Man petting black and white spotted dog in bedroom

How to Bathe Your Dog at Home

From removing dirt and grime build-up to maintaining a shiny coat, keeping dogs clean is important for their health and hygiene. But as many pet parents know, bath time can be stressful for some of our furry friends. Fortunately, certain techniques and tools can make the task easier on you and your pooch. 

How to Tell Your Dog Needs a Wash

How often you need to bathe your dog depends on several factors, including their breed, environment, and activity level. Some breeds may need washing once every few weeks, while others can go a few months between baths. You should also bathe your pet if they’ve been rolling around in something dirty or are starting to smell.

Most dogs shouldn’t need to bathe more than once per month. Washing too often can lead to dry, itchy skin and a dull coat. In general, dogs with longer and oilier coats will need more frequent washing.

5 Essential Dog Bath Tips

1. Choose the Right Products

Before you learn how to give a dog a bath, you need to make sure you have the right supplies. Always choose shampoo and conditioner specifically made for dogs. Some dogs with health or skin conditions may need a special medicated shampoo, so it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian for suggestions. Puppies also have their own products, which tend to be gentler and less irritating if any lather gets into their eyes.

2. Plan Ahead

One of the most important dog bath tips is to be prepared. Determine the best place to bathe your dog, whether it’s in the backyard, the tub, or the sink (for small dogs). Have your products, towel, and comb ready and nearby. This makes bath time faster and more efficient. Plan to brush your dog’s coat before the bath to remove excess fur and work out any tangles or mats, which can be more challenging to do when their fur is wet. 

If your pet is anxious about baths, it can help to tire them out first. Go for a walk or work in some play time before bathing them. That way, your dog will be calmer and less likely to attempt an escape.

3. Master Your Dog Washing Technique

Handheld Filtered Showered | Brass

When it comes to learning how to bathe a dog, practice and technique are key. First, coax your pet into the tub with a favorite toy or treat. If you’re washing them outdoors and are worried about them making a run for it, secure them with a leash or grooming loop. Put a cotton ball in each ear to keep them dry and prevent ear infections.

Start wetting your dog from the tail up. Use lukewarm water and be sure to test the temperature on yourself before your pet. Check your shampoo bottle’s instructions—some will need to be diluted with water to get a proper lather. 

Massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat, paying extra attention to nooks and crannies, like their armpits and pads of their feet. Save their face for last and wash it carefully with a soft washcloth, being careful to avoid their eyes, ears, and nose. Shampoo twice to make sure you’re getting all the dirt, grime, and oil out. Apply a conditioner and let it sit for as long as the directions on the bottle suggest.

When your pet is squeaky clean, rinse them off thoroughly. Make sure all the soap and conditioner are gone since leftover product can dry out their skin and cause itchiness. Dry their fur with a clean towel.

4. Distract Nervous Pups

Does your pooch dread bath time? A little distraction can go a long way. Having treats or a slow treater is an excellent way to keep your dog’s mind off the water while offering positive reinforcement for good behavior. If your dog tends to be difficult, it might help to have someone with you to calm them as you wash. Be prepared to follow up bath time with plenty of praise and affection.

5. Use a Handheld Showerhead

When bathing your dog, you want to maintain control over the water stream. It’s important to use gentle pressure, steer clear of your pet’s eyes, and rinse them off completely. The best way to ensure you’re washing your dog properly is by using a handheld showerhead.

Canopy’s Handheld Filtered Showerhead will do wonders for your skin and hair, and now it can do the same for your pets. Not only will your dog enjoy a controlled, gentle wash, but you’ll also ensure you’re bathing your dog with cleaner, contaminant-free water. Hard water from the tap is full of minerals—like magnesium and calcium—as well as added chemicals, like chlorine, which can clog your pet’s pores and strip away the natural moisture barrier protecting their skin. This can cause dry skin, flakiness, irritation, a dull and dry coat, and dandruff.

Our easy-to-replace tri-media filter removes minerals and contaminants, leaving only soft water that cleans and hydrates your pet’s skin and fur. And the interchangeable scalp massager face plate is perfect for cleaning dense fur all the way down to the root. If you already know and love the original Filtered Showerhead, then our new handheld model is the perfect family-friendly addition to your bathroom. 

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