How to Bathe a Large Dog

Easy
20 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Remember how much fun the Brady Family had bathing Tiger their pet dog? In fact, if you look at most television shows and movies that involve a scene in which a larger dog is being bathed, they never seem to have a problem. Yet when it comes to bathing your big dog, it seems much easier to just take him to the local groomer instead of dealing with it yourself. 

They say knowledge is power and once you learn how to bathe your large furry friend, you may find yourself wondering why you have been wasting so much money. 

Dog's Perspective

No dog truly likes to be dirty, but most do not like the idea of being bathed. There is just something about the whole process they tend not to like. For most, it is simply that being bathed is something they are not used to. Once they have been bathed a few times and realize that not only does being bathed feel good, but it leaves them spotlessly clean and feeling fresh, they may start asking you for a bath. 

The Brush First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
It starts with a brush
Before giving your dog a bath, you need to give him a thorough brushing. This will help to remove most of the mats, lots of dirt and debris, a few bugs, and who knows what else. You may want to plug his ears with a couple of cotton balls to help keep the water out.
Step
2
Run the bath
Run a bath for your pup. Keep the water lukewarm, anything hotter can easily burn your dog's skin. Think of the temperature in terms of the water you would use to bathe a baby.
Step
3
Dog meets water
Using a calm relaxing tone, have your dog step into the water. Wet him thoroughly, and using a dog shampoo, start at your pup's neck and work your way back, lifting legs as needed and ending up at his backside. Work the shampoo thoroughly into his fir getting it all the way down to his skin.
Step
4
And time to rinse
Rinse every inch of his body thoroughly, you must not leave any shampoo residue as it could damage his skin.
Step
5
Now the face
The reason we didn't say start at your pup's head and face is that you should not wash these areas like you do the rest of his body. You should use a warm wet and soapy washcloth to wash his face and head. This lets you be far more careful and get his face nice and clean.
Step
6
Dry time
The only thing left is to decide whether you are going to let your pup air dry, towel dry him, or use a hair dryer if he will tolerate it. Voila, one big, clean dog!
Recommend grooming method?

The Safe Set Up Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Set up the tub
To bathe a large dog, you will need a brush, a rubber mat for the tub, a washcloth, and either a pitcher or a removable shower heads. Pop the mat in the tub before anything gets wet, it will help keep your pup from slipping or falling.
Step
2
Get ready
Since you are bathing a large dog, the amount of water being splashed around can be significant. You may want to put on a bathing suit or some clothes you don't mind getting soaked.
Step
3
Who let the dog in?
Well actually, you called him into the bathroom, now you need to close the door to keep him in. Plug his ears with cotton balls to keep the water out. Then tell him to get in the tub, you can use a leash and collar to help guide him in. You can also give him a treat as a reward.
Step
4
Brush time
Go over his coat with a boar's hair brush to remove mats, tangles, dirt, debris, and anything else his coat might be hanging on to.
Step
5
Shampoo time
Using a pitcher, or better yet a removable showerhead, rinse your pup down with lukewarm water from the neck down. Using a top-quality vet approved shampoo, work a generous amount into every inch of your pup's coat. Work the shampoo down to his skin and massage it in. Use a washcloth to clean his face.
Step
6
Rinse and dry
Using the pitcher or showerhead, thoroughly rinse every inch of your dog's body from tip to tail. Even though your shampoo is vet-approved, if you leave any on his skin it could cause skin irritation. Finish up by toweling your furry friend dry and brushing his coat again.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always use a rubber mat in the tub for your pup's safety.
  • Never use shampoos or soaps made for humans, they can be toxic to dogs.
  • Keep the water lukewarm. Any hotter and you could seriously burn your pup's skin.
  • If you find any large mats, you should cut them out rather than try to rip them out as this can seriously injure your pup.
  • Take your time and go at a pace that keeps your pup calm and relaxed.
  • If he gets too excited, try using treats to help him relax, along with a nice soothing voice.
  • You may find it pays to have a helper when bathing large dogs.
  • Be sure to use cotton balls in his ears, they can keep the water and shampoo out.

Conclusion

The only hard part of bathing a large dog is convincing him to get in the tub. The rest is just like bathing any other dog, just on a much larger scale. The calmer and more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your dog is likely to be. When you are all done bathing him, drying him off, and brushing him, give him lots of praise and a nice treat or two.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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