Staying Clean: The 411 On Giving Your Dog A Bath

Dogs need baths too. They may not need them as often as humans, but they still need them. Some dog owners have their dogs professionally groomed, but others prefer to go the DIY route and give their dogs a bath at home.

If you’ve never given your dog a bath before, the following are some tips, tricks and things to consider.

Prepare yourself.

Before you start tackling your dog and the bath, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself. Make sure that you’re wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting wet or smelling like wet dog. You may want to wear shorts and a t-shirt or even a bathing suit.

You should also prepare the area. You can give your dog a bath in your own bathtub, or you can give your dog a bath in an outside kiddy pool or dog pool. You will want to make sure that you have the dog’s shampoo, conditioner, brush, clippers, cotton balls, towels, tooth brush, and toothpaste on hand ready to go. If you have a detachable showerhead, it will come in handy too. If not, make sure you have a big cup.

Prepare your dog.

Some dogs don’t mind getting a bath and some hate it, so it’s best to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. It’s a good idea to clip your dog’s nails before the bath so they don’t scratch you or the tub. Make sure not to cut too much or you could cause your dog to bleed.

You will then want to get your dog into the bathtub and remove their collar. Make sure to close the bathroom door (or use a gate). This way, if your dog jumps out of the tub, they won’t be able to get very far. You will also want to open a window, as the smell of wet dog can be overwhelming. It’s also a good idea to put cotton balls in your dog’s ears to keep water out.

Get to washing.

Get your dog wet with the water, being sure it’s not too hot. You will then want to lather in the shampoo all over their body, making sure to get the underside of their belly, their tail and even their paws. Once the shampoo has been lathered in, you will want to rinse it out completely. Once it’s rinsed, you can then add in conditioner according to the bottle’s directions.

Once your dog has been washed, you will want to dry them off with a towel. Towel dry them as best as you can, and then take the time to brush through their fur. This will help to remove any excess dirt and keep their fur from tangling. Plus, this extra brushing can help to reduce shedding.

Don’t forget their teeth.

Once you’re done brushing your dog’s fur, you will want to brush their teeth. Make sure that you use a dog-friendly toothpaste and brush their teeth thoroughly. This will help remove plaque and build up and keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy.


Danielle Nottingham is a veterinary technician and writer at who often writes about bad pet habits, or bad pet-owner habits, and ways to correct them.