A dog bath should be a part of your dog’s regular grooming routine but you need to make sure you don’t do it too often.
* On average a dog should only need to bath once or maybe twice a month**
* Putting your dog in a bath too often will dry out your dog’s skin.
* Strong dog odor is a sure sign that your dog needs a good cleaning or when his coat becomes greasy.
* Never use human shampoo on your dog as it will irritate his skin by drying it out. Human shampoo contains sulphate which removes the oils from our hair but dogs need the oils to keep their skin and coat healthy.
* There are special dog shampoos you should use that will not irritate your dog’s skin… see my Dog Shampoo page for information on “How To Choose A Dog Shampoo” and the types available.
1. Dog Bath Tub (if you are using a dog bath tub instead of the family tub or household sink)
2. A bucket or container for rinsing your dog
3. Dog Grooming Shampoo and conditioner (if you choose to use conditioner)
4. Cotton balls (to put in your dog’s ears to prevent water from going in and possibly causing an ear infection). This is optional as you can just make sure not to pour or spray water into the ears.
5. Towels or Pet Dry Towels (which absorb 10 times their weight in water)
6. Blow dryer or pet dryer (if you are using a blow dryer then make sure not to burn your dog with too much heat or holding it too close or for too long in one spot...it is better to use the Cool setting the whole time)
7. Dog Brushes and/or Dog comb (to brush/comb out your dog’s coat before and after the bath)
8. Drain screen (to catch any dog hair before it goes down the drain in your bath tub or sink)
1. Be sure to brush out your dog’s coat before starting a bath to get out any tangles and to remove any loose hair or debris.
2. Place a rubber mat or towel on the bottom of the tub so your dog is not slipping around which will make him feel more comfortable and secure.
3. Make sure you have all your supplies on hand before starting the bath.
4. Put a few inches of warm water into the tub.
5. Then get your dog into the tub and using a container or sprayer soak your dog thoroughly with warm water starting at the head and working towards the tail (never spray the water directly into your dog’s face or ears).
6. Next work the shampoo into your dog’s coat, again, working from head to tail. Try to avoid getting shampoo in your dog’s eyes and ears and make sure to work the shampoo it into all areas.
7. Next you need to thoroughly rinse your dog’s coat with warm water. Make sure to get it all out as shampoo residue can cause skin irritation and itchiness.
8. You may also choose to use a conditioner which helps to prevent tangles, especially useful for dogs with long coats or helpful if your dog has dry skin.
9. Towel drying your dog before even getting him out of the tub will help remove excess water. (Pet Drying Towels can absorb 10 times their weight in water and work really well.)
10. You can use a blow dryer or pet dryer on your dog’s coat which is especially helpful if your dog’s coat is thick. Start with the thickest areas first and run your fingers through it as you dry until it is damp. DO NOT dry on a hot setting as this will burn your dog's skin.
11. Be sure to give your dog a treat as a reward after the bath is complete for a job well done! ***
1. If you are giving your dog a bath in your bathroom or other room with a door then make sure to keep the door shut in case he tries to escape and also to keep the room warmer.
2. If you have a large dog it may work better to have him in the shower or a large dog bath tub instead of the family tub.
3. Avoid getting shampoo in your dog's eyes as this can irritate his eyes.
4. Some dogs easily get ear infections so try to avoid getting water in the ears or as mentioned above you can put cotton balls in the ears to avoid getting any water in them but don't push them too far in.
5. Brush your dog often between baths to distribute the natural oils to keep his skin and coat healthy and to keep matted areas from forming.
**Another option to consider is dog bath tubs that make giving your dog a bath much more comfortable for you and your dog. See my Dog Bath Tubs page for more information.**
There are also a variety of dog washing supplies available in your local pet care supplies store such as:
* a dog washing glove
* coat detangler spray
* leave – in conditioner
* dog tear stains removal products
A dog bath can be a bonding opportunity for you and your dog so try to make it an enjoyable experience. Try to start this routine when your dog is a puppy. Be gentle, try massaging your dog while washing and talk soothingly to help your dog relax. The more your dog enjoys his bath the easier it will be on you!