How to Bathe a Dog

15 - 45 Minutes
4 Weeks


You can bathe your dog at home with a few simple items and some planning ahead. Not all dogs enjoy bath time, while others can't wait to get in the bath and hate when bath time is over. You will have to determine which one your dog is and cater bathtime towards his personality. If your dog is fearful at all of taking baths, you can ease his tension with a calm environment and lots of preparation. 

You may need to bathe your dog on a regular basis for general grooming, but you also may find times when your dog gets into something and needs a bath outside of his normal grooming schedule. No matter the size of your dog you can figure ways to bathe him at home. Both of these methods focus on a bath, but you can also give larger breed dogs a shower in your shower stall at home. Baths can be fun, rewarding, and end with a clean dog fairly quickly, if you know what you're doing.

Dog's Perspective

Simple little tricks like closing the bathroom door to keep the bathroom nice and warm for your dog will help your dog feel more comfortable. Some dogs will act fearful of the sound of running water, so have the bath ready to go before you bring your dog into the room. To rinse your dog clean, begin to drain the water as you're washing so the tub or sink is empty by the time you're ready for a warm rinsing. If your dog has any anxiety, be sure to keep one hand on him at all times and use a gentle, soothing tone as you talk to him during that time.

Caution & Considerations

  • If your dog is healthy without fleas or ticks and not visibly dirty, most likely he can bathe about once a month. Some dogs will need to be bathed more frequently depending on their activity levels and just how dirty they are.
  • Giving your dog a bath too often could lead to dry and itchy skin.
  • Know your dog's skin conditions well enough to know which kind of shampoo your dog requires for healthy skin and coat.
  • Be sure you test the water temperature before putting your dog in the water so he is not too cold or burned.
  • Some dogs don't like the sound of running water so it is helpful if you fill the tub or the sink before your dog is introduced to the bath so he does not have to hear the running water. It may help to draw rinsing water ahead of time or have a helper on hand who can run pitchers of water to you from another faucet.
  • Be sure to keep water out of your dog's ear canal, but also be certain to wipe the inside of his ears out to keep them clean and healthy.
  • Always rinse your dog with clean water rather than the water he is standing in from the tub. 


Even your dog can be a dirty dog. Every dog is going to need a bath every now and then. Ease any tension and fear of the water by making bath time fun and make your dog look and smell fur-tastic. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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