Bathing Your Dog

How to Bathe a Dog: Tips on Bathing Your Furry Friend

Does Fido smell funky? Maybe it's time for a bath! It can't be that hard. Honestly, bathing a dog is a little bit of a challenge! However, with a few dog grooming tips, you should be able to learn how to bathe a dog without too much trouble. 

How Often to Bathe a Dog?

If your dog isn't muddy, dirty, or smelly, then you might not need to bathe the puppy frequently. Typically, a dog with a longer coat will need more frequent baths than a short-coated breed. Every thirty days, your dog's skin cells renew themselves. The old cells start to slough off and cause dander. If you have a pulmonary condition or you are allergic to pet dander, then you'll want to bathe your dog at least every 30 days or more frequently to control the dander. 

Picking a Shampoo and Conditioner

Having the right shampoo and conditioner ready is the key to a successful bath. Remember, a dog's pH is different from a humans. They have a very alkaline pH balance, so you can easily irritate their skin if you are not careful. Ideally, it would be best if you used only shampoo and conditioner made specifically for canines.

If you are bathing a puppy, make sure the products are safe for a young pup. If your dog has itchy or flaky skin then, you can pick a shampoo and conditioner combo that addresses the problem. Remember, a conditioner is essential because it will help to rehydrate the skin after using the shampoo. 

Steps to Bathe Your Dog

Below are the steps needed to bathe your dog. Gather everything you will need such as towels, shampoo, and conditioner before you start. 

  1. Fill the tub, sink, or wash basin with warm water. Not too hot and not too cold. If you have a handheld shower device that will work great to wet your dog down, then you will not need to fill the reservoir with water. If you don't have a handheld showerhead, then have a pitcher or large plastic cup/bowl handy to pour water over the dog's back and fur. 
  2. Coax or lure the pet into the tub, sink, or washbasin. You can use treats to encourage the pooch. 
  3. Wet the dog's fur using warm water. 
  4. Place a marble-sized dollop of soap in your hand and moisten it with water. Now work the soap into the dog's fur in circular motions. Most dogs like the feel of the massage. Remember, it takes only a tiny bit of shampoo because the water helps create an abundance of suds. 
  5. Shampoo the dog at least to remove the dirt, dander, and oil from the fur. 
  6. Rinse the dog's fur until the water runs clean and is soap-free. 
  7. Apply conditioner. Leave the conditioner in the fur for a few minutes before washing it away. Rinse the conditioner out thoroughly. 
  8. Use a warm, wet washcloth to wash your dog's face gently. Pay particular attention to the area around the animal's eyes to remove any tear stains. You can use a toothbrush to work away stains. Take great care not to get soap in the dog's eyes, nose, or mouth. 
  9. Drain the bath of all water and use a towel to dry your pet's fur of excess water. If you decide to blow dry the pet, make sure the dryer's setting is for air only and not heat, which can quickly burn the animal's delicate skin and dry the hair out. 


Bathing your dog is a great bonding experience. Be sure to offer lots of words of praise during the process.
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I have to dogs that were difficult to bath, they didn’t like it but it was manageable. Then, along came my 3rd dog named Bella. She’s a 60 pound pit bull that thinks taking a bath is water boarding. A T-Bone steak will not get her to have anything to do with it. She has now convinced willow and Indy the other two to be just as impossible now. Is there anything I can do with this? or do I have to go to war with 3 dogs every bath day.


What is a good conditioner to use for dogs? Mine is 6 yrs!

Riki Weiner

Great information I use Johnson’s baby shampoo it is gentle and no tears so I don’t need to worry about get soap in my pups eyes. And I asked my vet and she told me that she is ok with it so long as I rinsed them good and got all the soap out


Can yo recommend a good dog shampoo and conditioner

Linda L Kippes

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