Hi Animal Lovers,

There’s nothing like a good bath to soak away the stress! The same can be true for your Havanese IF you get him used to his baths when he’s just a puppy. When you start young and keep it positive, your Havanese will come to tolerate his baths and maybe even enjoy them like me. It’s also important to get your Havanese used to a hair drier when he’s little so it doesn’t scare him when he’s an adult. Mom gives me a bath and blow dry every week because I’m a show dog, and she always says that a clean dog is a mat free dog. Don’t worry, you don’t have to bathe your Havanese as frequently if you aren’t going to show him. It’s up to you how frequently you wish to bathe your Havanese.

Before you start bathing your Havanese, it’s important to brush him. Never bathe a matted dog because the mats will tighten during the bath. Next, you need to gather all of your supplies and put them by the bath. Start with some tasty treats. You’ll want to frequently reward your Havanese for standing calmly in the bath. Remember, when you reward a desirable behavior, it will increase. However, if you ignore desired behavior and forget to positively reinforce it, that behavior will extinguish. So, don’t forget to talk sweetly to your dog, give lots of tasty treats, and handle your pup gently during his bath.

You’ve brushed your dog and you’ve got his treats, so now I’ll tell you about the other supplies you’ll need to collect. How about a nice fluffy towel? You many even want to grab two towels, one for getting your soaked pal out of the bath and one for thoroughly drying your friend after the initial towel is saturated. You’ll also want a dog friendly hair dryer. Let’s talk about shampoo and conditioner. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a prince, so I’m picky about the products I use. I like the Spectrum Ten products because they make my hair shiny and sleek http://www.chrissystems.com/shampoos–conditioners/pet-grooming-show-dog-shampoos-and-conditioner.aspx. You’ll also need two cotton balls (one for each ear). This’ll help keep your Havanese’s ears infection free. Next, you’ll need to put some form of sterile, protective, lubricant in your Havanese’s eyes. Mom uses Paralube for my eyes, and it works really well for me. My eyes never sting! http://www.1800petmeds.com/Puralube+Vet+Ointment-prod1621.html

Before we get started, here are a few extra tips for bathing your Havanese. First, it’s an excellent idea to bathe your Havanese in the sink. Since we’re so small, we’re easy to bathe in the sink as long as there is a non-slip mat. It means less bending over for you and more security for us. It’s a win, win! Besides, most sinks have spray nozzles which makes washing and rinsing MUCH easier on your Havanese. It’s also a good idea to mix your shampoo with water because it makes it easier to get your pup super without overdoing the soap (follow the directions for the recommended dilution). Diluting the shampoo is critical because your dog will have itchy skin after his bath if you don’t get ALL of the soap out.

It’s time to get wet! First, test your water. It should be warm, but not too hot. Then, start to slowly acclimate your dog to his bath by gently spraying his shoulders and back. Once your puppy starts to relax, you can start to spray the rest of his body. Spray your dog with the diluted shampoo and make sure to work the soap down to the skin. Don’t forget to wash under the tail, the belly, the legs, and the feet. It’s also important not to scrub too vigorously or you may cause mats that will be difficult to remove when the bath is over. Instead, gently massage the soap into your dog’s coat. What about your dog’s head?

It’s a good idea to lift your Havanese’s head before wetting it. This will allow the water to run down the back of his head instead of into his face and mouth. Please don’t ever spray your dog directly in his face. You can use your fingers or a small rag to gently clean the eyes, nose and mouth. Remember to praise profusely!

Once your dog is all soaped up, be sure to rinse thoroughly. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Next, apply your conditioner. Work it gently through the coat and then let it stand for a couple of minutes. Once again, rinse until the water runs clear and all of the conditioner is gone. You did it! The bath is complete.

It’s time to get out! This is my favorite part because Mom wraps me in a super absorbent, warm towel and gently squeezes out the excess water. Once that towel is soaked, she gets a new, dry towel and lets me rub my face all over it. It feels divine! You can let your dog do that too because it’s important to make bath time fun! Now it’s time to use either a standing dryer or a hand-held dryer to get your Havanese completely dry.

Drying your dog fully will help prevent mats and other skin problems. It’s best to use a dryer that’s made specifically for dogs to avoid burning your dog’s sensitive skin or damaging his coat. If you’re lucky enough to have a standing dryer, it makes it easier to brush your dog as you dry. If not, you can hold the dryer with one hand and brush with the other, but that can be tricky. When your dog is completely dry, don’t forget to apply your favorite finishing spray, and that’s all there is to it.

Now you have a squeaky clean Havanese who’s ready to cuddle. Since Havanese are inside dogs, we’re usually allowed on the sofa and the bed so it pays to know how to keep us ship-shape and hygienic. I hope this helped!

The Dog that Blogs,

Chewie

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