Tips for making sure your dog is squeaky-clean

How to Bathe Your Dog

While some dogs don’t mind a warm, soapy bath, there are others dogs who’ll try anything to avoid being in the tub. Whichever category your dog falls into, it’s always good to know how to bathe dogs if you’re a dog owner.

Whether it’s a muddy walk or natural odour, bathing a dog is sometimes a necessity so it’s important that you know how to do it properly.

How often is bathing dogs necessary?

Unlike people, dogs don’t need daily baths. That said, bathing your dog regularly is a good idea. How often you bath your dog depends on a few factors:

- Bathing your dog monthly is sufficient for most dogs

- Dogs like dachshunds who have an oily coat may need bathing more frequently

-Short haired breeds, breeds with water-repellent coats and dogs with thick coats all do best with fewer baths

You should try to only bathe your dog when it’s really necessary or you run the risk of stripping your dog’s coat of its natural oils, something which can make your dog more likely to have irritated skin.

dog being showered

Preparing to bathe your dog

Buy dog shampoo – It’s important that you only use specially formulated dog shampoo instead of human shampoo. Ideally, you should try to find a shampoo that has a neutral PH balance. Also try to pick a shampoo that doesn’t have artificial colours or fragrances.

Choose somewhere to bathe your dog - If you have a small breed dog then you can bathe them in a sink. Larger dogs will need more space so choosing somewhere such as a shower or bathtub can work well. Make sure you provide your dog with some grip, place a towel or rubber bath mat on the bottom of the tub or sink.

Set everything up - Before even beginning the washing process, arrange everything you need neatly by the washing area. 

Not all dogs like baths. This is why it’s also a good idea to choose a location where your dog feels safe and secure.

dog shaking water off

How to bathe your dog:

Brush your dog before the bath: This is to ensure that there are no tangles or matted fur. Matted hair holds water which can leave you dog with irritated skin.

Test the water temperature: Keep the water at a warm temperature and make sure you test it before washing your dog. 

Reassure your pet: Lots of dogs don’t like baths. It's important to let them know that you’ve got their best interests at heart. Talk to them in a reassuring voice before, during and after the bath. You could also give your dog a treat afterwards.

Wash your dog’s body: Soak your dog’s body in warm water and then rub the shampoo into the body until it lathers. Do not apply shampoo to your dog’s head or face as you risk getting shampoo in your dog’s eyes.

Wash your dog’s face: If your dog’s face is also dirty then you should wipe it with a damp cloth.

Rinse your dog: It’s important to rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water. Excess soap can irritate your dog’s skin so it’s important to be rigorous.

dog being scrubbed

After bathing your dog

Dry your dog: Use a towel to dry your dog thoroughly after washing. You can also use a blow-dryer to dry your dog but make sure it’s on the coolest setting.

Reward your dog: After you’ve bathed your dog it’s important to reward them with vocal praise. It’s also a good idea to give your dog a treat too so they know you appreciated their co-operation.

dog being showered

Bathing dogs is a great way to help keep your dog’s fur clean and healthy when they’ve become particularly dirty. Some dogs will need baths more often than others – ask your vet for more advice.

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