How To Bathe Your Dog

How many times have you taken your dog for a walk to come home with it covered in mud? Dogs love to roll and get dirty, and when they do, they need a bath.

Bathing also helps to keep their skin and coat clean and healthy, and of course gets rid of any dog odour. Depending on what type of coat your dog has, bathing should be done no less than once a week - or whenever your dog finds a nice mud bath.

Some dogs love to bathe, while others will run and hide and hope you forget about it. If you start bathing them when they are a puppy, they will soon get used to it and won't be so wary of it later in life.

One tip to lure a fully grown dog to its bath if it's not happy, is to make it sit in it with no water in, and then reward them with a treat. Eventually they will feel comfortable sitting in the bath, and you can start to introduce water.

7 steps to bathing your dog

  1. Prepare the room well. Have everything you need to hand before you place your dog in the bath.
  2. Dogs can slip, so if you're using your own bath, put a non slip mat down for them to stand on.
  3. Before you start, brush their coat to remove any knots in the fur, particularly if they have a long coat. You should try not to get water in their ears, so use cotton wool to plug them.
  4. Then fully soak the dog. If you have a shower this can be a quick and easy way to bathe them, and they won't be left standing in water. The water you use shouldn't be too hot.
  5. Using a dog shampoo, lather the dog from the ears down to the tail. Make sure everywhere is covered. Never use a human shampoo as this can dry out the oils in their fur. Then rinse them off thoroughly.
  6. Your dog should be dried properly before you allow them outside. You can use a hair dryer if it doesn't upset them, but don't have it on a hot setting. You can also towel them dry.
  7. When they're clean and dry, brush their coat to get rid of any mats and to give them a nice shiny finish.

Tips to stop you having a bath too

As soon as you turn your back on a wet dog, they start to shake the water off. You don't want to end up as wet as they are so there are a couple of things you can do.

If you have a spare towel, drape that over the dog when you need to fetch the shampoo, or if you have to turn your back at all. If they do decide to shake, at least the water will be cushioned by the towel.


Another trick is to gently hold his muzzle. This stops him from shaking his head, and this prevents him from a full on body shake.

Bathing your dog regularly will protect the oils in their fur and help protect their skin from infections, but make sure they're not bathed too often. A veterinary surgeon will advise you how often you should do this to keep your dog healthy and happy.

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