Dog Bathing Tips

Dog bathing can be a chore, but it's important to your dog's health that you keep him clean. Follow these tips to make giving your dog a bathe a much more enjoyable experience.

Dog Bathing Supplies

Before you even think of starting to bathe your dog, be prepared. Gather all the equipment you'll need to groom and bathe your dog and put it near the bathtub. Item's you'll need, or may need, are:

  • bath mat
  • towels
  • drain cover
  • bathing tether (if your dog won't remain still otherwise)
  • scissor (if you need to cut out any tangles and knots in your dog's fur)
  • A comb or brush
  • dog shampoo

Put the bath mat in the bottom of your tub so that your dog doesn't slip while you're bathing him. Use the drain cover in your tub drain to keep it from getting clogged with wet fur.

Brush Your Dog Before You Bathe Him

You can get a great deal of the loose fur, dirt and debris from your dog's coat if you brush him before you bathe him. Cut out any mats in your dog's fur and trim any exceptionally long areas. Be sure to trim long fur that obscures the opening of your dog's ears, since this can help to prevent ear infections.

Bathing Your Dog

If your dog is large, you may want to use a bathing tether to help keep him in the tub. Or, you can enlist an assistant to help you keep your dog in the tub.

Use warm, but not hot, water to bathe your dog. If you're using a spray hose to bathe your dog, hold it close to his skin so that the spray doesn't scare him. This also helps to ensure that water soaks through his fur to his skin. 

  1. Apply shampoo to your dog's coat once he's completely saturated.
  2. Rub the shampoo in for at least ten minutes, creating a thick lather.
  3. Make sure you get all of the shampoo rinsed off of your dog. If you leave any shampoo in his fur, it could irritate his skin.

Your dog will no doubt shake excess water out of his fur when you're done shampooing him, so you should be prepared for this. Once your dog has had his shake, absorb the rest of the water from his fur with towels. Keep your dog warm until he's dry. If your dog is comfortable with hair dryers, you may blow dry his fur.

Train Your Dog to Be Bathed

Dogs don't need to be bathed often, but every dog will need its own bathing schedule, depending on what his lifestyle is like. Allow your dog to become accustomed to being bathed by bathing him frequently when he's a puppy. If your dog becomes accustomed to being bathed when he is small, then bathing him will be a much easier process when he's older and larger. Brush your dog regularly to keep his coat clean, and bathe him when he smells or gets dirty.