How to Give a Dog a Bath
How Often Should You Give your Dog a Bath
Dog baths are a pretty essential part of any well cared for dog. But you may have some questions on the best way to bathe your dog. In this dog article, I will give you some helpful tips in giving your dog a good dog bath. Of course, I reached out to some professional dog groomers as well for their ideas.
Dog baths are a pretty essential part of any well cared for dog. But you may have some questions on the best way to bathe your dog. In this dog article, I will give you some helpful tips for giving your dog a good dog bath. Of course, I reached out to some professional dog groomers as well for their ideas.
First thing first. If your dog has handling issues and does not like to be touched or handled, please speak with your dog’s veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions. Then follow up with a qualified dog behavior counselor to work on desensitizing your dog to being touched, groomed, and bathed.
How often should you give your dog a bath?
When I asked this question to professional dog groomer Donna Berggren, her reply was ” As long as the pH matches the dog’s skin, you can bathe as often as you like. Dogs with allergies from dust, grass, etc., can really benefit from this. Try for a hypo-allergenic shampoo if you can….no dyes, fragrances.” So that response led to a follow-up conversation on pH and dogs. The take-home message from our conversation is that a dog’s pH is not the same as a human so use a dog shampoo.
Prepping the dog bath area. There are a few tools to make giving your dog a bath much easier on him and you. First is a hair catcher for your tub. The last thing you want is a bunch of dog hair clogging up your drain. Next is a non-skid bath mat. If your dog has a secure place to stand, your bathing will go much smoother. Finally, you will want a hand held shower hose with an extra long hose. Believe me, when I tell you without one, it can be quite challenging to give your dog a bath.
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Tools for dog bathing. You will want to have your dog’s shampoo and dog conditioner or any other dog bathing products handy and ready to go. A nice dog drying jacket can come in handy if you are going to air dry, or a pet dryer if you are going to hand dry. A few absorbent dog towels and one for yourself would be a good idea. And don’t forget the high-value dog treats for rewards! You can read our reviews of dog grooming tools (towels, shampoos etc) here.
Personally, I review EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database to check out the ingredients in the products I use for Dexter The Dog. This gives me an idea about their toxicology and any side effect concerns.
Prepping yourself for your dog’s bath. You aren’t going to wear good clothes are you? Make sure you are dressed for movement and you do not care what happens to your clothes, hair, or face. Sometimes dogs can get pretty silly in the bathtub. They do make grooming aprons too.
Prepping your dog for his bath. Before giving your dog a bath, run a brush through his fur to loosen the hair and remove any tangles. If you are going to trim your dog’s nails now is a good time. The same for cleaning the inside of your dog’s ears. Place a cotton ball inside each ear (organic cotton balls are available). Remove his collar and/or harness.
The dog bath. Now is the time. You’ve prepped yourself, your tub and your dog for the dog bath. When I spoke with professional dog groomer Sheri May Myers on the best way to start bathing your dog, she gave me these tips. “The wet down and the rinse are most important. Use warm water, not cold or hose water because this will not rinse well. Start by wetting the dog’s head and work your way down. When you think your dog is wet, continue wetting more. Make sure you get the feet, face and privates. This starts to loosen the dirt. After the dog is thoroughly wet, shampoo the dog, but leave the head for last. When rinsing, start with the dog’s head to minimize potential shampoo contact with the eyes.”
After the dog bath. You will want to either hand dry your dog with a dog dryer and absorbent dog towel, or let him air dry. Please keep in mind that dogs do get cold. If he does air dry, I like using a dog drying jacket to speed up the process. Once your dog is fully dry always brush thoroughly and of course give your dog a nice high-value dog treat for his troubles.
That’s it. Those are a few tips to make your dog’s next bath more enjoyable. If you have any problems or are unsure, visit your local dog groomer or pet salon for help.
A big thank you to Sheri at Sheri May Meyers Pet Styling Salon in Holland, Ohio for the use of your grooming tub. – 5529 Harroun Rd Sylvania, OH
And thank you to Donna Berggren at Dog Designs By Donna in Charlestown Indiana for your dog grooming tips.
How often do you bathe your dog? Let me know in the comments.
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