How to Give a Dog a Medicated Bath

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

If your dog has skin conditions and needs a medicated bath, your veterinarian will provide the medication or his dip or you may choose a medicated soap shampoo or dip from your local pet store. Be cautious if your dog has dry, sensitive skin or if his skin is very tender to the touch. Water that is too warm will dry out his skin even more and potentially become painful for your little guy. Also, a medicated bath with hot water or excessively warm water can cause itching on skin that is already irritated. Try to make your medicated bath as quick as possible for your little guy to avoid any tension, anxiety, or added unnecessary pain. 

Depending on the medication, medicated shampoo, or dip you are using, you may have additional instructions to follow for your dog such as adding the dip to the water and allowing your dog to soak in it or adding the medicated shampoo directly to a washcloth or directly to the skin. Be sure to follow your veterinarian's directions or any instructions that come with the product to give your dog a medicated bath.

Dog's Perspective

Remember if your dog needs a medicated bath, he is in need of some tender loving care. Medicated baths are meant to provide soothing comfort and healing to your dog after surgery or because of a skin condition. However, it will take some time for this soothing comfort and healing to take place so have some patience with your dog as he's tolerating a bath while he's in discomfort or pain. 

The Tub or Sink Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Prepare
Place a towel down in the tub or sink before filling the bath with lukewarm water. This will keep your dog from slipping and falling during the bath. Fill the tub with lukewarm to warm water. You do not want your dog to be cold, but remember that water too warm could irritate his injured skin.
Step
2
Medicated shampoo
Be sure to have the medicated shampoo or medicated dip on hand and understand all the instructions before placing your dog in the bath. You should also gather anything else you may need such as a cup for rinsing and a towel for drying.
Step
3
Brush
If your dog allows, give him a gentle brushing before giving the bath. This will help with a few things. If your dog has dry skin and a dry coat, brushing can help open pores and secrete natural oils into the fur. This will provide a gentle conditioning protectant to the skin before bathing. Also, if your dog has tangles, brushing will help remove those as well.
Step
4
Place your dog in the water
Carefully place your dog in the water. Be cautious of tender or sore areas, especially if these areas are a result of an injury. Remember if the water is too warm, he may be uncomfortable.
Step
5
Medicated wash
Shampoo your dog or dip per instructions with the medicated wash or dip. Lathering will help clean your pup, but not all medicated shampoos are soapy with lather.
Step
6
Rinse
With a cup, rinse your dog with clean running water. Avoid using the bath water as it may be dirty and have the medicated wash in it. Putting this back on your dog’s skin could cause dryness and itching or irritation.
Step
7
Out of the bath
Once you are done bathing and rinsing the medicated wash off your dog, take him out of the bath and pat him dry with a towel. Avoid rubbing the skin so you do not cause irritation. Your dog might want to shake water off his skin and out of his fur before you towel dry him.
Step
8
Comb or brush
To keep your dog's fur from becoming tangled, brush or comb him after he is dry. Be careful of any wounds the medicated bath was treating and be cautious of dry, irritated skin as well.
Recommend grooming method?

The Soaking Bath Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Prep the bath
Prepare a nice warm bath for your dog. Have a towel or non-slip surface ready at the bottom of the tub so your dog stays on his feet and does not slip.
Step
2
Medicated shampoo
Pour a small amount of the medicated shampoo into your hands and lather into your dog’s skin and fur. Be sure to use what you need to create a nice lather all over your dog’s body, avoiding his eyes.
Step
3
Soak
Let the medicated shampoo sit on your dog’s fur and skin for at least ten minutes. Most flea shampoos or psoriasis shampoos need activation time to work effectively.
Step
4
Treat
Your dog might be chilly or uncomfortable in the cool air, so distract him with some conversation and some treats to pass the time.
Step
5
Rinse
Once your dog is done soaking in the medicated shampoo or dip, rinse him with warm, clean water. Be sure to get all the medicated shampoo rinsed out with clean water.
Step
6
Comb
With your dog still in the tub, comb his fur as much as you can. If you are dipping for fleas, a flea comb will help grab any fleas jumping away from the medicated shampoo. Combing your dog’s fur will also detangle and show you any bubbles left from the medicated wash. If you see lather or bubbles, keep rinsing.
Step
7
Dry
Once you are finished with the medicated bath, dry your dog with a towel. Avoid blow drying as his skin could be more irritated from the heat of the blow dryer.
Step
8
Brush or comb
When your dog is dry, brush or comb him out again. Consider giving your dog a treat at the end of his medicated bath as a reward.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always place some kind of non-slip surface in the sink or tub to keep your dog from slipping and falling.
  • Medicated baths can help with many conditions from dry, itchy skin to fleas and even for post-surgery or wound healing.
  • You can shower your dog, especially if he is a large breed, rather than giving him a bath. Just be sure to follow any directions regarding leaving the medicated shampoo on to work.
  • If your dog is feeling anxious or doesn’t like baths, be sure to have the bath ready for him so he does not need to hear the running water.
  • If your dog does not like the sound of running water or is afraid of baths, you can have a gallon sized jug filled with warm water for clean water rinsing and avoid the faucet.
  • Whether this medicated bath is for flea and tick control or skin disease or even to assist in healing a wound, be sure to follow all directions for the medicated shampoo as well as any instructions from your veterinarian.
  • Always assist your dog when getting in and out of the tub. Remember, small dogs can bathe in a sink while large dogs can shower if necessary.

Conclusion

Your pup may not be feeling the best, but take great care of him with a medicated bath. With lots of love and rest, he'll be back to his barking old self before you know it. A medicated bath can soothe irritated skin and rid his skin of nasty critters dwelling beneath. Add some TLC and he'll be barking beautiful again.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd