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7 Steps Easy Guide To Bathe A Dog

Updated by Sheryl on Aug 19, 2021

Does your dog love bath time? If yes, you might be the luckiest person on this planet. For some dogs, a bath is not a problem. On the other hand, if your dog starts playing “hide and seek” just after listening to the word “bath,” you are not alone. Maybe you don’t know the right way to wash your pet.

Most dogs don’t like to be wet at all. To avoid this headache, dog owners prefer to hire professional groomers. But it costs too much.

If you want to self-bathe your doggy at home, read on to learn the proper step-by-step dog washing technique. Also, you’ll find the easiest tips and trips to bathe a dog who hates water.

bathe a dog

Excited to make bath time stress-free and pleasant for your pet? Here we go!

If your dog doesn’t want to take a bath, you should resolve the hidden issue behind its fear. Avoid the reasons mentioned above at any cost. Follow these steps to train a dog who hates the bath. Your main goal should be to make your furry friend comfortable with water.

  • Firstly, train your dog to enter the bath area without hesitation, such as a sink or bathtub. For this, play and feed him in the bath area once daily.
  • Use the cue word “bath” to make him used to this word.
  • Never force him to enter the bathtub.
  • Use reinforcement where needed.
  • Be cool and patient. Praise your dog when it follows your commands.
  • Give a treat to your pet after it achieves a training milestone.
  • Allow your dog to spend all of his energy in play before a bath. This way, he will not have enough energy to resist during a bath session.
  • comfortable dog

Tools And Products Required to Bathe a Dog

You can lose the match if you haven’t placed all the required products in one place before washing your dog. How will you manage if your pooch escapes while you are trying to find out conditioner? So, to avoid this situation, get these products ready before you start to self-wash your dog at home.

  • Bathtub
  • A dog-specific bathtub is handy since it prevents your family bathtub from clogging. But you can also use a DIY dog bathtub or a shallow swimming pool. If you don't have other options, using a family bathtub is not a bad idea.

  • Brush
  • You'll need a brush to remove loose hair and debris before giving a bath to your dog. Make sure to consider the coat type before purchasing a brush.

    groom the dog with brush

  • Absorbent towels
  • These towels will help in the post-bath drying of your dog.

  • Non-slip bath mat
  • The base of a family bathtub is too slippery for a dog. Use of a non-slip bath mat will protect your pet from slipping during a bath.

  • Dog bath shampoo
  • Use a mild puppy shampoo or dog-specific shampoo for washing a dog. Never use human shampoo for your pets since these are too acidic for their coat. 

  • Conditioner
  • Though it is optional, a conditioner helps to make your dog’s fur soft. In addition, it helps to easily remove the knots and tangles from your furry friend’s coat.

  • Bathe toys
  • Want to make the bath session more pleasurable for your buddy? Bring a variety of bath toys to keep your pet engaged during bath time.

  • Peanut butter lick on mats
  • Lick-on mats are great treats for dogs who hate bathing.

  • Mineral oil for eyes
  • Mineral oil prevents extra dryness in case if the shampoo gets into your dog’s eyes.

  • Sprayer or attachment hose
  • A sprayer or attachment hose is convenient for washing a dog at home. It makes a bath session smoother and fearless for your pet.

  • Pet hairdryer
  • You’ll need a pet hairdryer for quick drying of your dog’s fur after bathe. Normal hair driers are not suitable since they can stress out your dog.

    Our lightweight and portable, quiet hair dryer with a dual temperature setting is the best choice for your pup who is afraid of the sound of the blower. In addition, you can adjust its temperature to your required settings. And its slicker brush is perfect for combing your pet. Besides, it is a great pet massager.

    dry the dog hair

    Before you start, brush your dog to remove hair tangles. It helps remove the loose hair and debris from your dog’s fur. Plus, it makes coat washing easier and prevents the penetration of shampoo all way down into the skin.

    Here are the steps that will help you to bathe your dog at home.

    Step 1-Prepare Bath Area

    For washing puppies, you can use a kitchen sinkhole. Larger dogs will need more space. Get all the tools and supplies ready before you start washing.

    Step 2-Get Your Dog in the Bath Area

    Don’t let your puppy feel that you are going to do an extraordinary task. Keep praising and offer a treat to take it to the bathtub.

    Step 3-Wet the Dog

    Use a sprayer or attachment hose to wet your dog’s coat thoroughly. Start washing from the back of the neck, between shoulders, and then towards the tail.

    Step 4-Apply Shampoo

    Once your dog’s fur is wet completely, apply diluted shampoo. Massage with your fingertips to make a nice lather of the shampoo. Make sure to cover all the body parts such as the tail, armpits, under the stomach, and paws.

    dog with shampoo

    Step 5-Rinse Well

    Rinse well until all the shampoo residue is removed from the fur.

    Step 6-Wash Your Dog's Face

    In the end, gently wet your dog’s facial hair around the mouth and over the head. Use a washcloth dipped in diluted shampoo solution to wipe its face. Next, rinse the facial area by dipping the cloth in clean water. Repeat this process until your dog’s face is cleaned.

    Step 7-Post-Bath Drying

    Congratulations. Your pet friend has taken a shower. For post-bath-drying of dogs with smooth layered coats, a towel-dry will be enough. For dogs that have thick coats, you’ll need a blow drier set at low heat settings. This hair dryer has 2-in-1 design which can help to remove knots and tangles during drying. Different temperature settings can help you dry your pet quickly, save energy, and prevent pain and burning.

    Do not hesitate and shop now!

    dog hair dryer

    Keep brushing the fur between air dry intervals. It will prevent knots and tangles after the fur is dried completely. Besides, only use towel to dry the head and mouth areas of your dog.

    How often to wash a dog is one of the most frequently asked questions of dog parents. The bathing frequency is not the same for all dogs. Generally, washing them once a month is sufficient. However, it depends on their breed, fur, lifestyle, and other environmental factors.

    Your dog’s skin develops a new layer of cells every 30 days. The old cells shed and make dander. It accumulates over the skin and causes itching and other skin problems. Therefore, bathing once a month is good for the health of your pet. Also, it prevents your pet’s skin from parasites.

    Working dogs and others who spend more time outdoors need to be washed frequently. The dogs with double-layered and thick coats have natural oils. They should be washed less frequently. Short-haired coats need less frequent baths to avoid dry and coat thinning problems. 

    Dogs with skin allergies or sensitive skin issues should not be washed frequently. Consult your vet and treat the skin-related problems of your pet first. Then, wash him only on your vet recommendation.

    dog take a bath in the bucket

    If your dog doesn’t want to take a bath, here are a few possible reasons for his behavior. So, try to sort out the reasons first.

    • He may have had a previous bad experience of choking water.
    • You haven't trained him properly from an early age.
    • Maybe your pet has a fear of drowning.
    • You have been using the wrong technique to bathe your dog.
    • Your dog may be scared of slipping on the bath floor.
    • You have scolded your buddy during bath time.

    1. How to bathe a dog when he hates water?

    If your dog hates water, firstly, you should make him comfortable with water. Play with him when your lawn sprinklers are on. Don’t stop him from exploring puddles. Play with him in the rain. Wet the grooming gloves with lukewarm water and pet him daily. It will create a positive association of your dog with water.

    2. How do you wash a dog's face?

    Use your fingertips to remove any stuck food particles or debris around your dog’s mouth.

    Detangle the hair from its skin folds. Brush its head and facial hair. Mix a small amount of shampoo in half a cup of lukewarm water. Dip a washcloth in the solution and start wiping your furry friend’s face gently. Now dip the cloth in clean water and use it to rinse your pet’s face.  Make sure to clean the area around the ears and eyes carefully.

    3. Should I bathe dogs in cold or hot water?

    You should use lukewarm water for bathing your dog. Coldwater can stress out your pet. As a consequence, it will resist bathing. Lukewarm water helps to calm down your dog. Plus, it acts as a pain reliever.

    Finally, you have learned the right technique to bathe a dog. Pets are sensitive, so be gentle and be patient when they are in the training sessions.

     If you have failed to give a bath to your dog at home even after trying all the tips, consult a groomer rather than trying a forced wash. Hopefully, your patience will be fruitful, and you’ll be able to groom your pet at home in the coming days.  

    Sheryl
    Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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