Does your pup smell? Or maybe they caught a scent in the bushes and are now dirty? Or are they due for a routine cleaning? You can bathe your pup at home. Learn how to give a dog a bath here.
Supplies You’ll Need For The Bath
First, let’s discuss the items you’ll need for your pup’s bath time. Of course, you’ll need similar items for your dog to bathe that you’d typically use in your shower. However, do not use human bathing supplies on your dog.
The shampoo you use will not be safe for your pup. It may have fragrances and other unique ingredients that aren’t healthy for your dog’s skin and coat.
You can buy dog-friendly shampoo at your local pet store or anywhere you can obtain pet supplies.
Many types of dog shampoo are on the market, so you’ll want to buy the right one for your doggo.
For instance, some shampoos are formulated for puppies, anti-itch, sensitive skin, shining coats, oatmeal shampoos, and more.
Do you need to use conditioner? Not necessarily, but it does help keep your dog’s coat soft and shiny.
In addition, dogs that have an undercoat will benefit from using conditioner on their coat. Undercoats are more prone to getting tangles; a good conditioner will help prevent that.
Similar to shampoo, you’ll need to buy a dog-safe conditioner. When you buy shampoo, the same type of conditioner will be near it.
Depending on your dog’s size, you may need a lot of towels. You can use the same towels you use after your shower (as long as they’re clean) or buy towels specifically for your furry friend.
Most towels you can buy for your pup are microfiber. Get something soft and cozy to soothe your pup afterward, especially if they’re not a fan of bathtime.
You should brush their coat when your dog is done with their tubby time and they’re dried off. This will help prevent any tangles forming in their fur from being wet.
Your dog will most likely shake the water off their coat and rub itself on the floor or furniture to dry off. Unfortunately, when doing this, their coat can get messy.
The brush or comb you buy will depend on your dog’s coat length and type. For instance, there are many types of brushes, such as:
- Bristle Brush
- Brush and Comb combo
- Deshedding Blade
- Deshedding Tool
- Metal Comb
- Rubber Curry Comb
- Slicker Brush
- Wire Brush
- And more
Other Supplies You May Need
The items listed above are the bare minimum that you need. However, there are many other items you can have if you want.
Depending on your dog’s size, you can bathe them in the same tub you shower in. However, it’s possible to give your doggo their own grooming space, including their tub.
If you have a smaller dog, you can buy a plastic tub you would use for a human baby. Or you can put them in a clawfoot bathtub if you have the space.
Alternatively, if you have a large dog breed, you can easily bathe them in a kiddie pool.
If you bathe them outside, ensure it’s a warm, sunny day. Never bathe your dog outside in cold or rainy weather.
Detachable Shower Hose
You can get a separate shower attachment for your shower (or the tub you use to bathe your doggo) specifically for them. Having a shower head that’s flexible and easy to manipulate will make rinsing off a cinch.
No matter where you bathe your pup, having a bath mat is ideal to ensure your pup doesn’t slip and fall in the tub.
Yes, they make hair dryers for pets. However, if a towel isn’t enough or you want to dry your pup off quicker, you can use a small hand dryer to speed up the process.
After a bath is an ideal time to trim your dog’s nails with nail clippers. It can easily be added as part of the bathing routine, especially if your doggo isn’t a fan of trimming their nails.
Ear, Eye, And Skin Care
When bathing your pup, it is time to give your dog an excellent look-over to ensure they’re healthy. For example, if rolling around in the bushes earlier, check their skin and coat to ensure they didn’t cut themselves on a thorn.
You should also clean their ears and wipe their eyes. Some dogs are more prone to getting dirty ears and ear infections. For example, dogs with floppy ears, such as Cocker Spaniels or Beagles, especially have these issues.
Ensuring their ears, eyes, and skin is clean and healthy should be part of the cleaning routine.
Whether your doggo enjoys bathtime or not, giving them a treat or two at the end of the routine is always a good idea. Reward them for their good behavior (or for getting through the routine).
Preparing For The Bath
When it comes to bathing your doggo, it’s all about preparation. If you’re not prepared, then neither will your pup.
First, you’ll need to train your dog to get used to the bathtub. Some dogs stress out with water. Others may stress out by being in the bathroom.
Before bathing them, allow your dog to get used to the bathroom and the tub. Let them hop in and out of the tub, sniff, and explore.
When they’re used to that, turn the water on and off in the tub. Let them get used to the sounds of the water. Show them it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Over time, your doggo will learn that the baths are nothing to be afraid of.
Once you can easily get them in and out of the bathroom, you’ll only need to worry about preparing for the bath.
First, gather all supplies. Put the shampoo and conditioner on the side of the tub. Next, take out the nail clippers and brushes. Also, get clean towels ready. Lay one on the floor to keep the floor dry, and two folded to the side.
You can also have treats on hand if your dog needs some coaxing through the process.
In addition, you fill the tub with a few inches of warm water. If you made it too hot, give it time to cool off before getting your dog.
When the supplies are laid out, and the tub is filled with warm water, then all you need is your pup.
How To Give A Dog A Bath
Bathing your dog is simple. Once your dog is used to the process, it’ll be a fun bonding time for both of you.
Step One: Wear Out Your Dog
Before giving a bath, play with your dog. If baths make them nervous, this is a great way to expel most of their energy before the process. In addition, it’ll make bathtime easier for both of you.
Step Two: Gather All The Supplies
As mentioned above, ensure you have all your supplies out and ready for your pup. You don’t want to keep them in the tub longer than they need, especially if they don’t like the water.
Step Three: Brush Your Dog
If your pup’s coat is a bit tangled or not, that’s okay. Give them a quick brush. This will smooth out their fur enough for you to easily shampoo and conditioner their wet coat.
Step Four: Put Your Dog In The Tub
Now the bath officially begins. Once your pup is in the tub, wet your dog thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Once they’re wet enough, you can begin applying the shampoo. Ensure you get their entire body (back, belly, and sides), tail, legs, paws, and head. Use a washcloth to get their face and around their ears and ears.
Step Five: Rinse And Repeat
Once your pup is sudsy from the shampoo, it’s time to rinse them off. Again, rinse with lukewarm water, and get all the shampoo suds out.
Once they’re rinsed off, you can repeat the process with conditioner. First, lather the conditioner into their coat (if needed) and then rinse them off thoroughly.
Step Six: Dry Off Your Dog
Finally, it’s time to dry off your pup. Wrap your doggo in a towel to dry them off. You can also let them shake off their coat in the middle of the bathroom.
Alternatively, if you have a pet hand dryer, you can use that to help them dry off quicker.
Step Seven: Brush Again
Now that their coat is damp and has been ruffled, you’ll want to brush them once again. It’ll help keep their coat looking nice and free of tangles as it fully dries.
Also, you can trim their nail, clean their ears, and check their eyes during this time.
Step Eight: Treats And Cuddle Time!
Whenever all is said and done, give your dog plenty of praise and treats for a job well done. Then, you can cuddle with them on the couch for the rest of the night.
Question Corner: FAQs About How To Give A Dog A Bath
If you have more questions about how to bathe a dog, then take a look at the frequently asked questions answered below.
How Often Should You Give A Dog A Bath?
The answer depends on your dog’s breed and your environment. For example, if they typically have an odor or enjoy swimming or rolling around in the mud, you’ll want to bathe them more often. On the other hand, dogs with oily coats (such as Basset Hounds) or wrinkly faces (such as Bulldogs) need more frequent cleaning.
Where Should I Give A Dog A Bath?
Where ever you can. You can have a separate tub for your pup or use your bathroom. Depending on your doggo’s size, you can bathe them in the kitchen sink or use a kiddie pool outside on a warm, sunny day.
Can You Give A Dog A Bath Using Human Shampoo?
No, human shampoo is not pet-friendly. It has chemicals and other ingredients that aren’t safe for your dog’s skin or skin. Always buy a dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner.
Can You Give A Dog A Bath Using Dawn Dish Soap?
While this method can be okay to use in special circumstances (with your vet’s permission), it’s not safe to use as regular shampoo.
Do You Give A Dog A Bath Before Grooming?
Yes, you can. Similarly to how you would get your hair cut, you should wash your dog’s coat before clipping them. Let them dry completely before beginning the cutting process.
When Should I Bring My Dog To The Groomers?
You don’t need to bathe your pup at home. Instead, you can bring them to the grooming salon once every few months, or however often they suggest. If you have a nervous doggo, sometimes it’s easier to leave the bathing to the professionals.
Does Giving A Dog A Bath Help With Shedding?
Yes, bathing and brushing can help keep shedding under control. In addition, some shampoos are formulated to help deshedding.
Does Giving A Dog A Bath Help With Allergies?
Yes, it can. Bathing helps get rid of dead skin (or dander). Therefore, it can reduce your allergies quite a bit.
Does Giving A Dog A Bath Get Rid Of Fleas?
Giving your pup a bath in lukewarm water is a great way to eliminate fleas. You can also get specially formulated shampoo to help kill fleas.
Does Giving A Dog A Bath Get Rid Of Ticks?
A great way to get rid of ticks is to bathe your pup and use a special shampoo made to kill ticks. You can use this shampoo during peak tick season to help prevent your pup from getting ticks.
Does Giving A Dog A Bath Cool Them Down?
You can cool them down in the tub whether your pup is due for a bath or not. On a warm day, you can still let them soak in lukewarm water to regulate their body temperature.
Do You Bathe Your Dog At Home?
Bathing your dog home is a great way to bond with your canine companion. Plus, it’s less stressful since they don’t need to go to the groomer too often.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.