How to Bathe a Big Dog

Easy
20 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

If you stop by your local dog groomer, you'll probably notice they make bathing big dogs look easy. The dog doesn’t fuss, the groomer gets in, gets the job done, and then steps back still nice and dry. How on earth do they do this? Remember the last time you tried to bathe your Newfoundland, Tiny? The whole bathroom looked like a tsunami hit it. The good news is that once you know how to bathe your big dog the right way, both of you will start enjoying the process. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog doesn't spend hours a day licking himself because he likes the taste. He does it to keep himself clean. Yet, no matter how good your dog is at bathing himself (or thinks he is), he is still going to need a bath from time to time. Some dogs come to love being bathed so much they will actually pester you to give them a bath more frequently than may be good for them. 

The Brush Me First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
At the starting line
The time has finally come when you have to either pay the groomer or break out the rain gear. But first, you must go over your pooch's entire coat with a brush. This will help remove mats, tangles, dirt, debris, fleas, and more.
Step
2
Get the bath ready
Run a nice lukewarm bath for your pup. Be very careful not to use hot water as this can burn your pup's skin. The bath water should be about the same temperature you would use to bathe a baby.
Step
3
Let the fun begin
Use a nice calm tone and coax your dog into the water (you can also use a treat to help lure him in). Using a pitcher or a shower head with a hose, wet your dog from top to bottom, make sure you get his underbelly wet.
Step
4
Scrub a dub-dub
With a vet-approved shampoo, scrub every inch of your pup's body, starting at his neck and working your way back and down. Be sure to rub the shampoo in thoroughly to loosen all dirt, debris, and parasites.
Step
5
Time to rinse
Using the shower hose or pitcher, thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of his coat. Any residue could cause a rash or other reaction.
Step
6
Face and done
Use a soapy washcloth to wash your dog's face, head, and ears. Then let him air dry and give him one final brushing to give his coat a beautiful natural shine.
Recommend grooming method?

The Safety First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Create a safe bathtub
If you are planning to use your bathtub to bathe your dog, it must be set up properly before you can begin. For this you need a rubber bath mat, vet approved soap or shampoo, a washcloth, and either a pitcher or a shower head on a hose.
Step
2
Prepare yourself
As much as those experts make staying dry look possible, you are going to get wet bathing "Clifford". So, you might as well be ready for it. Put on a bathing suit or some old clothes you don't mind getting wet.
Step
3
Prepare your dog
Give your dog's coat a good brushing. This will help remove tangles, mats, fleas, dirt, debris, and who knows what else.
Step
4
One dog, coming up
Call your dog into the bathroom and close the door behind him so he can't escape. Use a leash and collar to guide him into the tub while you are giving him the command "get in the tub." If he obeys easily, you can give him a treat.
Step
5
Soap him up
Using a vet-approved shampoo and your fingers, work the shampoo into every inch of your dog's body. Be sure to work the shampoo all the way down to skin level to ensure you get all the dirt out. Use a soapy washcloth to clean his face.
Step
6
And now he gets the hose
Time to use the shower or pitcher to rinse the shampoo out of your dog's hair. You must get it all out or it could cause an allergic reaction, dry skin, or a rash. When he is rinsed and has had a chance to drip dry, use a nice soft towel to dry him off and then give him one last going over with the brush to bring out his shine.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure to put a rubber mat in the tub for safety.
  • Always use vet-approved shampoos and soaps, those made for humans can be dangerous for your dog.
  • Be sure the water is lukewarm; hot water will burn your dog's skin.
  • Never try to pull out large mats, instead use a pair of sharp shears to cut them out.
  • Take your time. By going at your dog's pace, you can keep him much calmer.
  • It may be helpful to have an assistant to keep your dog under control. 

Conclusion

The worst part of bathing a big dog is that you are going to get wet, there is simply no avoiding it. Bear in mind that the calmer and more relaxed you appear to be, the more likely your dog is to pick up on your cue and behave in the same manner. Bath time is a great time for the two of you to bond with each other--relax and enjoy it. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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