How to Bathe Your Dog at Home (Beginner’s Guide)

Have you ever watched people bathing their dogs in television shows and movies? If yes, you would agree that they seem to enjoy what they’re doing. And for sure, you are wondering why do you not experience this in real life.

Every dog is an individual. There are some who like to take a bath, but there are some who don’t even want to get their heads wet at all. As a matter of fact, most dogs do not enjoy having water poured onto their heads. Well, this is not really the best and safest way to do it anyway.

If you are wondering how to bathe a dog properly, then this article is for you. We are going to discuss the necessary things that you need to know in properly bathing your dog –what supplies do you need, how to prepare, how to dry, and more!

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Why Bathe Your Dog?

First things first, is there really a need for you to bathe your dog?

Well, bathing your dog when necessary is actually an important part of the overall pet care. For the dogs with a healthy coat and skin, the most common reason to bathe is to get rid of any unpleasant smell or when they have accrued dirt on their coat.

The benefits of bathing your dog may include cleaning the coat and skin. This assists in removing scale, debris, and loose hair, as well as improve the shine of the dog’s hair coat. Moreover, for dogs that have particular skin conditions, bathing might be part of their medical treatment plan as prescribed by their veterinarian.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

You should know by now that bathing your dog is necessary. But you should also know that it should just be done as needed. In this section, let us know how often should you bathe your dog!

Actually, the frequency of your dog’s bathe will vary –well, each individual dog has different needs. As we have said, basically, dogs must only take a bath when needed. It is only necessary when your dog is already smelling bad or have mud or dirt on their coat. Therefore, if your dog smells just fine or normal, and there is no dirt on its coat, bathing isn’t really necessary.

If you bathe your dog too often, it may dry out their skin and their hair coat –this will lead to different problems. Only bathing your dog when necessary will help in preventing your dog’s skin from drying out because of excessive bathing since the natural oils on their coat and skin will not be washed away too often.

Moreover, dogs with skin conditions might need different bathing schedules as part of their treatment plan and your veterinarian may give you some advice. Further, some dogs who go swimming might need less bathing as it is already considered a bathe. 

Supplies Needed In Bathing Your Dog

It is very important that you get all the grooming supplies that are necessary for your dog’s bathing before you even start. The supplies needed in bathing your dog include the following:

  • A water supply.
  • A place where your dog can stand on. This might be a shower stall, sink, portable tub, or just right outside your house, provided the weather is nice.
  • Dog shampoo. Remember that dog’s skin has different pH balance compared to us humans, so you should invest in dog shampoo, rather than use your own shampoo.
  • A couple of towels –the more towels, the better.
  • Cotton for your dog’s ear protection from water.
  • A wet towel or bathmat to keep your dog from slipping when you are washing it on a slippery surface.
  • Clothes, which you don’t mind getting wet, as your dog might get uneasy while bathing him.

These are just the common supplies that you may need to bathe your dog. You may or may not add anything from the list –that’s all up to you. Next, let us discuss how you should prepare for your dog’s bath.

How To Prepare For The Bath?

In everything, preparing is very important –you know that. Whether you are bathing your dog inside the house or outside, you need to move all your bathing supplies to the desired location. This should be in a safe, reachable, and clean area. While you organize everything, be calm and quiet so that you will not alarm your dog.

If you are going to bathe your dog in a washroom, put the shampoo to the side where you can easily reach it. Put the towel on the towel rack, distant enough from the water, and get some treats and place them in your pocket for easy access.

If the floor on where you’re going to bathe your dog is slippery, place the bathmat or wet towel. This is necessary if you don’t want your dog to get injured.

After you’re done preparing, call your dog! You can use treats and encouraging voice to call your pal. Remember, be calm and don’t use force so that your dog will get used to bathing and will not be scared of the water.

How To Bathe Your Dog?

After preparing, you are now ready for the job! Here is what you should do:

  • Before a bath, brush your dog. You should brush your dog’s hair to get rid of matted hair –this will hold water, leaving skin irritation. In order to keep water out of your dog’s ears; it also helps in preventing ear irritation and infections.
  • Use tepid water. Remember, the skin of your dog is different from yours. Hot water can burn its skin easily and cold water can freeze your dog. The water that you should use must be lukewarm.
  • Talk to your dog in a reassuring way. Some dogs may learn that you aren’t torturing them, even though some may keep on hiding whenever they see you preparing a bathe for them.
  • Use a dog shampoo. As we have said earlier, invest in a dog shampoo. This will dry their skin much faster than human shampoo. You can work the shampoo in a gentle lather and then massage it all throughout the dog’s body, being cautious not to get the soap in its eyes.
  • Rinse well. Any soap residue left in your dog’s fur may irritate its skin once it’s already dry. You should rinse your dog well.
  • Wipe your dog with a towel. Wipe all the remaining water in your dog’s coat using a towel. If one towel is already unable to absorb the wetness of the coat, get another one, tell its coat is already damp.
  • Air-dry. Let the coat of your dog to dry naturally. (We will discuss more of this below.)
  • Reward your dog. After taking a bath, it is necessary that your dog gets a reward. You should play, pet, or praise your dog. This is a reassurance for him that he wasn’t tortured in any way.

Drying Your Dog

As we said earlier, it is important that you let your dog’s coat to dry naturally. Even though they instinctively shake off the excess water in their body, you may still need to help them dry off using towels. After this, allow your dog to dry its coat naturally with the air.

You should avoid using blow dryers as most dogs do not like the feeling of air blowing at them. Also, the air that comes from these blow dryers is often hot, as well. Nonetheless, if it is unavoidable to use it, you need to take proper precautions.

You should supervise your dog directly all the time. You should avoid hitting the head area too much and make sure that the air is always at a comfortable temperature. The device should also be distant from the dog. 

Final Say

Bathing helps the skin of your dog to stay clean, healthy, and free of any parasites. There are some dogs that need more frequent baths than the others need; varying on how thick their coat and how fast they become dirty.

If you aren’t really sure about what you should and should not do in bathing your dog, go with the professionals. Most especially if your dog is of a particular breed like Yorkies, Springers, Poodles, Maltese, and others with long hairs, professional help is necessary. After all, it is your dog’s safety that’s at stake.

Everything You Should Know About Bathing Your Dog
How to Bathe Your Dog at Home (Beginner's Guide)

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