Spring is here and summer is on its way. For dog owners in Virginia Beach, VA that means long walks outdoors, along the beach and on the trails. It also means your pup might come home covered in sand, dirt, mud and whatever other debris they discover while romping around outdoors.

You don’t have to take your dog to the groomer every time he gets dirty, and giving him a bath can be a safe and even fun bonding experience. The trick is to be sure to bathe your pup properly, making sure to use the correct products and to be extra careful around their ears, eyes, nose and paws. Some dogs can be bathed regularly and never need to visit a groomer, while some breeds will still need to visit a groomer every few weeks or months to help keep their coats healthy.

If you’re planning an epic summer of outdoor activity with your four-legged best friend, here are simple tips to help you bathe him at home. Remember to stay positive and reward him for his patience, and avoid rushing or leaving soap residue on his coat and skin. Always check with your dog’s veterinarian to be sure that he doesn’t require specific products, and when in doubt, take him to a professional groomer for advice.

Dog Grooming Dos

  • Make it positive and reward them with treats, praise and lots of rubs.
  • Use a handheld shower and lukewarm water.
  • Start at the head and finish at the back of their body (be careful around eyes, ears, nose and paws).
  • Check for ticks, bumps, lumps or debris.

Dog Grooming Don’ts

  • Bathe your pup too often.
  • Use your own (human) shampoo.
  • Use hot water.
  • Get water into his ears or eyes.
  • Rush or punish him if he becomes frightened.