Bath time made easy (Really!)

Bath time made easy (Really!)

dog wash tub

Is your dog making a big soap opera out of every bath? How to clean up the mess—and the drama.

Bath time is sheer canine mayhem for some dog owners. Your dog is quiet one minute, then becomes a writhing, trembling wreck when he sees the shampoo and grooming equipment.

The good news is that in most cases (except a skunk encounter or a mud roll), dogs only need to be washed once every 2-3 weeks, or once every 6 weeks if they are short-haired and indoor dogs. More frequent washings can deplete the coat's protective oils and irritate the skin.

 First, prepare your dog for our dog.

 If your dog is still a puppy, talk to your veterinarian about when it's okay to give him his first wash. When the time comes for that important first bath, you have the opportunity to make it a positive experience that will make future washings go more smoothly.

Allow him to smell the comb, brush, shampoo, clippers, and everything else you'll be doing before you start. Run the water in the bath, shower, or hose so he can hear it and not be scared later. Allow him to get used to the sound of a pet dryer as well.

Allow the bathing to begin. If you're washing your dog inside, use a room with a closed-door so he doesn't look for a way out. Put down a rubber mat or non-skid surface if you're utilizing a big sink or bathtub. When their feet are slipping and sliding, dogs feel extremely uneasy and restless.


Follow these procedures after you're ready to turn on the water (moderate, not hot):

  • Open the bottle lids to pet shampoos and conditioners first (never use human shampoos since they have the incorrect PH for a dog's skin) and put your grooming aids in a bucket that won't be kicked over.
  • Cotton balls should be placed in your dog's ears to prevent water from entering.
  • Washing and rinsing may be done using a hand-held shower attachment. Because you may get wet, use old clothing or a waterproof apron.
  • Many pet groomers advise beginning from the top and working your way down to avoid fleas getting into the ears.
  • To gently dry your dog, get an absorbent pet towel. If you're going to use a blow dryer, make sure it's set to cool.
  • Reward your dog's excellent behavior with goodies and praise while he's getting his wash.


If your dog still refuses to bathe, try a waterless bath: sprinkle baking soda over his coat and let it sit for a few minutes before brushing off the excess. This may aid in the elimination of that ripe, doggy odor!