Everything You Should Know About Bathing Your Dog

By: Nelson Ansah

Dogs are great companions; they’re cute, hang around you a lot, always seek your attention, and are mischievous every now and then. They’re essentially the perfect friend to have.

That’s before they come running back all muddy and stinky from playing in the dirt. You either have to get them clean or live with the stench. But that’s just dogs. Plus, regularly bathing your dog is part of being a dog owner.

Sadly, bathing your dog is no easy task. Why? Dogs don’t care about the dirt. It’s almost as if they enjoy it, so they give you a hard time when you want to get them clean.

Luckily for you and your dog, there’s a workaround. In this article, we’ll answer some dire questions about bathing your dog and provide tips on the best way to give your dog a bath. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Should I Bath My Dog?

The answer here is a big yes. Bathing your dog regularly helps keep its fur clean and free of odor. But there’s more.

Bathing your dog helps maintain its lustrous coat and oust loose hair from its fur. It’s also an excellent opportunity to check for parasites, lumps, and irritation on their skins.

Your vet may even recommend a bath for your dog if they have certain skin ailments. It’s usually a part of dog treatment plans.

Can I Give My Dog a Bath Anywhere?

There’s no fast rule on where to bathe your dog. It all depends on your home and your dog’s size.

If you own a large dog, or even a medium-sized one, your best bet is to have the bath outdoors. This option also applies to dogs who hardly stay in the tub.

Most dog owners who wash their dogs outside use a garden hose for the job. If you’re going with the hose too, it’s advisable to keep the pressure low. Also, check the water temperature from the hose before using it. You don’t want the water too hot or too cold.

Additionally, you can bathe your dog in an indoor dog tub, a bathtub, or a kitchen sink. However, make sure the water drains out and isn’t clogged. This prevents your dog from drowning in the bath.

If you need help bathing your dog, you can contact your vet or check out dog bathing stations too.

How to Give Your Dog a Bath

We’ve seen the how and the where of giving your dog a bath. Let’s dive into the how. Here are seven steps to giving your dog a good refreshing bath.

1.   Collect Your Supplies

First off, you need to gather some supplies for your bath. A few of these supplies include:

  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog conditioner
  • Brush
  • Cotton balls
  • Brine (salt solution)
  • Towels
  • Pitcher
  • Dog treats

Although there are more supplies you can add up, these are the most essential ones. However, there’s no problem with upping the ante here.

2.   Do Some Brushing

If your dog’s fur is long or even medium, you’ve most likely come across mats and tangles. Mats and tangles only get worse when your dog gets wet. That’s why it’s recommended to brush your dog’s fur before baths.

Brushing your dog’s fur also removes thick dirt and loose hair from it. You can find the best hair brushes for your dog here. Remember to brush your dog slowly so you don’t hurt it.

3.   Secure Your Dog and Use Cotton Balls

If it comes down to wrestling you or taking a bath, your dog is probably going to wrestle you. You’ll have to secure your dog in order to give it a thorough bath. You can do this with a grooming loop.

After you’ve tied your dog down, insert the cotton balls into its ears. Cotton balls prevent water from entering your dog’s ear and consequently prevent an ear infection. You’ll be shocked to learn that the majority of dog ear infections stem from water entering the ear canal.

4.   Get Your Dog Wet

Start by wetting your dog from the rear and working your way up. This technique saves its head for last. This way, you don’t get soap in your dog’s eyes. You’ll also find that your dog hates getting its face wet.

5.   Apply Shampoo

You need to begin working from the rear as well. But before you do that, ensure that the shampoo you’re using is safe for your dog.

Target the dirtiest spots on your dog, like the feet and undercoat. You need to avoid getting shampoo on your dog’s face as much as you can. Use face wipes rather than shampoo for the face; they’re safer and easier to use.

6.   Rinse Thoroughly

If you think you’ve gotten every part, the next step is to rinse your dog. You’ll have to rinse your dog several times thoroughly, as dog fur can easily hide lather or soap.

The pockets of lather left hiding in your dog’s fur can cause skin irritation or skin ailments. It’s better to get it right in the bathtub than to rush to the vet.

To add to that, use your fingers to ensure you’re doing a good job. It’s the best way to reach spots that are hard to see.

7.   Dry Your Dog

Dogs generally shake off moisture from their fur, but they can’t get it all off. You’ll need some absorbent towels to dry your dog thoroughly. Wipe your dog with the towels and allow it to air dry.

Additionally, you can use a dog blow dryer like the velocity dryer to dry your dog and blow off any loose hair hanging around. Remember to put some distance between the dryer and your dog.

You can reward your dog with some treats after your bath. This tells them bathing is good for them, and if for nothing else, they’re sure to get a treat after a bath.

Final Thoughts

This is essentially everything you need to know about giving your dog a good bath. It’s not to say there aren’t more things to know, but these seven tips should get you going.

Your dog may not necessarily enjoy baths in the beginning, but you need to keep at it. You’ll both get used to it with practice. Plus, you may not want a stinky dog around.

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