The first thing that you want to do when bathing your dog is to make them feel comfortable. You don’t want them to feel like they are in harm’s way because then they are more likely to get skittish and try to run away or become aggressive. An agitated dog is a dangerous dog.
If your children are old enough, have them help you with the dog bathing. This way the dog will be familiar with them when you are finished bathing and trimming their hair.
Fill up your tub about waist high with lukewarm water. You don’t want the water to be too hot in case the dog jumps in, otherwise you might have a painful bath as well. After you fill up your tub, add some dog shampoo to the water.
You can get either a dog specific shampoo or something that you use for yourself such as baby shampoo.
If the dog is severely matted, you may need to clip the hair before you give them a bath. Otherwise, you will be pulling out clumps of fur when you give them a bath and this will hurt their skin and will be painful for them. Use your cordless clippers to trim the hair first.
Make sure that all of the mats are gone and that you are only left with smooth hair before you proceed to bathing the dog.
Lay a thick bath towel on the edge of your bathtub and then help the dog into the tub. Make sure that their head is above water at all times. Use your shower massage head to direct the water at the dog’s skin to help soothe any discomfort that they may have.
After about five minutes, use your dog shampoo and massage it into their skin. Be thorough with this since you want to make sure you remove all dirt and oil from their coat.
After you have fully lathered them up, use the shower massage head to rinse all of the suds off. You may need to repeat this process a few times before all of the suds are gone. Be sure that you are rinsing thoroughly any area that there may be any dandruff because this can cause skin irritations as well.
Once you are done rinsing, turn off your water and lift the dog out of the tub. Wrap them in a thick bath towel and offer them some praise for being so good during their bath.
If you find that there are still parts of their coat that are matted, you will want to trim those away since you won’t be able to effectively get the mats out during their bath.
After you give your dog a bath, you will need to brush their coat to get rid of any tangles that may be present. You want to start brushing from the head and slowly work your way towards their tail. This is important because you don’t want to pull any of their skin while you are brushing.
You can either do this step before or after you give them a bath, however, it is easier to do it after their bath since their skin won’t be quite as sensitive after you have given them a rinse with the water.
Trimming and Cut
Once you are done brushing their fur, you can start trimming away all of the excess fur that you don’t want. Be sure that you are doing this in a well-lit area because you don’t want to miss any spots. It might also be a good idea to keep any extra clippings in case you need to use them as a last resort in an emergency.
Once you have finished trimming all of the excess fur, it is time to give your dog a haircut. You can do this step with either basic human scissors or professional dog grooming shears. If you choose to use human scissors, then make sure that the blades are very sharp since you will be cutting through thick fur.
Be sure that you don’t cut too much off since you still want to make sure that your dog is protected from the cold during the winter. You can always shorten their fur later if need be.
You are now ready to begin giving your dog a bath. Follow the same instructions that we gave you in the previous section.
If you need any extra information about bathing your dog, feel free to contact your veterinarian and ask them any questions that you may have about this process.
Dog Grooming Supplies for Baths
There are several different types of supplies that you can use when you are bathing your dog. It is important to make sure that you have everything you need before you start the bath. That way, you won’t have to keep getting up to retrieve something that you need which will result in your dog becoming more stressed out.
You can find all of the supplies that you will need at most pet supply stores and many large superstores such as Walmart or Target.
There are several kinds of shampoos that you can use on your dog. Most of these shampoos are either medicated, designed to get rid of fleas, or designed to moisturize your dog’s skin. Be sure to check the labels on these shampoos to see what they are designed to do before you purchase them.
The number one rule when it comes to picking out a shampoo, always check the label to make sure that it is safe for your dog’s skin and won’t cause them to have an allergic reaction. Some dogs are allergic to certain shampoos even if their skin is typically fine with them.
Your veterinarian is always a good resource for answering any questions that you may have about your dog’s health.
Brushes and Combs
There are several different brushes and combs that you can purchase from pet supply stores. These brushes and combs come in a variety of materials such as plastic, rubber, and metal. They also come in various shapes and sizes depending on what you are planning on using them for.
You will definitely want to have a pin brush and a slicker brush on hand for regular use. These two brushes are good for getting rid of mats and knots in your dog’s fur.
You may also want to have a metal comb on hand for those times when your dog decides to roll around in the mud. It is easier to use a metal comb to quickly get rid of any knots and most dogs don’t seem to mind having one used on them.
You may also want to have a shedding blade for dogs on hand if you have a long haired dog. A shedding blade is especially helpful for dogs that shed a lot since it can help remove a lot of the loose fur.
You will need several bath towels for drying your dog once you are done with the bath. These can be regular bath towels but you can also find dog towels that have designs on them or even towels in the shape of bones.
These towels can be bought at most pet supply stores and even some large superstores such as Walmart or Target.
You will also need two large bowls for giving your dog a bath. You will need one shallow bowl for rinsing off the shampoo and one deeper bowl to put water in.
These bowls can be any size as long as they can hold water and are sturdy enough that your dog can’t knock them over. You can find bowls just about anywhere but most pet stores sell them if you prefer to buy them there.
Tying Up Your Pup
When you are bathing your dog, it is important to make sure that they are unable to run away or get away from you. The last thing you want is your puppy running down the street and getting hit by a car because this could frighten them and cause them to act skittish around humans or cars.
When giving your dog a bath, you should always keep them on a leash or tie them to something so that they are unable to run away or move around too much. You don’t ever want your dog to get loose while they are soaking wet because this can be very dangerous.
Bathing Your Dog
Now that you have all of your supplies ready, it is time to actually give your dog a bath. The best way to do this is to start at the top and work your way down. This way, any water that drips or is shaken off will fall on your dog and not on the floor.
The best place to bathe your dog is in the bathtub. If you do not have a tub specifically designed for bathing dogs, you can place some large towels in the bottom of your tub to prevent your dog from slipping. You can also dangle a washcloth over the edge of the tub so that the excess water will fall onto the towels instead of on the floor.
If you do not have a tub at all, you can easily give your dog a bath outside. Choose a spot that has some grass; this way if any water does fall off your dog, it will go right into the ground. Be sure to keep a few towels handy just in case you need to wipe up any water that is on the ground.
If you are bathing your dog inside your home, you will want to close any windows or doors that lead outside. If you have washed your dog outside and there is water on the floor, be sure to wipe it up before your dog comes inside. You wouldn’t want him tracking water through the house and having your carpet develop any mold or mustiness.
Once you have bathed your dog, be sure to dry them off completely. You can either use a hairdryer on a low setting or you can simply hand dry them by carefully rubbing them with a large, thick towel.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
You should only have to bathe your dog when they get dirty. In fact, some breeds of dogs only need to be bathed a few times a year since their coats consist of less oily fur. Breeds with short hair only need to be bathed if they get into something that they shouldn’t have and start to smell.
Be sure to pay attention to your dog and if they start to smell a little musky or if you see them rolling in something, these are signs that they need a bath. You should also take your dog in for a bath anytime you plan on showing them or plan on visiting somewhere that requires them to look their best.
If you bathe your dog too often, their skin can become more susceptible to drying out. It is best to bathe them only when you feel they really need it.
Dry Your Dogs Ears
After you have bathed your dog, be sure to dry their ears out. Dogs’ ears contain many small bones that help them to pick up sound and if water gets in their ears this could cause severe damage and even permanent hearing loss.
Be sure to wipe down inside your dog’s ears to remove any excess water. If you do this every time after a bath, your dog will be less likely to ever get an ear infection.
Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Another very important step in bathing your dog is to trim their nails. This may sound intimidating but it is actually quite simple. You can find tutorials on the internet on how to do this yourself or you can take your dog to a professional groomer.
If you are really not sure of what you are doing, it may just be better to have a professional handle this part for you.
Trimming your dog’s nails is very important because if you do not, their nails can grow in a way that they start to curve and point inwards. When this starts to happen, your dog will no longer be able to walk properly and it can also cause irreversible damage to their bones and joints.
If you are really afraid of hurting your dog, you can always take them to a professional groomer. These groomers will typically trim your dog’s nails as well as give them a bath and possibly even clip their hair. All of these grooming sessions combined typically cost less than it would for you to buy everything that you need in order for you to do it yourself.
Still not sure what to get?
A list of recommended dog grooming products has been provided for you below. Just click on the link and you will be taken to an Amazon search page where you can buy the product or anything else that you might want.
Here is the link to the Amazon search page:
Grooming Products on Amazon
If you are looking for a do-it-yourself dog bathing guide, the one that has been recommended to me the most is the one found on Amazon and is called the Doggy Daddy’s Best DIY Dog Grooming. You can find it by clicking on this link:
Doggy Daddy’s Best DIY Dog Grooming
The First Step in Bathing Your Dog
Now that you have all of your tools together and know what you will need, it is time to get started. Just like when you give your dog a bath, preparation is going to be the key.
You will want to fill up the tub with water before you begin so that it has time to warm up and also so you do not add cold water to your already filled bucket of warm water. You also do not want to overfill the tub because as your dog gets wet and starts swimming around, water is going to go everywhere and you do not want your dog swimming in dirty water.
Before your dog gets in the tub, it is a good idea to put them in their leash and harness. This may seem a bit cruel and unfair but at least you know that if your dog happens to get away from you that they are going to be disciplined enough to stay close to you and not bolt out of the bathroom when the door is open.
Once the tub is full, slowly lower yourself in while making sure that the water is not too hot or cold for your dog. If the water is too hot, your dog may not want to go in. If the water is too cold, you are going to have a very unhappy and possibly resistant dog on your hands.
As mentioned above, in order to get your dog accustomed to the sound of the running water as well as the feeling of it on their feet, begin by pouring warm water over their feet and legs. Work your way up from their feet and slowly rinse off their legs, underbelly and so forth. Always make sure that there is no detergent left on any part of their body and that all of the suds are rinsed off.
Once you have rinsed off all of these areas, you can then move on to rinsing their head, back and the rest of their body.
Once you have rinsed all of these areas, your dog should now be relatively clean and ready to get out of the tub. Due to having their harness and leash still on, it is going to be a bit more difficult for your dog to get out of the tub without getting wet. You can either choose to lift them out or they will most likely jump out on their own.
If there is any doubt in your mind that your dog may have an accident while in the tub, you can either put down some plastic underneath of throw a towel down or something similar to catch any dripping water. Once your dog is out of the tub, it is time to dry them off.
You can either begin rubbing them down with a dry towel or you can blow dry them (with the temperature set to a low setting). Just be sure that you are getting as much water off of them as you can before you begin applying any kind of product to their fur.
Once your dog is completely dry, you can then apply any kind of product that you want to their fur. If you chose to blow dry them, now is the time to brush them out.
Just like with bathing your dog, preparation and patience are going to be the key if you want this experience to go over well.
Now that you have learned how to give your dog a bath, keep in mind that there are certain instances where you will not want to do this. For instance, if your dog has irritated or damaged skin, if your dog has just come in from the cold (During winter, for example), if you feel that your dog is weak or injured in any way (Wouldn’t want to put them through any unnecessary discomfort), or if your dog is elderly and any extra weight may be too heavy of a burden.
When giving baths, it is best to give them when the dog is at their peak health and they have the energy to put up with the additional stress that will come along with this process.
Never, ever, give your dog a bath with any kind of soap or shampoo that contains the dyes yellow #1, yellow #2, red #3, or pink #4. These can lead to serious and potentially fatal side effects. Instead, only use products that are made for animals.
Although not as common in today’s society, some people still give their dog a bath using the ‘baby bath tub’. This is a plastic tub with a handle that goes along with it for easy transportation. Just be careful when lifting your dog out of it as the bottom can sometimes be slippery.
If you are going to use a baby bath tub, you probably will not need too much water or bathing supplies. Just make sure that you are extra gentle with your dog and take as much time as necessary.
Some dogs really hate the sound of running water, so if your dog seems uneasy about any of this, turn off the faucet.
When first introducing your dog to baths, it may seem like a good idea to give them a treat or two afterwards to assure them that baths aren’t all that bad. This may even work the first couple times, but doing this too often will result in your dog becoming ‘addicted’ to these treats and they will begin to expect one every time they get bathed.
This can then lead to your dog becoming manipulative and even begin refusing bathing unless they receive a treat or two afterwards.
As with most things in life, moderation is the key.
If you do decide to give your dog a treat after bathing them, make sure that it is something small and not too unhealthy.
Two good options are a slice of dry toast or biscuit and a dog treat.
When drying your dog off after the bath (whether with a towel or blow dryer), always be sure to pay extra attention to their private areas as this is a place that easily cakes mud, feces, and other undesirable substances into the fur.
If you happen to notice any ticks, remove them immediately as this is rare but it can happen.
Also be sure to dry their ears as moisture trapped in there can lead to an infection.
The steps involved in bathing and drying your dog may seem somewhat tedious at first, but just like with most things in life, practice makes perfect.
It won’t take long before you know exactly what to do and have the whole process down with ease.
Should you choose to bathe your dog in the future, try doing it at least once every few months or so.
Dogs are very clean animals and will try to keep themselves as clean as possible, so this will help cut down on general dirt and odor.
When doing this, it is best to use a rubber brush that is specifically designed for bathing as it will give a deeper clean without risking the chance of doing any harm.
One last thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t bathe your dog too often as this can dry out their skin and cause other problems. It is best to only give them a bath when they start to get really dirty or smelly.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Yorkshire Terrier by J Biniok – 2009 – books.google.com
Dogs as metaphors: Meaning transfer in a complex product set by EC Hirschman – Semiotica, 2002 – degruyter.com
Yorkshire Terriers For Dummies by T Barr, PF Veling – 2004 – books.google.com
Golden Retriever vs Labrador–Two of the Most Popular Dogs to Choose by M Story – squeaksandnibbles.com
Dogs: The Ultimate Care Guide: Good Health, Loving Care, Maximum Longevity by M Hoffman – 2000 – books.google.com
Complete Puppy & Dog Care: What every dog owner needs to know by MR Jalongo, T Astorino, N Bomboy – Early Childhood Education Journal, 2004 – Springer
The joy of breeding your own show dog by B Fogle – 2014 – books.google.com