How To Bath Your Dog: Tips & How-To
Bathing your dog is usually not very popular with them! It plays an important role in the health of your dogs skin and coat, helping them to keep free of dirt & parasites… and of course improves their smell.
Whilst dogs do no require daily baths, it is important to bath on a regular basis – this depends on the breed of your dog. We advise:
- Bathing once a month works for most dogs.
- Dogs with an oily coat, like Basset Hounds, may need bathing as frequently as once a week.
- Many short-haired breeds with smooth coats, such as Beagles and Weimaraners, do just fine with less frequent baths.
- Breeds with water-repellent coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees, should be bathed less often so as to preserve their natural oils.
- Dogs with thick, double coats — such as Malamutes, and other Northern breeds — do best with fewer baths and a lot of extra brushing (which gets rid of loose, dead hair and helps distribute natural oils that keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy).
Be sure to avoid bathing more often than truly necessary, or you’ll strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils, making it dry and more prone to dandruff, frizzies, and mats. Some shampoos may dry or irritate the dog’s skin more than others, in which case you should bathe less often or try a different shampoo.
How to Bath Your Dog
- Brush your dog before a bath. Matted hair holds water, leaving your dog with irritated skin. It is important to brush the mattes out before a bath – if you can’t do this yourself, book in with a groomer. You may think about putting a cotton ball in each ear to keep water out; it helps prevent ear infections and irritation.
- Use lukewarm water. Dog skin is different from ours, and hot water can burn dogs more easily. Bath water should never be hotter than what you’d run for a human baby. Keep it even cooler for large-breed dogs because they can easily overheat.
- Talk to your dog in a reassuring voice. Some dogs will eventually learn that you’re not torturing them, although others will continue to hide under the whenever you get out a towel!
- Use dog shampoo (what we recommend is below). It’s less drying to their skin than people shampoo. Work the shampoo into a gentle lather and massage it all over your dog’s body, being careful not to get soap into the eyes or ears. If you suspect the shampoo is causing irritation to your dog, try a different shampoo. If your dog has a skin infection, tea tree shampoo is recommended. We recommend oatmeal shampoo if your dog has skin eruptions, allergies, or a very dry coat.
- Rinse well. Any soap left in the fur can irritate your dog’s skin once dry. Rinse, rinse, and repeat the rinse.
- Air-dry. Hot air from a human blow-dryer is too hot for their skin. Either air-dry or use a blow-dryer designed for dogs; its lower temperatures won’t cause itching or dandruff.
- Reward your dog. Follow up with praise, play or treats!