Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Friday, January 25, 2008

How to Properly Wash Your Dog

Dogs should be kept on a regular schedule of washing. This is important to prevent skin and odor problems. It is also important to use a dog shampoo because it is formulated for a dog's skin. Here are some steps to follow when it comes to washing your dog.

Make sure to use a shampoo that is for dogs and if you have a puppy, get a shampoo that is for puppies. People shampoo is just not right for dogs. It can dry out the dog's skin.

For puppies and small dogs, it is best to wash them in the sink or bathtub. Make sure to use warm water and not hot water or cold water. This will be much more comfortable for the dog and make it a more pleasant experience.

If you have one of those massage shower heads on a hose, you can give your larger dog a bath in the tub as well. Most dogs find this just as relaxing as we do.

Brushing or combing prior to the bath will help remove tangles and matts in the dog's hair or fur. Depending on the breed, this will become important because the tangles will be difficult to remove after the bath.

The frequency of washing depends on the climate and breed of the dog. Generally speaking dogs should be washed once a week during the summer, once every two to three weeks in the spring and fall, and about once a month in the winter. This schedule is meant for healthy dogs and may vary if your dog has skin or health problems. It is best to check with your veterinarian if this is the case.

Begin your dog's bath by gradually wetting the dog's coat. Make sure the coat is sufficiently saturated and then apply enough dog shampoo to achieve a good foaming lather.

Gently massage the shampoo into the coat. Only shampoo the dog's head if necessary. Make sure not to get the dog shampoo in the eyes or ears.

Once you have achieved a good lather, rinse the coat very thoroughly and REPEAT with clean water. With your hands squeeze the water out of your dog's coat. Lift or remove your dog from the tub and towel dry. Make sure to comb and brush the hair as it dries especially if your dog has long hair. This will help prevent knots.

If your dog has a strong body odor, try thoroughly washing and rinsing. If this does not resolve the issue, your dog may have a skin problem. If this is the case, you should seek the care and advice of your veterinarian.

Many dog owners are reluctant to wash their dog regularly due to concern over removing natural oils from the skin and coat. Actually, many skin problems come from insufficient washing.

Regular washing is part of a good hygiene program for your dog. Since dogs cannot bathe themselves, it is up to us dog owners to take on this responsibility.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.