By William Hageman, Tribune Newspapers
Your dog smells like a pair of sweat socks that have been dunked in cabbage soup. Little Spanky needs a bath, now. Forget the pricey groomer and tackle this one yourself. It will be quicker and cheaper and can be a bonding experience for the two of you.
Step #1: THE WARM-UP
Brush and comb the dog thoroughly, eliminating all mats and tangles.
Inspect your pet for lumps, rashes, sores or injuries. If anything is suspicious, make a vet appointment.
Step #2: THE MAIN EVENT
Close the door: When using the bathtub, remember to close the bathroom door so Spanky isn't tempted to make a break for it.
Wet the dog: Use a gentle stream of warm, not hot water. Use a plastic cup if you don't have a detachable shower head.
Shampoo: Start at the neck and head on back. Massage gently into the coat, keeping the suds away from your pet's face; instead, use a wet washcloth and rub her face and head thoroughly.
Rinse: Shampoo residue can make a dog itchy, so rinse twice.
Beware the ears: No water in the ears. To clean, use a specially made ear-cleaning product. Soak a cotton ball, squeeze out the excess, and rub it around in the ear for a thorough cleaning.
Step #3: THE COOL-DOWN
Towels: Cover Spanky with a towel and lift her from the tub. Leave the towel in place for the inevitable violent shake/water show, then rub her down with more towels.
Hair dryer: If your pet will tolerate it, use the hair dryer, set on low, to speed the drying process.
Comb little Spanky out again, and you're done.
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