Is your idea of giving a dog a bath taking them out in your backyard and spraying them down with a garden hose? If so, you should rethink your approach and find the best way to give a dog a bath.
Using a garden hose to rinse your dog off every so often won’t be the end of the world. But it’s not going to get your dog as clean as they can be—and it could potentially put them into harm’s way if this is the only way you bathe them.
Learning how to give your dog a bath the right way will make bath time more enjoyable for both you and your dog. It’ll also keep your dog looking and feeling its best at all times.
Want to find out how to give a dog a bath properly? Here is a step-by-step guide to giving your dog a bath at home.
Begin by Tracking Down a Tub for Your Dog
Before you can begin figuring out how to give your dog a bath, you should decide what you’re going to give them a bath in.
If your dog is on the smaller side, you might be able to get away with bathing them in a sink. If they’re larger, you might want to throw them into the same bathtub that you use.
But you might also want to consider investing in a tub that’s specifically for giving your dog a dog bath at home. This will ensure that the tub you use is the right size for them. It’ll keep your dog comfortable while you’re bathing them.
Gather All the Other Necessary Supplies for Giving a Dog a Bath
A tub is obviously the most important thing that you’ll need when giving your dog a bath. But it’s not the only thing you’ll need to get the job done.
There are lots of other supplies that you’ll want to have on hand while bathing your dog. These supplies include:
- Dog shampoo
- Dog conditioner
You might also want to keep a stack of treats nearby, just in case your dog gets scared while you’re washing them. You can use them to calm your dog down and to get them to relax for you.
Use Lukewarm Water to Soak Your Dog’s Coat
After you have everything that you’ll need to give your dog a bath, it’ll be time to get the show on the road. You should plug your dog’s ears with some cotton balls so that they don’t get water in them and then turn the water on.
The water that you use to bathe your dog should be lukewarm. You want it warm enough to keep your dog comfy but not so warm that it could put your dog at risk for burns.
Once you find the right temperature for your dog’s bath, you can go ahead and soak their coat so that every square inch of them is wet. Take your time while you do this and help your dog to get into a nice, relaxed mood.
Lather Up Your Dog’s Shampoo and Apply It to Their Coat
At this point, your dog’s coat should be soaking wet and ready for you to begin applying shampoo. It’s very important for you to have the right shampoo on hand.
Ideally, the shampoo that you choose for your dog should be designed to soothe their skin and prevent itching and scratching. This great product is a good example of what we’re talking about.
You should lather it up real good and apply it to your dog’s coat. It’s better to use too much shampoo on your dog and have some of it wash away than to not use enough and rob their coat and skin of it.
Wash Your Dog’s Face Separately With a Washcloth
You’re going to want to apply shampoo to almost every part of your dog. The only part that you should skip at first is their face.
If you put shampoo on your dog’s face, there’s a good chance that some of it is going to drip down into their eyes. This can cause irritation and ruin the rest of their bath for them. It can also cause a dog eye infection to set in.
To avoid having these things happen, wash your dog’s face separately with a washcloth so that you can steer clear of getting any soap in their eyes. Be gentle while you’re using a washcloth since not all dogs will appreciate you rubbing their faces with it.
Rinse the Shampoo From Your Dog’s Coat
It’s great to cover your dog in shampoo from head to toe at the start of their bath. But you don’t want to send them out into the world with any shampoo still on them.
It’s why you need to make sure that you rinse your dog’s coat thoroughly after you’re done shampooing them. You should spend at least a few minutes spraying your dog with lukewarm water until every last drop of shampoo has been removed from their coat.
If you leave any shampoo behind, it could attract a lot of dirt once your dog starts walking around again. This dirt can cause irritation to occur and make life hellish for your dog.
Use your fingers to get into every crevice of your dog’s coat to make sure there isn’t any shampoo left behind on them.
Follow Your Dog’s Shampoo Up With Conditioner
After you’ve removed all the shampoo from your dog’s coat, you might think that bathtime is over. But far from it! There is still conditioning to do to make your dog’s coat silky smooth.
Outside of using a specially formulated dog shampoo on your dog, you should also buy high-quality conditioner to use on their coat. It’ll work to prevent tangles from developing, and it’ll also stop your dog’s coat from getting too dry.
You should apply conditioner to your dog’s coat much in the same way that you would apply shampoo to it. You want to cover your dog’s coat with it with more than enough conditioner to go around.
Rinse the Conditioner From Your Dog’s Coat
Just like with the shampoo earlier, you should rinse the conditioner from your dog’s coat after it’s sat in their coat for a few minutes. Leftover conditioner in your dog’s coat could be even worse for them than leftover shampoo.
Turn the water back on in your dog’s tub and use it to rinse them down until there is no conditioner left. Conditioner can be tricky to wash out of a dog’s coat, so it’s important for you to be diligent about what you’re doing.
You might need to rinse your dog’s coat two or three times to get all the conditioner out. Whatever you do, you don’t want to cut corners with this particular part of the process and let conditioner linger.
Dry Your Dog Off With Towels as Best You Can
Once you’ve removed all the conditioner from your dog’s coat, shut the water off and fetch a bunch of towels to dry your dog.
Do this fast to stop your dog from shaking in an effort to dry themselves off. Some dogs will do this almost right away and leave you soaking wet when they do it.
Your goal should be to use multiple towels to get your dog as dry as you can. It’s going to prove to be almost impossible to get them 100% dry. But you should be able to get them about 90% of the way there.
Consider Finishing Your Dog’s Bath Off by Blowdrying Them
Most dogs aren’t big fans of loud noises. From vacuum cleaners to fireworks, they freak out at the first sign of loud sounds in their homes.
With this in mind, your dog might not allow you to get anywhere close to them with a blowdryer. Some dogs will lose their minds the second that their owners turn on blowdryers.
But if your dog doesn’t mind the blowdryer, you might want to blowdry them and then comb and style their coats the way you want them. This will finish off their post-bath look and put them in the best light possible.
Knowing How to Give Your Dog a Bath Will Keep Them Happy and Healthy
You might think that you know how to give your dog a bath. How hard could it be, right?
But as you’ve just seen, there are quite a few steps that go into giving a dog a bath. You’ll need to do everything from choosing the right size tub for them to picking out the best shampoo.
If you find yourself asking, “How do you give a dog a bath?”, keep the steps we just mentioned in mind. They’ll help you bathe your dog properly from now on.
Want to get more advice on giving your dog the TLC it needs? Check out the other dog-related content on our blog.