How to Bathe a Dog Outside

20 - 60 Minutes
2 Weeks


Some dogs enjoy bathing outside rather than inside. Others might be too big to fit in your tub or shower inside. These large breed dogs are commonly bathed at a groomer’s or self-grooming shop. But you don’t need to pay a groomer to bathe your large breed dog, or even leave your home. You can do it in the comfort of your own backyard! With a hose or even a clean baby pool and a nice warm day, you and your dog can have fun and get clean at the same time. You can brush your dog outdoors and not worry about fur all over your house, and you can utilize the sun to help dry his fur when his bath is done. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog may be a bit worried about the cold water coming out of a hose. You can help by bathing on a warm day so his bath is refreshing instead of cold. Some dog’s don’t enjoy running water. A small baby pool may help ease those anxieties. Even your small dog can have an outdoor bath. Washing a small dog will be quick work with fast sun drying time. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Be prepared with your brush, shampoo, and any other supplies you need before you bring your dog outside.
  • You may need to leash and harness your dog and potentially tether him to something such as a tree so he does not run. Do not leave him unattended while tethered.
  • If your dog is shivering, try to wrap up the bath quickly. If you are using a baby pool, you can prep it with some warm water from inside. Though this might be easy with a small pool or large bowl for a small or tiny breed, bringing warm water outside isn’t practical for a large breed.
  • If your dog does not like running water, a pool bath might be better for him than a hose shower.
  • Know your dog’s skin and his skin or fur conditions before you bathe to ensure you have the right product.
  • Stock towels. While outside, you may need one for yourself while your dog shakes, which he will do more than once during his bath. Have one or two on hand to get your dog a dry as possible before letting him run after his bath.
  • Consider having a hair dryer handy outside to dry your dog.
  • To prevent him from getting dirty immediately after his bath, you may want to towel dry him, blow him dry with a hair dryer or take him inside or at least away from grass and dirt. 


Getting your dog clean doesn't have to ruin your tub or shower inside. You don't have to let your wild dog run around inside your house rubbing against the walls and rolling all over your bed while wet. Bathe your dog outside on a nice warm day to get him clean--and keep your home clean. This does not have to be a ruff experience for either of you! Enjoy time outside with your dog.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

German Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
0 found helpful
German Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix
2 Years

Can I use irrigation or secondary water to bathe my dog outside or does it need to be house water?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Kodi is a beautiful dog! I prefer using water that I know is bacteria free so yes, I think house water is best. If the water is not recommended for human consumption, then it may not be good to use on Kodi either. Best to be safe and take precautions against illness. You could collect rainwater to use for washing and rinsing, along with buckets of water brought from the house. Fill a baby pool and bathe Kodi in there if you don't want to bathe him inside. Hope this helps!

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