By Lori Longoria
Taking care of large such as great danes require a lot of energy and dog supplies to maintain. One challenging thing about taking care of large dogs is washing them. Due to their size, they are sometimes hard to handle. However, it's not impossible as all you need is to establish an efficient bath routine you can follow.
Different ways to wash large dogs
There are two ways you can bathe your large dog at home. It's up to you to pick the one that suits you.
1. Wash your dog outdoors
A simple way to wash a large dog is to do it outside. It's less cumbersome than bathing it inside and also prevents any injury or destruction of property.
Ensure that the space you use to wash your large dog is close to a reliable water source. You can hook up your water hose for access to water during the wash. You can even get hot water when you use handy items such as the portable tankless water heater. You can read more about the best ones here.
Make sure the place has good drainage so that the water you use during your pets wash session drains off quickly. It helps if the area is on a firm surface such as concrete instead of a grassy area where the water can turn muddy and dirty you and the dog. On the other hand, grass would enjoy getting watered as the dog bathes.
2. Wash your dog indoors
Sometimes the weather does not allow you to wash your pet outside. Therefore, you have to find a place indoors where you will safely and successfully clean up your large dog.
A good dog wash -up place is a garage that has a door you can close to prevent your dog from escaping and the foul weather such as cold or rain from coming in. You can use a portable tankless water heater in your garage to warm up the water from the tap so you can wash your pet with hot water.
Watch out for injuries when washing your dog!
Large dogs are strong, and they often move around a lot during baths. As your large dog fidgets around, you could fall, suffer back injuries or twist your ankle. To avoid injuries when washing a large dog, do the following;
- Create free space
Give yourself free space to wash your dog. Squeezing into a tight spot means you won't have a good grip on your pet when cleaning it. If it escapes, it will be hard for you to move fast to hold it down. So clear enough space for your dog's bath session to avoid back injuries and other problems.
- Correct posture
Avoid quick turns when washing your dog. Make sure that you face your whole body in one direction each time you turn. Sudden twists and turns are a quick way to injure your back, twist your ankle or slip and fall.
Keep your shoulders, hips, and feet facing the same direction at any one time as you wash your dog. Also, maintain a wide stance to distribute your weight evenly on both feet and bring the dog close to you so that you don't have to lean out when washing it.
- Get help
The best way to avoid injury when washing large dogs is to get a helper. An extra person in the room will hold on to the dog and keep it under control as you shampoo and rinse it. In case the dog escapes, you will also have someone to help you recover it.
Things you need to bath your large dog
It's important to always have the bath items for your dog in the home. Buy a good stock of them and keep them at hand for easy access. Before the bath, put the things you need at the wash-up area in advance so that you don't keep looking for items when washing the dog.
Some of the things you need for a dogs bath are;
- Shampoo and towels
You need a great shampoo and conditioner for your dog that will get rid of pests and dirt as well as prevent pests attacks in future. There are many of these types of shampoo and conditioner in pet shops. When in doubt, it's always best to ask your vet for advice as they often know the right shampoo and conditioner for your dog.
You will also require some towels to wash your dog. Some will be for you to keep from getting soaking wet. Others will be for drying your dog after the bath.
One great idea is to buy a large towel, cut a hole in the center, and wear it as a poncho. That way you can cover yourself and have your hands free to deal with your dog during the bath.
- Dog grooming kit
Also, keep your dog grooming kit at hand. They come with items such as brushes, combs, nail clippers and even grooming scissors. You will need these items to groom your dog before the bath.
- Ear protection
If your large dog is like some I know, then it hates baths. Therefore it may struggle during the bath session which can cause water and soap to get in its ears. You don't want this to happen as it can cause an ear infection.
To prevent soapy water from getting into your dog's ears, use cotton buds to plug the ear holes. Make sure you remember to remove them after the bath as well.
- Tankless portable water heater
You need a good supply of warm water when washing a large dog. An excellent way to get this is to use a tankless portable water heater.
Get a portable water heater that uses propane gas. When using it, all you need to do is attach it to the water tap using a garden hose adapter. Next, attach an on and off shower head on the hot water outlet, and you are ready for the bath.
The tankless water heater has temperature controls that allow you to set the water temperature you want for your dog's bath. Using a portable water heater will enable you to wash your dog anywhere there is a water source be it outdoors or in the garage.
Dogs respond well to rewards for good behavior. So keep some of your dog's favorite treats nearby during the bath. You can feed it these treats to keep it docile during the wash and also reward it after the bath.
How to wash your large dog
Once you have everything for your dog's bath ready, its time to wash the dog. Here are a few steps you can follow.
1. Pre-wash treatment
When you bring the dog into the wash-up area, you cannot just start splashing water on it immediately. It will get scared and most likely scamper off. Instead, talk to is gently and massage it as you feed it treats.
Once it gets comfortable with you, start brushing its coat to get any tangles out. Use the grooming brush and comb for this purpose. Anywhere you find knots, cut them off using the grooming scissors.
Once the pre-wash routine is complete, its time to get the dog wet. Start by wetting the dog as it will make it easy to soap it up and lather in the shampoo and conditioner.
Massage in the shampoo and conditioner with gentle pressure as you talk to it in a soothing tone. Once you are satisfied that every nook and cranny of the dog's body is clean, rinse it off thoroughly.
3. Dry the dog
Once you rinse the dog, wrap it in a huge towel and pat it dry. You can use a blow dryer on cool setting to dry it off further. Get the dog back in the house and keep it inside until it dries up completely. If you let it go out, it will likely roll up in muck or grass and get its wet coat dirty again.
Washing a large dog is not easy, but with care and the use of handy items such as the tankless portable water heater, you can do it in no time. Regular washing ensures that dogs don't stink and get infested by pests. So do it often for your pet's benefits and the benefit of you and your family.