How To Bathe A Dog

by | “How To”, Blog, Grooming

Just like humans, dogs need to regularly bath. Probably not as much, but enough to keep their coat looking handsome and healthy. However, you may be wondering, what’s the best way to bathe a dog? If you’re looking for a few tips to help you wash your dog, you’re in the right place. Below is some helpful information that can help you better understand “how to bathe a dog”.

how often should you wash your dog?

If your dog had a really active and interesting day outdoors, where as dirt is quite visible on his coat, then bathing him would be a good idea. However, it’s a common practice to bathe a dog once a month. Every month a dog sloughs off a layer of skin cells, leaving him a new layer of cells. This process creates dander, so in order to manage it, you’ll want to bathe your dog around every 30 days. It’s also important to consider the breed. If your dog has longer fur, then you’ll probably need to bathe him more often. Consulting a veterinarian can help you come up with a viable routine for your specific breed.

What You’ll Need

What you’ll need first, is a place to wash your dog. This will depend on the size of your dog. If you have a small dog, consider using the kitchen sink. However, if you have a large dog, you’ll need something larger. It’s common for dog parents to use a separate tub, that will be dedicated only for washing your dog. This way, you won’t have to worry about clogging the pipes with dirt and dog hair. Whatever you choose, be sure you can safely maneuver your dog in and out of the wash area.

.It helps to have all your wash supplies handy before you get started. This way, you won’t have to go looking for what you’ll need while you’re in the middle of washing your dog. Below is a list of items you’ll want to have ready.

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Towel
  • Non-slip Bath Mat
  • Eye Wash Solution
Choosing A Shampoo & Conditioner

It’s ideal to choose a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically made for dogs. If you use a product that’s designed for humans, it could irritate his skin and eyes. This is also the case for puppies, so consider using a product that is well suited for him. If he has itchy skin issues, you might want to consider a mild shampoo. Ultimately, a veterinarian can guide you to a choice that will best fit your dog.

When you’re done giving your dog a shampoo, you’ll want to put on a conditioner. This is because shampoos tend to take natural oils out of the hair and skin. Conditioners are designed to rehydrate the skin and hair. Just as with shampoo, you’ll want to find a conditioner that is specific to dogs.

Bathing Technique

So you have the tub you want to use and all your dog bathing products are ready in one place. Now you can begin to wash your dog. Below are a few tips to help you with the process.

  • Place your dog into the tub of your choosing. Using treats can help with persuasion.
  • Add water to the shampoo. Shampoo is typically a thick concentrated solution. Diluting it will help you get more usage out of it, make better suds and it will be easier to use.
  • Check the water temperature with your hands, making sure the water is warm—around 37° Celsius—then wet your dog with it.
  • Consider shampooing your dog two times. When you begin, the shampoo will first combine with the dirt, which helps to cleanse it. The second stage of shampooing targets the skin and extracts any remaining dirt and oil in the coat. A loofah is an ideal tool to use when you want to spread the shampoo around. 
  • Massage your dog all over with your hands. Remember to wash his belly, armpit and the pads of his feet.
  • Apply the conditioner. Let it sit for several minutes, then rinse it off. 
  • Be sure to scrub and rinse all products out of your dog’s coat. This is important, because if any soap remains, it will irritate your dog’s skin.
How To Wash A Dog’s Face

The important part about washing your dog’s face is keeping soap and water out of his eyes, nose and ears. So, consider letting this be the last thing you do in the bathing process. Below are a few tips that can help you with washing your dog’s face.

  • Use a washcloth to clean your dog’s face
  • Dip the washcloth in soap and water
  • Gently wash your dog’s face and head
  • Dip another cloth into plain water—no soap
  • Use this cloth to rinse your dog’s face
  • Make sure all the soap is rinsed away
  • Be sure to avoid your dog’s eyes

Although you may have a shampoo that’s made to be gentle, if it accidentally get’s in your dog’s eye’s, it still has the potential to hurt them. So you’ll want to be especially careful, steering clear of the eyes as much as you can. However, be sure to have an eyewash product on standby, just in case you accidentally get some soap in your dog’s eye(s). If your dog has an eye goober, consider using a soft toothbrush to gently brush it clean.
Tips For How to Bathe a Dog that Hates Water

If you have a dog that’s not fond of taking baths, a common way to persuade him is to use dog treats. If you give him a few doggy snacks before and after the process, while all the while praising him, you’ll be associating bathing with a positive experience. Also, if you bathe your dog when he’s a pup, he’ll be used to the process when he get’s older and perhaps even enjoy it. If your dog is hard to manage, you may want to consider getting a partner to help you wash your dog.

After The Bath
  • Use a towel to dry your dog off
  • Then, use a hair dryer—on cool or medium setting
  • While blow drying your dog, brush his hair
  • Air drying also works—just be sure he’s in a warm area
    to prevent shivering and chills
  • If you do air-dry, every 15 minutes, brush your dogs
    coat to prevent matting

In conclusion, it would be ideal to make the whole experience fun for both you and your dog. This way it’s not such a chore. Massaging, treats and praising your dog can help to make it a positive experience. 

If you have a specific concern about breeds, it helps to consult a vet. A qualified veterinarian can advise you on specific products and techniques to use. Thanks for reading “how to bathe a dog”.