How to bathe a dog at home

Breeds with a thicker coat may only require bathing every few months, while breeds with a shorter coat may require monthly baths. 

Reasons to bathe your dog:

There are several reasons why it is important to bathe your dog regularly:

  1. Hygiene: Regular bathing helps to remove dirt, debris, and excess oils from your dog’s skin and coat, which can reduce the likelihood of skin infections or irritation.
  2. Flea and tick control: Bathing your dog regularly with a specially formulated flea and tick shampoo can help to control and prevent these parasites.
  3. Odor control: Dogs can develop an odor due to bacteria and yeast that live on their skin. Regular bathing can help to control this odor by removing dirt and bacteria.
  4. Allergies: Allergies can cause itching and scratching on a dog, regular bathing can help remove allergens such as pollen, mold and dust mites.
  5. Bonding: Bathing is a great opportunity to bond with your dog and make them feel loved.
  6. Grooming: Regular bathing is a great opportunity to check your dog’s skin, coat and nails for any signs of abnormalities or parasites that need attention from a veterinarian.

How often to bathe your dog:

It is important to note that the frequency of bathing will vary depending on the dog’s breed, activity level and overall health. For example, breeds with a thicker coat may only require bathing every few months, while breeds with a shorter coat may require monthly baths. Consult with your veterinarian for a personalized recommendation for your dog.

  1. Dogs with short, smooth coats: These breeds, such as Bulldogs, Boxers or Pugs, tend to have minimal shedding and produce less oil, they typically only need to be bathed every 3-4 months.
  2. Dogs with medium-length coats: Breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Australian Shepherds or Golden Retrievers, should be bathed every 2-3 months.
  3. Dogs with long coats: Breeds like Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos or Afghan Hounds, tend to require more grooming and should be bathed every 4-8 weeks.
  4. Active and dirty dogs: Dogs that love to roll in the mud, dirt or play in water, should be bathed more frequently, at least every 2-4 weeks.
  5. Dogs with skin conditions: Dogs with skin conditions such as allergies, hot spots or yeast infections may require more frequent bathing to help keep symptoms under control.
  6. Odor: If a dog has a distinct odor, you can give them a bath more often, ideally weekly, to help combat the odor.

Steps to bathe your dog:

  1. Brush your dog’s coat prior to the bath to remove any tangles and mats. This will make the bathing process easier and more comfortable for your dog.
  2. Gather all the necessary supplies, such as a dog shampoo, conditioner, towels, and a cup or pitcher to pour water over your dog.
  3. Prepare the area where you will be bathing your dog. Make sure the area is warm and has a non-slip surface. You can put a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub or use a shower hose for bathing a dog outside.
  4. Wet your dog’s coat thoroughly with warm water. Avoid getting water in their face or ears.
  5. Apply a small amount of dog shampoo to your dog’s back and work it in with your hands. Be careful not to get any shampoo in their eyes or ears. Rinse the shampoo off thoroughly with warm water.
  6. If using conditioner, apply it to your dog’s coat and work it through, avoiding the face and ears. Leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
  7. Once your dog is thoroughly rinsed, use a towel to dry your dog as much as possible. You can use a blow dryer on the low or cool setting to dry your dog.
  8. Reward your dog with treats or praise for being cooperative during the bath.

It’s recommended to consult your veterinarian for specific shampooing and grooming instructions, especially if your dog has any skin conditions or allergies. It’s also best to start bathing your dog while they are still a puppy so they get used to the process, as well as to make the process as stress-free as possible for your dog.

Published by

Henry Mark

Mark is Editor at covering Information about breeds, naming dogs. He's a graduate in veterinary medicine at the agricultural academy.