How to Bathe a Dog: Complete Step-By-Step

Dogs are always a pleasure to be around. If you are a dog owner, you know how they bring joy into the family. It takes a lot of time and effort to properly raise and train a dog.

Part of such training is learning how to give your dog a proper bath. Bathing is not a very cheerful experience for any dog owner who has a dog that doesn't want to get wet. But, there are a lot of dogs out there that love the water.

If you are a dog owner and you want to take care of your dog, here's how you can bathe a dog with the guide down below.

  • How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog
  • Supplies That You Need to Prepare
  • How to Bathe Your Dog
  • Learn Some Safety Tips

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog

Most dog owners would think that a dog should only be groomed once in a while. But, how often do you need to bathe your furry friend?


It depends on the dog's breed as well as the activity level of the dog. If you have a dog that has spent the entire afternoon lounging at the mud pit, your dog probably needs a bath afterward.

Some dog breeds have long coats which will require you to bathe them more often than those with shorter coats. It also has something to do with the dog's biology.

Every 30 days, your dog develops a new layer of skin cells hence you often have to vacuum a lot of things from your dog in your house. The best advice here is to bath your dog around every 30 days.


Preparing Your Dog for Bathing

Now, this is what most dog owners tend to forget when it comes to bathing their dogs. Oftentimes, they just tie their dog to their leash and turn on the water. This creates a very traumatic experience for your dog and you'll create more problems than solving them.

You need to prepare your dog for bathing and make it a pleasant experience. Take the time to brush your dog's coat before you bathe them. Brushing your dog's coat will help avoid matting which can be a very unpleasant experience for your dog.

Offer treats as you go along with the bathing process so they always associate it with something positive.


Supplies That You Need to Prepare

To make your and your dog's experience with bathing even better, you also need to prepare specific products and tools that make the bathing experience smoother.

Prepare a bathtub that will fit your dog's size as this will be key to giving you more control during the bathing process. Shampoo and conditioner are also important to give your dog a shiny coat right after.

Make sure that you use a dog shampoo and conditioner that fits your dog's skin PH. Never use the shampoo that you use every day to bathe your dog as it has a different PH and could even cause skin irritation for your dog. 

Always Check the Water Condition

Another thing that you need to consider before bathing your dog is the water condition and temperature. It would help if you always were mindful of the water temperature.

You can use lukewarm water to bathe your dog and if you are outside during a hot summer, you can always use cooler water. Try to avoid using hot water when bathing your dog as it can lead to scalding.

Water pressure is also a factor to consider. Make sure that the water pressure is low enough to avoid startling your dog when you begin your session.

How to Bathe Your Dog

The first thing that you need to do when bathing your dog is making sure that he is in a comfortable and secure position.

If you need to put a leash on him, go ahead but make sure that it is not too tight. Turn on the water and fully saturate the coat with water. You'll have to massage his coat so that it can reach the inner layers.

Next, use the shampoo and lather it gently once again massaging it to reach every corner. Try to avoid sensitive areas like the eyes and face. Offer treats as much as possible while you're bathing him.

Let the shampoo sit on your dog's coat for a couple of minutes and rinse before adding the conditioner. Rinse the conditioner and proceed to dry your dog.

Drying Is a Crucial Part of the process

Drying is the most essential part of bathing your dog. You need to dry your dog's coat immediately before he runs and rubs everything around him in an attempt to further dry himself.

This can cause matting which can be an inconvenient experience for your dog. To dry your dog, have a towel ready and rub it thoroughly throughout the entire body. You can use a dryer but your dog might not like the buzzing sound.

Make sure to dry your dog's coat completely to avoid infection and severe matting. You can also spray and brush your dog's coat with a water and vinegar mixture to hasten the drying process.

Learn Some Safety Tips

The very best thing that you can do for your dog when you're bathing him is to be patient. Never rush into bathing your dog as it will only make him nervous.

It is often recommended that you take your dog out for a walk before you take him to a bath as this usually calms their nerves. Cover yourself up when you're bathing your dog.

Your dog will have a few mad shakes once in a while so to prevent yourself from getting wet, make sure to have a lot of towels or an apron.

When to Take Your Dog to a Professional Groomer for Help

While bathing your dog can be done inside your home, there are instances where you'll have to take your dog to a professional groomer.

If this is the first time that you're bathing your dog and you don't know how to do it, it is best to let a professional groomer do it. Ask questions and watch as they groom your dog so you'll know what to do.

If your dog cannot tolerate water and tries to wrestle out of his leash most of the time, you should also be taking your dog to the groomer. They will surely know what to do to calm your dog to properly bathe him.


Knowing how to bathe your dog is important. It keeps their coat free from dust and germs thus keeping them healthy. No matter the size or breed, it is crucial that you regularly bathe your dog to keep them well.