How to Bathe a Dog

After laughing at the video below, we thought we’d offer tips on how to bathe a dog. First, take a look at our inspiration and tell us if you can relate:

If bath time isn’t one of your dog’s favorite activities, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Every dog in this video hates the old scrub-a-dub just as much! And if you don’t know how to bathe a dog, frustration is sure to ensue. So let’s go over some of the best practices for getting the job done right, shall we?

How to Bathe a Dog

Learn how to bathe a dog on Fetch! Pet Care

(Photo Credit: arenacreative,

1. Fill your tub or sink with enough water to cover your pup’s paws.

2. After bringing your dog into the room where bathing will take place, close the door! If your dog is a runner, the last thing you want is for her to bolt out of the door covered in shampoo and dripping water all over your house. A wet dog is also a slippery dog who may hurt herself while trying to escape!

3. Engage in a little pre-brushing to remove knots and tangles.

4. Use a cotton ball dipped in a small amount of mineral oil to gently clean the outer surface of your dog’s ears.

5. After you’ve swabbed her ears, place fresh cotton balls inside of her ears to keep the inner ear dry during bath time. Water that is allowed inside of the ear may cause or irritate an infection.

6. Place your dog in the water.

7. Moisten her coat before adding a dollop of pet shampoo in the palm of your hands. Gently rub the shampoo into her coat starting at the neck and working your way down the body and the tail. Use your fingers to massage and scrub your dog. (NOTE: Dr. Karen Becker does not recommend washing your dog’s face and head with water and shampoo, but using a washcloth to wipe these areas clean after your dog’s body has been shampooed and rinsed.)

8. Thoroughly rinse your dog’s coat using a detachable showerhead, a small bucket or a large cup. Whatever you use, though, be sure to rinse all of the shampoo out of your dog’s coat. A failure to do so may cause skin irritation!

Fetch! Pet Care offers tips on how to bathe a dog the RIGHT way!

(Photo Credit: 135pixels,

9. Use a pet conditioner and repeat steps 7 and 8.

10. Remove your dog from the water and towel dry. Be prepared for a little (okay, a lot of) shaking!

11. If your dog has long dense fur and is not afraid of the blow dryer, use one on a low setting to help your dog dry faster and more thoroughly. If the sound of the blow dryer frightens your love bug, however, skip this process and continue towel drying. If your little pumpkin shivers at all, take a few minutes to cuddle her while still wrapped in the towel just until she warms up a bit.

Bonus Tips on How to Bathe a Dog

How to bathe a dog - Fetch! Pet Care

(Photo Credit: Lilun,

  • Start Young! Don’t wait until your pooch is nearly grown to introduce her to the bath, but start when she is a puppy and easier to manage.
  • Take your dog on a nice long walk before a bath. Doing so will help calm any pent up energy and gives you two a little bonding time before the resistance begins.
  • Wear the right clothing for the job!
  • Never yell or allow yourself to become frustrated during bath time. Bathing can be a frightening experience for your pet, so it is important for you to remain calm and speak to your dog in a soothing tone throughout the entire process.
  • Keep treats on hand to help distract your pet and to reward her after the bathing process.
  • Avoid combing or brushing your dog’s fur while it is still soaking wet.
  • Can’t do bathtime on your own? Don’t fret. Call one of our pet care experts to taxi your pooch to and from her grooming appointments.

Over to You

Do you have questions about how to bathe a dog? Any tips of your own to share? We’re waiting for you to chime in with your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!