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Unless your dog becomes extremely dirty, smelly or covered with sticky substances, a monthly bath will meet its cleaning needs. After you clip and brush the fur, trim the nails and wipe the ears and eyes, the dog is ready for a bath. Do not bathe the dog until it is brushed, otherwise clumps and mats will become unmanageable. Ear and eye cleaners can be messy and should be rinsed afterwards in a bath.

You can set up either indoors or out, but use warm water and stay inside on cold or cool days. Have plenty of dry towels nearby. Be sure to use dog shampoo and conditioner products, which will not dry or harm the skin. Spray attachments and a grooming noose, a specially designed collar for bathing and grooming, will ease the process by giving you control over the water and the dog.

Wet the dog thoroughly with warm water, starting at the head and working backwards toward the tail. Try to keep the face and ears dry (some people place cotton balls in the ears for protection), and soak the fur to the skin. Don't neglect the underbelly, legs and neck. Lather the shampoo with your hand, a towel or sponge. Scrub vigorously over the entire coat, then rinse the soap away. Some people opt to lather twice. Read the shampoo instructions to decide if a second application is necessary. Rinse very thoroughly, since residual soap can dry and irritate the skin. After the final rinse, you can apply a product to kill fleas, if needed. These applications are usually left in the coat, but read the label for instructions. Also, do not use flea shampoos at the same time as flea treatments.

It is important to fully dry your dog during cold weather to prevent a chill. Use towels to remove the majority of the moisture and a blow drier set on a low setting. Accustom your puppy to the sound and feel of the blow drier from a young age. If your breed needs special techniques to fluff or primp the fur, consult a breed specific manual for instructions.

With regular baths, your dog will look and feel clean and healthy.

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