Redmond the Dog Gets a Bath on National TV

My fabulous foster dog Redmond has been enjoying a brief stay at the Humane Society of New York's excellent clinic, where he's undergoing the final...

Julia Szabo  |  Oct 9th 2010

My fabulous foster dog Redmond has been enjoying a brief stay at the Humane Society of New York‘s excellent clinic, where he’s undergoing the final stage of his treatment for heartworm disease, and recovering nicely.

Now, it so happens that ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” regularly spotlights adoptable dogsrescued bythe Humane Society of New York. And Redmond’s good looks – he’s part Irish Setter, so he sports an exceptionally glossy, photogenicred coat – landed him an appearance on the show, together with another one of the Society’s eligible dogs, a black Lab mix named Flopps who’s as sweet as he is handsome.

Flopps and Redmond were the canine talent inthis morning’svery enlightening segmentdemonstrating how to bathe a dog. Dr. Marty Becker,the best-selling author of “Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul” and esteemedveterinary correspondent for”Good Morning America,” always offers invaluable tips on canine care, whether he’s doing iton TV and radioor in print. And this morning was no exception.

The set featured two bathtubs. The bottom of each tub was lined with a towel, to prevent the dogs’ paws from slipping and sliding while they underwent their bow-wow beauty treatments.

The GMA stars gamely rolled up their sleeves for this fun segment. George Stephanopoulos (wearing a yellow rain slicker) and Juju Chang (protecting her outfit withan apron) tended to Flopps, while Redmond had theundivided attention of Robin Roberts and Sam Champion, who also wisely wore aprons.

Accenting the champ in his surname, the renownedmeteorologist revealed a gentle, yet masterful, take-charge tubside manner, practically climbing in the tub to put Redmond at ease. Too badChampion travels too much to have apet – he’d makea great dog owner!

Meanwhile, Dr. Becker serenely supervised operation suds, remarking that dogs need to be bathed at least once a month, and ideally once weekly, and citing this intriguing statistic (which explains the imperative to bathe dogs):”Seventy percent of people sleep with their dogs in bed.”

But this was no merestylesegment; there was plenty of serious substance on the GMA set this morning.As Dr. Becker aptly explained, grooming ismore than just a beauty treatment for dogs; it actually helps to keep them healthy. It’s especiallyimportant, the Doc explained, to “wash off the allergens, the pollen, and the spores,”as doing socan help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of environmental allergies in dogs.

Bathing dogs at home rather than sending them to a professionalgroomer certainly saves money, but if you’re not careful there could be hidden costs. If your dog sheds a great deal during the bathing process, the excess hair can clog your bathtub drain. Dr. Beckeroffered this genius preventive tip: “Put steel wool in your drain to save you a trip from the plumber later on.”

Before you wet down your dog, there’s something else you need to plug: his ears. Gently stuff Spot’s earswith cotton, sohedoesn’t get the equivalent of swimmer’s ear during his bath.

As for what to lather Spot with, Dr. Becker pointed out that there are “millions of shampoos for special coat types,” so the choice is up to you. Just don’t use human shampoo, he cautioned, as “the pH is wrong.” (My dogs’ favorite shampoo happens to be TheraNeem Pet Shampoo by Organix South, as it contains no soap whatsoever to irritatetheir super-sensitive skin.) Whatever brand or type of shampoo you choose, be sure to “rinse your dog until the water runs clear,” Dr.Becker advised.

The good vet then demonstratedthis neat towel technique: Fold a terrycloth bath towel in half, then drape it over your wet dog’s back like a horse blanket. “That prevents them from shaking water all over you,” Dr. Becker said.

Here’s another surefire way to prevent the full-body, after-bathshimmy that drenches you and your surroundings: Gently hold your dog’s muzzle shut. “That completely stops them,” Dr. Becker said, demonstrating on Redmond. “It’slike turning off a light switch.”

And of course you’ll want to reward Spot for his cooperation in submittingtothe in-home K9 spa treatment. So handle your dog like a pro by taking a page from Dr. Becker’s book: Stuff your pocket full of treats!

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