How to Bathe an Irish Water Spaniel

Bathing your dog is an essential part of pet ownership. Not only does it help keep your furry friend clean and smelling fresh, but it also has several health benefits. Regular bathing can help prevent skin infections, reduce itching and scratching, and control shedding.

Why Bathing an Irish Water Spaniel is Important

One of the main reasons to bathe your dog is to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria from their coat and skin. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors or has a long coat that can trap dirt and other particles. Bathing can also help remove allergens that can cause skin irritation and other health problems. Additionally, regular bathing can help prevent skin infections and hot spots, which can be painful and uncomfortable for your pet.

Another benefit of bathing your dog is that it can help control shedding. Dogs naturally shed their fur, but regular brushing and bathing can help remove loose hair and reduce the amount of hair that ends up on your furniture and clothes. Bathing can also help distribute natural oils throughout your dog’s coat, which can improve its overall health and appearance.

Irish Water Spaniels have a dense curly coat, and will need to be bathed at least once a month. You can bathe more if they are particularly stinky, but make sure it’s not too often as this will lead to dryness and irritation of the skin and coat. A useful tip that many owners will do is to use doggy wipes or a wet washcloth to spot clean in between baths. And if you live in a cooler climate during the winter months, the snow will help to rinse them of the irritants. If they are a show dog though, you will want to bathe about a week before the show. But not right before a show, as this will dull the coat and lessen the natural curl pattern.

What You’ll Need

Before water touches your irish water spaniel, you will want to make sure to gather all of the necessary supplies. These include:

  • slip-resistant mat
  • hose nozzle attachment or cup
  • dog ear plugs or cotton balls
  • mild, moisturizing dog shampoo
  • absorbent towels
  • microfiber towel
  • blow dryer
  • a treat as a reward

How to Bathe an Irish Water Spaniel

  • Use lukewarm water. When filling the tub, shower, or sink, you will want to fill to the tops of the legs and not more. Remember to fill a couple of inches prior to placing your pupper in so they’re more comfortable when getting into the washing station. You can also place a steel wool in the drain so as to help trap all the loose hair from going down the drain.
  • You can apply doggy ear plugs or cotton balls inside the ears so as to keep them dry when bathing. Wet the dogs entire coat. You can then apply the shampoo. Make sure to use a specifically formulated shampoo for dogs. For irish water spaniels, a mild, moisturizing shampoo works well. Once the shampoo is on their coat, start working into a nice lather. Make sure to knead down to the skin and penetrate all the layers of the coat. Use your hands to gently penetrate the shampoo into their coat. Start at the top and work your way down. Do not rub. Use your fingertips in a circular motion. Shampoos usually say to leave in 5-10 minutes to effectively work.
  • Pay special attention when washing the face not to get any shampoo in the eyes, ears, or nose. You should position the sprayer close to the face so you can concentrate on specific areas and avoid direct contact with the eyes, ears, and nose. You may want to consider a tear-less shampoo for the face. And try your best not to get the inside of ears wet with water or shampoo. This can lead to ear infections.
  • Now rinse, using the same cup or hose attachment. You can bring the nozzle close to the coat in order to make sure you’re thorough and directing where the water will go accurately.  Be sure to work through the coat in order to make sure all the shampoo is out, rinsing until the water is free of shampoo. It is very important to make sure you rinse all of the shampoo out, as it can lead to irritation and itching if left on your doggie. A good tip would be to start and the head and with your way down their body. This helps to try to ensure the shampoo is moving in the direction away from the eyes, nose, and ears. You can repeat the shampooing process if your pupper is especially dirty.
  • Conditioner is not recommended for these doggos as it will soften their coat too much.
  • You may remove the cotton balls or doggie ear plugs. Now would be a nice time to go ahead and clean the ears while you’ve got your pooch in the bath. Use a warm washcloth with a tiny dab of shampoo to clean the inside of the ear. It’s very important to not push the washcloth into the ear, just the outermost area. Don’t forget to rinse when finished. When cleaning ears, you can opt for a dog ear wash if you choose. And while you’re in there, you can look into removing any long hairs you see with a pair of tweezers.
  • Another tip is to go ahead and trim their nails; after they’re bathed but before you dry. When the nails are wet, they’re softer and easier to manage. So, before you dry them, go ahead and trim those toenails.
  • Now you can dry. You can start dabbing with an absorbent towel in order to try and remove as much water as possible, ringing towel out as needed in order to remove excess water as you dry. Never rub when drying, as this causes matting. Next you can wrap your doggo in a microfiber towel, continuing to dab, until their coat is damp to the touch. Make sure you’re not overly-drying as this can lead to frizz and matting.
  • Now you can let them air dry in a warm room as the preferred drying method. You’ll want to air dry in order to let the curls keep their natural coil and shape.
  • After they are dry, you can go over the entire coat with a stainless steel comb. The comb should flow freely through the coat without any snags.
  • And don’t forget to reward your doggo with treats and praise after the grooming process is complete!! They deserve it!!!

Bathing your dog is an important part of their overall health and wellbeing. By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your furry friend stays clean, comfortable, and happy. Remember to always use dog-specific products and to consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns. With a little bit of effort and attention, you can make bath time a positive experience for both you and your canine companion.

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