6 Simple Steps to Washing Your Dog

Keep your canine looking and smelling kissable with this dog-grooming guideBy Woman's Day Staff

Dirty paws? Stinky coat? Gear up your grooming supplies and turn on the faucet-it's time for a good canine cleaning. Here, six steps to a stress-free suds session. Photo by Getty Images

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1. Lightly brush out your dog's coat before a bath.

This loosens debris and removes surface tangles, allowing bathtime suds to be more effective.

2. Place a mat or towel in the tub.
An uneasy dog is more likely to bolt during a bath, and this will help give her sure footing.

3. Choose the right shampoo.
If she smells bad, try one with rosemary, peppermint, lavender or lemongrass-all natural deodorizers that fight odor-causing bacteria. If she is itchy, look for one made with colloidal oatmeal, and without sulfates (which can be harsh on skin).

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4. Use a mitt.
Slip on a textured mitt, like the Rinse Ace Shampoo Mitt ($8.50; Amazon.com), while shampooing to help gather shed hair and stimulate your dog's circulation. To detangle long ear fur, use a slicker brush, which has pin bristles. Try Oscar Frank Universal's Slicker brush ($8.59 for small size; Amazon.com).

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5. Clear out eye gunk.
Use a damp cotton ball or premoistened wipes with a cleansing solution to soften and remove debris (try Mutt Nose Best Ear and Eye Wipes, $15.99; MuttNoseBest.com). If the buildup still isn't budging, gently go over the area around the eyes with a flea comb.

6. Swab the insides of your dog's ears.
Wet a fresh wipe with water and clean the outer rim of the inside of the ear. (Anything deeper will flush out naturally.)

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