Dog Adoption, Dog Grooming, Dog Health, Dogs

All You Need to Know About Bathing A Dog


Bathing plays a vital role in the health of your dog’s skin and skin. Cleaning your dog keeps it free from dirt and parasites. Today, veterinary dermatologists recommend bathing your dog once a week. Forget the old idea that bathing removes the oils from the coat and should be done every six months or even less.

Recent research done by veterinaries shows that there are many benefits of bathing dogs weekly, including reducing itching and scratching, treating skin infections and reducing allergies. Plus, you really do not want to share a bed with a stinky dirty dog. In this article, we will discuss all there is to know about bathing a dog.


5 Signs Your Dog Needs a Bath

Try to decide when and how to wash a dog is usually very difficult. This because the dog’s bathing frequency depends on many factors. Some of these factors include:

  • The dog’s age
  • The amount of time spent outdoors
  • Breed of the dog
  • Existing medical conditions and many more.

The fact is that how and when to bathe your dog changes over time. Here are some of the vital signs that may indicate your dog needs a bath.


1. The Dog Has Lice Mites or Fleas

Shampooing is undoubtedly one of the best ways you can get rid of external parasites. It is crucial that you work with your vet and get the right diagnosis and corresponding treatment. Be sure to choose the right shampoo for your dog. For example, if your dog gets an unpleasant doggy odor after three weeks of bathing, then select an appropriate shampoo and have it on hand for when you need it.


2. The Dog Has Allergies

Bathing a dog with itchy skin from allergies not only helps to reduce the itching but also soothes it. It is recommendable you use mild hydrocortisone or hypoallergenic shampoo when cleaning a dog with itchy skin.


3. The Dog Has Dandruff

Dandruff can be caused by oily skin or irritated dry skin. However, all of these conditions can be solved by using an appropriate shampoo and good bathing. Contact your veterinarian to establish the cause of your dog’s skin condition and then select the right shampoo.


4. Doggy Odor

A doggy smell on the dog’s coat can be due to the anal glands, feet, mouth or ears. If the odor is emanating from the skin, chances are that your dog is suffering from a skin disease, such as a yeast infection. Contact your veterinarian if your dog has more than a “doggy” smell. For dogs with a pure doggy smell, use a general shampoo.


5. The Dog Rolled in Something and Smells

This is one of the primary reasons why most dogs are bathed. If your dog has a habit of seeking out something smelly and rolling in it, then they will undoubtedly need a bath. Consider using strong shampoos and consider washing your dog twice.


What Type of Shampoo to Use

Once you determine that your dog needs a bath, you need to choose the right shampoo. Your local veterinarian can help you select the shampoo that is suitable for your pet dog. Note that you should only use shampoos that are specifically designed for dogs. This is because dogs have sensitive skin and their skin pH is different from that of humans. Thus, you should not use human shampoo products on dogs.

Gentle, hypoallergenic shampoos are ideal for dogs with healthy skin and coat. If your dog has a skin condition, contact your local vet on the best shampoo product that can help you manage or treat the specific skin condition. Similarly, you can apply hypoallergenic conditioners after shampooing to keep the skin fresh.

If you are not sure about a given shampoo product, apply a small amount of the product on the dog to ensure there is no irritation or reaction. If the dog seems irritated at all, contact your vet and try a different product that does not cause irritation.

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Where to Bathe Your Dog

Where to bathe your dog varies depending on your individual circumstances. Some of the common places you can bathe your dog include:


Dog Tub or Bathtub

Some dogs will enjoy being in a dog tub or bathtub more than others. Check your dog to see if they are upset, and try another option. If you are using a bathtub, supervise your dog and be present with them. Allow water to run down the drain to prevent from filling up the table. This is crucial for safety reason as the dog can drown.

Test the water temperature to ensure it is not too hot or too cold so that your dog is comfortable. Besides, ensure you use low flow and light water pressure only. To prevent slipping or injuries, consider applying a non-slip mat to the floor of the tub. This also helps the dog to feel more comfortable.



For some dogs, it can be easy to bathe them outside in the backyard on the ground. This is a good option for dogs that keep jumping out of the tub. It is recommendable that you use a garden set on low pressure.
More importantly, ensure you test the temperature of the hose water, especially in the hot summer months, as the water can be very hot at first. That means you will need to wait until it cools down before using it. If the weather is cool, be sure to use buckets filled with comfortable, warm water rather than the cold hose water.


Professional Dog Bathing Service

If you need assistance bathing your dog, contact your veterinarian. Most vets will be willing to provide professional bathing and grooming services at an affordable price.


How to Bathe Your Dog

Giving your dog a bath is one the best to keep it smelling and looking good. Long-haired dogs are more likely from a thorough cleaning at least once a week. Here are valuable tips on how to bathe your dog.


Tip 1: Get the Right Shampoo

Follow the steps we discussed above to get the right shampoo. While shopping for your dog’s shampoo, get a bath tool too. Bath tools remove loose fur to reduce shedding. They help to give your dog a relaxing massage and ensure the shampoo gets deep into the coat.


Tip 2: Stop Wet Ears and Tears

Enquire from your vet about some bland eye ointment and let them show you how to apply it. In each of your dog’s ear canal, put a small piece of cotton to prevent water from getting inside. Remember to take out the cotton after the bath.


Tip 3: Brush Up

Before giving your dog a bath, consider brushing and combing its coat. This helps to remove any loose hairs that could block your drains.


Tip 4: Use the Right Tub

Always use a dog tub that is large enough for your dog and has a solid footing. Avoid squeezing your Labrador in the kitchen sink. Make sure there is a rubber mat on the bottom of your tub to prevent your dog from slipping and becoming fearful. More importantly, consider putting a piece of steel wool in the drain to catch the dog hair and prevent it from blocking your drains.


Tip 5: Wet and Wash Your Dog

Avoid wrestling with your dog to give a bath. Acclimate your dog or puppy gradually to the bath concept by placing it in the tub when it is dry and then give it the treat to calm it down. Repeat the process several times until the dog is entirely comfortable standing or sitting in the tub.

Start adding little warm water to the bottom of the tub. Reward your dog if your dog stays calm. Remember you want bath time to become fun for your dog. Thus, remain patient at all times.

Wet your dog entirely down to the skin. Start cleaning your dog at the neck and work your way down to the body, nails, and toes. Put a sudsy barrier at the base of the skull to prevent any heinous hitchhikers, ticks, and fleas from running for the hill. Praise your dog for remaining calm.

When cleaning the tail, open the dog’s anal glands. These little organs are what the dogs use to mark its territory. After you are done with the cleaning, rinse away the shampoo and then apply a dog’s conditioner. Dogs with a short-haired coat may not require a conditioner.

Dog conditioners help to keep the coat moisturized as well as prevent future tangles. Avoid using conditioners or shampoos designed for humans. After applying the conditioner to the entire coat, rinse again and again to remove any traces of the conditioner or shampoo before drying your dog.
Removing all the soap and flushing the skin and coat with fresh water minimizes flaking and helps to keep your dog cleaner for longer.


Tip 6: Dry Time

After rinsing your dog, remove it from the tub and rub it down with a dry towel. You can also use a blow dryer specially made for dogs provided it does not frighten your dog.


Tip 7: Wait for the Shake

Regardless of how much you dry your dog, it will still want to roll on the carpet to dry itself. Therefore, make sure your dog or puppy is in a place where you won’t mind a little moisture on the rugs or wall if it decides to shake away excess moisture.


Tip 8: Keep Your Dog Indoors

Do not allow your dog to go outside for several hours after a bath. Otherwise, you run the risk of it rolling in the dirt and grass to dry off. This will basically ruin your hard work. Also, if it is too cold, you want to prevent your puppy or dog from getting chilled.

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Tip 9: Brush Your Dog When Dry

Do not brush your dog’s coat until it is completely dry. Wet brushing or combing your dog, the dot feel very painful.


Tip 10: Reward Your Dog

Follow up with abundant praise, play, and petting. Dogs love to vent their frustration over bathing time by playing bath towels or just running away with it.


5 Mistakes to Avoid when Bathing Your Dog


1. Dry Your Pet Improperly

Drying off your dog is one of the most critical steps of giving a bath. Failure to dry off your dog correctly causes discomfort and chills. During the cold months, chills can make your dog fall ill. The best way to dry your dog without scaring it with the blow dryer is to use a towel.


2. Yelling or Pushing Your Dog during Bath Time

When bathing your dog, you should not yell at or punish it. While an uncooperative dog can be frustrating to handle, pushing or yelling at your dog will only make it hate bath time. This will make it even more difficult for it to cooperate during the next bath.
Rather than punishing it, consider using positive reinforcement to praise your dog when it cooperates during bath time. Keep the rewards handy to let it know that its behavior is acceptable.


3. Wrong Application of Soap

Applying the soap to skin and coat, and then allow it to soak for a few minutes will not remove the oil and dirt. You have to knead the soap on your dog’s fur with your hands and fingers for about five minutes. Use a washcloth, shampoo, and your finger to clean the outer part of the ears. Tilt the dog’s head before rinsing it to prevent water from entering the ear canal.


4. The spray is Too Rough

It is recommendable to use a hand-held nozzle or spray in a tub or sink to bathe your dog. Always spray directly on the fur as the high water pressure and noise of the running water can scare and upset the dog.


5. Wrong Water Temperature

One mistake pet owners make to bathe their dog in water that is too cold or too hot. The bath water should be lukewarm to avoid creating a negative stimulus that can make the dog resist taking a bath.


Bathing and grooming your dog is a necessity. It not only helps to keep your dog’s coat healthy but also reduces allergies and odds of getting infections from dirt and germs. While you may resist the idea of a bath, as a pet owner you should make as positive and stress-free as possible for your dog.

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