How to Bathe a Dog

Easy
15 - 45 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

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.

The Bathtub Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Prepare tub
Apply a towel or a non slip map to the bottom of the tub. Fill the tub with warm water so it will be just above the bottom of your dog’s belly.
Step
2
Gather supplies
Gather everything you will need in the tub such as your dog’s shampoo and a cup for rinsing with fresh clean water. You may need two towels, one to keep you dry when your dog shakes after being wet and one to dry your dog.
Step
3
Brush
Before you take your dog into the bathroom, brush his fur working out any tangles or knots.
Step
4
Cotton balls
Place a cotton ball just inside each ear to keep water from getting into your dog's ear canal.
Step
5
Dog in tub
Gently place your dog inside the warm water and use a cup to get his fur wet from top to bottom.
Step
6
Shampoo
Lather your dog's fur with shampoo. Be sure to get behind his ears, his neck, chest, under his legs, and his bottom as well as his stomach. You may need to lift each paw out of the water to wash them.
Step
7
Rinse
Use your cup and fresh water to rinse the shampoo out of your dog's fur.
Step
8
Washcloth
Use a washcloth or a soft cloth to wipe down your dog's face. Wipe any gunk out of his eyes and out of his ears and clean any food off of his mouth or fur that hangs down from his jowls. Be very gentle and careful not to get any soap and his eyes.
Step
9
Dog out
Lift your dog out of the water and dry him off with a towel. If he's anxious he may shake some of the water off before you get him out. Use your second towel to hold up over him and avoid your own shower with the excess water from his fur.
Step
10
Brush
When your dog is out of the tub and towel dried, brush out his fur focusing on ridding the fur of any knots. Be sure to remove the cotton balls from your dog's ears while you are brushing him. At this point, you can use a brush and a dryer to dry your dog's fur or you can let him go and dry on his own.
Recommend grooming method?

The Sink Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Towel
Step
1
Non-slip sink
Using a towel or a non-slip mat, keep your sink from becoming a slip hazard for your pup.
Step
2
Wet
Using the faucet and a cup or a handheld sprayer, wet your dog down. Be sure you know the temperature of the water so it is not too hot or too cool for your dog.
Step
3
Shampoo
Use your favorite dog shampoo to lather your dog in soap and suds and get him clean. Make sure you clean his ears and his face but be careful not to get shampoo in his eyes.
Step
4
Rinse
Using the same handheld sprayer or cup, use fresh water to rinse the shampoo off of your dog's fur. Once you have rinsed several times you may want to run your fingers through the fur to see if there are any suds left. Be sure to rinse all the shampoo out of your dog's fur.
Step
5
Dry
Lift your dog up and wrap him in a towel to dry. You can gently squeeze water out or rub his fur with a towel to dry him off quickly.
Step
6
Brush
Once your dog is clean, brush him and focus on removing any tangles he may have acquired while bathing.
Step
7
Treat
Be sure to give your dog a treat after his bath.
Recommend grooming method?

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. 

Conclusion

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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