How To Give A Dog A Bath – Simple Tricks For An Easier Washing

We all love having a clean and nice smelling dog that but getting him that way is a completely different story. Most dogs aren’t excited when they realize that they are about to become soaking wet, and many owners dread the experience.

When in fact this routine can be a fun and bonding activity once you learn few tricks on how to give a dog a bath. We are sure that you already know how to wash a dog, but if he is fearful and you just want to be done with it, some things need to change.

To completely acclimate and make a dog comfortable during the bath it is best to start from the young age. Still, adult dogs can also be taught to enjoy and stay calm during baths, but you need to be prepared to invest some time.

How To Bathe My Dog?

pinterest_How to bathe my dogBathing is so much more than wetting and leathering your dog, it is a chance to bond and spend quality time together. Furthermore, this is a perfect time to check for lumps, bumps, irritated skin, coat and overall health.

How To Get Ready For The Bath?

A successful bathing requires you to put some thought into it, and plan everything ahead. You don’t want to run around the house chasing a lathered dog just because you forgot to close the bathroom door.

Luckily, we thought of everything, you only need to make sure to get ready and have your pup present.

1. Get The Right Shampoo

Shampoos that are made for people are too strong and can damage your dog’s skin. Even the baby shampoos have different pH levels and should be used only if your dog smells unbearable. Talk to your vet, since he will be best acquainted with your pup’s individual needs, and get a shampoo that he recommends. Dogs that have skin problems will have to use a special medicated product that will address the issue.

2. Protect Ears And Eyes

Ask your vet for a bland eye ointment or use mineral oil to protect the eyes from foam and water. For ears, it is best to use cotton balls that will prevent the water entering in the ear canal. This will prevent the development of an ear infection, and the cotton balls need to be removed immediately after the bath.

3. Brush Your Dog

Brushing before a bath will remove loose hair, dirt, and dander. Furthermore, you will get a chance to deal with mats and tangles, that can cause skin problems if not removed prior to bathing. Brushing will also cut down the time spent in the tub since you will have less dirt to deal with and lathering will go much easier.

4. Prepare Lots Of Treats

If you want a successful bathing experience you need to treat your dog along the way. Besides tasty treats be prepared to encourage, praise, and talk with your pup in a soothing voice.

5. Get Everything Within Reach

Get your bathing station ready with all the necessities prior to getting your pup into the tub. Getting a dog completely wet and realizing that the shampoo isn’t there is recipe for disaster.

6. Stock Up On Towels

We advise that you have at least three towels ready, one as a tub mat, one for shaking, and one for drying. For very large, long-haired, and double coated dogs you might need more for drying.

7. Block The Drain

This is a useful trick if you have a long-haired or a dog that sheds a lot. Place a piece of steel wool into the drain if you don’t want to spend the rest of the day unclogging it. The steel wool will catch all the loose hairs, and you need to remove it after the bath is over.

8. Make The Area Safe

No matter where you are bathing your dog, you need to make the surface where he stands, safe. You can use towels, or place a rubber mat into the tub to offer stable non-slipping surface. Many dogs get anxious because they don’t have a safe footing and a place to dig their paws into. A non-slip mat will make your pup safe and help with his fear of baths.

9. Pick The Area In Advance

You can either bath your dog inside or outside. Inside is more suitable for small and medium dogs and you can use a sink or a bathtub. For large and giant breeds, that are too large for a bathtub you can opt for your backyard. Use buckets, garden hose, or an inflatable children pool. You should bath your dog in a fenced area, or use a leash so he won’t be able to escape.

10. Find An Appropriate Attire

Use old clothes that you will not mind getting wet or destroyed in the process. Also, if you don’t want to rub the shampoo with your bare hands buy rubber gloves. Furthermore, if you are applying a medicated or flea shampoo than it is best to stick with gloves. Some of them have strong smell and chemicals can dry up your hands.

11. The Perfect Temperature

Water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold, especially for large breeds since they can overheat more quickly. The water should be lukewarm, otherwise, it can injure your dog’s skin and cause burns or cold. Many owners aren’t sure how often to give a dog a bath since there is so many contradictory information. In most cases once a month works best for all dogs, and if you have a really dirty and stinky pooch you can bath him once a week. There are many natural products that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils so this is completely safe.

How To Prepare A Dog For A Bath?

If this is your first time bathing your dog and you are wondering how to give your dog a bath then you are at the right place. Before getting to the actual bath you need to teach your pup to associate it with positive things.

Depending on a dog this process can take several hours or several days but at the end, he won’t be scared during baths. Follow these in order to teach your dog there is nothing he needs to be afraid of.

  1. Get your dog into the dry tub, let him explore and praise his behavior. Pet, stroke, and encourage him to sniff the whole bathtub. Give him treats for good behavior, and repeat this process until you see that he feels totally relaxed.
  2. Mimic the motions you will likely use during bathing. Rub and touch his back, stomach, lift his legs if necessary.
  3. Use a calm voice and offer him treats for a job well done. These motions will prepare him for real bathing when the time comes.
  4. Once your pup is comfortable with touching you can try splashing a little water on him. Use already prepared water and don’t open the faucet just yet.
  5. Watch his reaction, give him treats, praise him and be positive since dogs can sense our moods. Continue splashing your pup until he is relaxed and used to being wet.
  6. Get your dog into the bathroom close the door, and turn the faucet on so he can experience the sound of running water. For most dogs, this is the hardest part, and you need to be patient and offer support. 
  7. Talk to your dog in a soothing voice, give him treats and let him walk freely through the bathroom during this process. Repeat this exercise how long it takes for your dog to get use to the sound of water and stay calm during it.
  8. After each of these sessions use a dry towel to rub your dog down. This will teach him to stay calm after the real bath and wait to be dried out.
  9. Once your dog is comfortable with all of these steps you can fill your bathtub with just enough water to cover his paws. Praise and give treats, and gradually increase the amount of water in the tub.

On the other hand, if you want to use the shower head to wash your dog, you can start bathing him once he is acclimated to standing in water.

These steps can also work if you want to know how to give a bath to a dog that hates baths since most of them are just too anxious. Giving a dog time to adjust to each step combined with lots of treats and praise will transform a skittish dog into the one that loves to be bathed.

Step By Step On How To Bath A Dog Outside

Do you own a large pup that can’t fit into the tub and you are wondering how to give a dog a bath outside? Then you are at the right place since we will provide step by step guide for a safe and easy outdoor wash.

We advise you to bath your dog outside only during the warm weather in order to keep him healthy. Summer months are great for this type of grooming and will lower the likelihood of a cold.

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Step 1: Let Your Dog Play

Let your dog play a little prior to bathing so he can burn extra energy. Thus it is more likely that he will be too tired to complain during the bath.

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Step2: Secure Your Dog

Use your dog’s leash to secure him to some type of pole in your yard.

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Step 3: Have Everything Close By

Have all the necessary things ready and within reach. Shampoo, buckets, a sponge, towels, and a hose.

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Step 4: Soak Your Dog

Use a hose to thoroughly wet your dog. Start from the neck and work your way down the body.

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Step 5: Make Sure That He Is Wet

Take the bucket that was already filled with a soapy water and pour it over your dog’s back.

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Step 6: Prepare A Sponge

Place a sponge into the bucket with soapy water and let it soak as much water as it can.

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Step 7: Add Shampoo

Get your doggy shampoo and apply a generous amount of it onto the sponge.

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Step 8: Shampoo Your Dog

Place a line of shampoo onto your dog’s back in the amount you think it is necessary to create a nice lather.

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Step 9: Start Lathering

Use a sponge to rub the shampoo into your dog’s coat. Start by lathering his back and you will work your way from there.

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Step 10: Don’t Forget About Legs

Once you are done with the back you can start rubbing one of the back legs.

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Step 11: Rub The Armpits

Work your way back again onto the back and rub the front leg and under the armpit.

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Step 12: Clean The Paws

Lift your dog’s front leg and use a sponge to clean his paw pad.

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Step 13: Lather The Toes

Put the sponge on the ground and use your hands to clean the area between the toes.

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Step 14: Repeat

Use a sponge to rub your dog’s body once again, in the direction of the back leg.

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Step 15: Wash The Legs

With the sponge lather the leg and then use your hand to distribute the foam between the toes.

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Step 16: Be Careful With The Tail

Lather your dog’s tail with the sponge, and do it gently since some dog’s don’t like having their tails touched.

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Step 17: Clean The Sensitive Areas

Progress washing your dog’s bottom and between the legs.

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Step 18: One More Leg To Go

Proceed with a lathering of the second back leg.

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Step 19: Be Gentle

Use the foamy sponge to gently wipe the area around your dog’s cheek.

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Step 20: Wash The Head

After that, use a sponge on the top of your dog’s head, just make sure that none of the soap gets into his eyes.

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Step 21:Shampoo The Neck

Rub the neck area and area under his mouth with the sponge.

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Step 22: Use A New Cloth

Get a clean cloth to wipe the face gently.

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Step 23: Wipe The Face

Rub between the eyes, clean the nose, and under the eyes.

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Step 24: Lather The Neck Again

Use a sponge to rub the neck area if necessary. Some dogs get really dirty there if they are always wearing collars.

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Step 25: Don’t Stress

Let your dog shake if he feels like it. You are bound to get wet either way.

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Step 26: Rub The Armpits

Use a sponge to clean the armpits and the chest area between them.

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Step 27: Wipe The Face Again

If your dog’s face needs more cleaning, use a wet clean cloth to wipe it once again.

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Step 28: Start Rinsing

Get the bucket with soapy water and pour it over your dog. Or if you don’t want to use buckets just use the hose.

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Step 29: Get A Hose

Turn the garden hose on and rinse your dog completely. Keep doing that until all the water that comes out of him is free of soap.

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Step 30: Dry Your Dog

Pick your already prepared clean towel and start drying your dog.

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Step 31: Use More Towels

Larger dogs can soak more than one towel really quickly so use another one when the first is unable to absorb water anymore. After everything is done, don’t let your dog roam freely since he will most likely roll in the dirt as soon as possible. Let him air dry outside or take him into the house to dry there, you can use a blow drier if he isn’t too afraid of it.

Step By Step On How To Give A Flea Bath

Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that reproduce quickly and can soon infest your dog and home. If you want to know how to give a dog a flea bath and get rid of them, follow the next steps.

On the other hand, you should be aware that flea shampoos are effective at killing fleas but won’t provide protection from future infestations. So it is best to combine them with other flea treatments in order to keep them off your dog.

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Step 1: Prepare Your Dog

If you own a small dog you can give him a flea bath in the sink. So place your dog in a sink and begin.

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Step 2: Soak

Fill the cup with lukewarm water and pour it on your dog, from the neck down.

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Step 3: Wet The Entire Coat

Repeat this as many times as necessary to wet your dog’s coat completely.

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Step 4: Create A Ring Around The Neck

Once the dog is wet, use a flea shampoo and place it on your dog’s coat from the neck down.

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Step 5: Create Good Lather

Start lathering and rubbing the shampoo into your dog’s coat. Begin with the neck area to prevent fleas from migrating to the head.

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Step 6: Work The Foam Deep

Take your time rubbing the shampoo, since it will be more effective if it reaches the skin.

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Step 7: Shampoo The Whole Body

Once you have the neck covered, you can proceed with lathering the rest of the body.

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Step 8: Rinse The Shampoo

When you are done with shampooing it is time for rinsing. Fill the cup with lukewarm water and start rinsing your dog.

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Step 9: Remove Everything

Use your hands to help speed up the process, and continue rinsing until there are no signs of foam in the water.

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Step 10: Dry Your Dog

When your dog is rinsed, use a clean towel to dry him off.

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Step 11: Start From The Head

Start by drying his head and work your way down the body.

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Step 12: Let A Dog Air Dry

Let your pup out of the sink, rub him with the towel once again if necessary and let him air dry. When you are giving your dog a flea bath it is important to stick with the instructions indicated on the label. Some shampoos need to stay on your dog for some time prior to rinsing for a maximum effect, so pay attention to that as well.


Bathing your dog regularly is an important part of dog ownership and also a great opportunity to assess the physical state of your dog. And although dogs love water, many of them aren’t fans of bathing and would rather stay stinky for the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, we love our pup’s clean and smelling great and these tips and tricks are there to ensure that you know how to give a dog a bath. By following them, you will teach your dog to love this new grooming routine and you will enjoy it as well.


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