The Ultimate Dog Bathing Manual

A little soap and water and you’ve got a clean dog! Ok, so you could reduce it to that simple of a statement, but if you’ve ever wondered just how frequently you should bath your furry beast or if there is really any hope for that matted ball of fur that your dog hides under, then we have a few tips for you!


You may think that the more often you wash your dog, the cleaner he is sure to be. However, bathing too frequently can leave your pooch with overly dry skins as you’ve stripped it of its natural oils. If your dog’s activity level and breed characteristics warrant frequent bathing, use a shampoo/ conditioner that helps to moisturize your dog’s coat.

Brushing your dog’s coat between baths, daily if you can, will help distribute the natural oils and prevent tangles and mats in long-haired dogs.


You’ve drawn the water, laid out the towel and shampoo. So what else is there? Well we can think of plenty of items to have on hand. Some may make sense for your dog and others you could skip, but here are a few to get you thinking.

If your pup is prone to slipping in the tub, put down a bathmat. A drain screen can help protect against hair clots in the plumbing. A few treats nearby are a wonderful post-bath reward... or they may even be necessary to help coax your animal into the tub.

If running water is the scare factor, draw the bath before your place your pup inside.

Have all the grooming accessories handy from the ear cleaner and towels to hairbrushes and toothbrushes.


Particularly important for your long-haired breeds is starting with a good brushing. No matter how much conditioner you use, those tangles are only going to get worse when you throw water on them.

Using cotton balls in your dog’s ear can help prevent water intrusion. A little eye protective gel will help protect against irritation from shampoo in the eyes.

Once in the tub, work your way down from the top. Wash your dog’s face then work down to the tail. You may even be able to get him to sit in the tub for a final rear rinse; it will certainly be easier than dunking his head.

Don’t forget between the toes, behind the ears and then a thorough drying. There are special pet towels if you don’t want to share one from your closet. And a pet dryer will use less heat and more air movement that a person’s hair dryer to safely dry the fur without burning skin. But of course, your dog will likely insist upon a good shake and run through the house or yard afterwards.

Finish off the bath with the other grooming essentials like brushing your dog’s teeth and trimming toe nails.

Bathing your dog can be a chore, but it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty (and wet) yourself and offer plenty of praise and treats!

Susan Wright DVM writes for DogFenceDiy the best place to find a great invisible fence alternative. If your hound is a escape artist consider us to help you create boundaries.

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