The Complete Dog Bath Step by Step

In order to quickly give your dog a quick and efficient bath, follow this step by step guide to giving a dog bath.

When to Bathe Your Dog

It is important to realize that when you bathe your dog, you are stripping his skin of natural oils. This can result in dry, itchy skin which may lead to a skin infection, especially if he has very short hair. Dog's with long hair will require more grooming. You should not bathe your dog more than once a month, unless he really needs it.

Materials for a Dog Bath

Before you get started, it's a good idea to gather all the materials and let your dog smell them, so there are no surprises. It's also a good idea to wear old clothes. If your dog hates baths, tire him out with a walk or play before you begin. You will need:

  • Brush/Comb
  • Dog Shampoo
  • Pitcher/Cup
  • Bathmat or something he can stand on without slipping
  • Towels

The Complete Dog Bath in 6 Steps

  1. Location: Pick out the place you want to give your pet a bath. Some prefer to go outside and use the hose; others prefer a bathtub or sink in the house. Either way, it's best if you do it in a confined area. It's best to use water with a warm temperature; not too cold and not too hot.
  2. Brush Your Dog: Believe it or not, this is one of the most important steps to bathing your dog. If you brush and comb your dog before you bathe him, you remove all the tangles and mats in the fur. These are more difficult to painlessly remove when wet.
  3. Wet Dog: Wet your dog from his neck to his tail. Do not wet his face and head until you are done lathering the entire body. Massage the soap in, don't scrub if your dog has long hair. Scrubbing will cause tangles. And even if the bottle of dog shampoo says shampoo twice, don't. One wash is enough and a second wash will dry out his skin.
  4. The Face: Once you are done lathering the body, you will have to wash your dog's face. Be careful not to get any shampoo, even if it's tearless, in his eyes, mouth and ears. Some people use cotton balls placed in the ears to prevent water from getting into the ear cannel. If you do this, it's still important not to get the cotton wet because it will draw in water like a sponge, and you can't put the ball too deep into the ear or it could cause damage.
  5. Rinse: First, completely rinse all the shampoo from the dog's face. Be careful not to get water in his ears or suds in his eyes. Then rinse the soap from the rest of his body, running your hands over him to check for slippery spots you missed. If soap is left on your dog's skin, it will cause dryness and therefore, irritation.
  6. Dry: If you used cotton balls, remove them and towel-dry your dog. If he has low fur, pat him dry instead of vigorous rubbing. You can also use a blow dryer, but use it on a comfortable temperature setting and don't hold it too near his skin.