Note: Before bathing, brush out the dog to remove any mats!
How to bathe a dog step by step:
1. Gather everything you will need first. Grab some towels, the dog shampoo, dog conditioner, tear stain remover and anything else you may use when bathing your dog. Put these things in a handy place where you can get to them, but they won't fall into the bath.
2. Place a towel in the bottom of the tub or sink for traction. Grab your puppy and head to the bathing area (kitchen sink or bathtub or outside). Note: Bath time is a great time to trim nails and clean ears too!
3. Completely wet the dog's coat. Spray or cup water against the direction of hair growth helps wet the dog down to his skin. This will make it easier to work the shampoo into the hair.
5. Rinse the pet completely until the water runs clear off of him. Use the sprayer or cup the water in the opposite direction of hair growth to get the shampoo off down to the skin.
6. Use a wash cloth or paper towel with just water to wipe the dog's face completely. Use the tear stain remover at this time if necessary.
7. Keeping one hand on the back of the dog's neck, grab a towel and start drying him off. Place the towel over the dog's back to discourage shaking. Rub vigorously to get as much water off the dog as possible. Place the dog in a safe area and encourage her to shake.
There are a couple of ways to finish drying the dog after the bath. You can place the dog in a cage style kennel with a fan on him, or use a blow dryer. They make blow dryers especially for dogs, but you can use your own (it will just take longer).
8. Finish drying the dog and you are all done! It's important to finish the drying process completely as some dogs' coats can actually mold if not completely dried.
FAQs About Bathing a Dog at Home
Can you bathe a pregnant dog?
Yes, you can bathe a pregnant dog. Be very gentle in any stage of pregnancy not to stress the mother dog. Use a puppy safe dog shampoo and stay away from the teats and vaginal area.
Can you bathe a dog with human shampoo?
It's not recommended to use human shampoo on dogs. Dog shampoo is gentler and specially made to keep the oils in their coat shiny. If you must use human shampoo in an emergency, use baby shampoo and dilute it.
Can you bathe a dog with Dawn dish soap?
I don't recommend ever using Dawn dish soap to bathe your dog.
Can you bathe a dog in heat?
Yes, it is safe to bathe a dog in heat. Be gentle and try not to stress the dog out.
Can you bathe a dog that just had puppies?
Yes, you can bathe a dog that just had puppies, but give her time to settle the pups first and get comfortable. She can be away from the puppies for a couple of hours. Make sure you completely rinse the mother dog and dry her before returning her to the puppies.
Can you bathe a dog after applying Frontline?
Yes, according to the instructions for Frontline you should wait 24 hours after treatment before giving your pet a bath.
Can you bathe a dog too much?
Yes, you can absolutely bathe a dog too much. They have essential oils in their coat that can be washed away or damaged if you bathe too much. Most dogs will only need a bath about four times a year at most. You can always give a partial bath (feet, butt/tail, and face) pretty much anytime.
Still need a little guidance for your first dog bath at home? Here is a video to show you what to do!
- To stop a dog from shaking place one hand firmly on the back of its neck (don't grab the scruff) and apply gentle pressure.
- Only bathe dogs outside with the hose on warm days. The water is just too cold for a cool day. Remember the shampoo may be harder to rinse in cold water too.
- Clip the dog's toenails after the bath. The nails will be softened from the water and easier to clip.