on my hose, even when I’m bathing my poodle in my tub. Make sure to hold the sprayer against the coat as to penetrate through to the skin. Starting at the top of the dog, work downward to the underside holding the sprayer close to the dog so that the spray goes directly to the skin on the belly and underside of the chest of the dog. Don’t forget between those front legs below the brisket.

A Tip: when rinsing, hold ear canal shut with fingers, cotton helps to keep the water from going down the canal but keeping water out all together is the preferred method. Ears should be cleaned with non-alcohol ear cleaner after the bath. This will help prevent moisture from remaining and causing infections. See the Ear Care link on this website (see Resources).

Ring out excess water from the coat by running your hands over the back, under the chest and down the legs.

Towel-dry thoroughly. Use two or three heavy towels if coat is long. This will save time when blow-drying your poodle.

Be Encouraging. Make your poodle feel good about the process by talking to him/her in a calm soothing tone while bathing. Poodles innately like to be clean and groomed. They also like the attention grooming brings, providing the attention is positive. It shoul

d not be a discipline action on teaching your poodle to turn around or hold in a certain position. It may take a couple times, but with gentle guidance, your poodle will learn the routine and will be reminding you if you forgot a step once grooved in. They are SO SMART!

3. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR POODLE

Oh, what a good clean dog you have now! Let your wet furry friend know that part is over by many sincere “good boys” or “good girls”.