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How to Properly Bathe a Dog

Get some shampoo, water, and a towel.. It should be enough to shower a dog, right? Yes and no. It’s more than that, but the end goal is to give your dog a good bath that will keep both their skin and coat clean and shiny. Giving your dog a good bath is a very important part of taking care of them while maintaining good hygiene. Depending on the type of breed, the frequency of how often you shower a dog differs. Other than that, you should also prepare how to make the whole bathing process as stress-free as possible, using the right and appropriate bath essentials, and how to shower a dog properly

Read on further to discover the right way to shower a dog here at Pretty Pets Kennel!

How to Bathe a Dog the Right Way?

Before giving your pooch a proper scrub, you must prepare the bath essentials and prepare the dog’s coat. The bath essentials and tools include shampoo and conditioner (that are made for dogs only), towels, brush or comb, loofah (or a hand towel), and of course, treats.

First, before placing your dog in the designated bathing area, make sure to comb your dog’s hair to avoid tangles and mats. This is especially important if your dog has longer hair. Combing your dog’s hair can avoid unnecessary tangling and matting while you bathe them, and can help reduce discomfort for your dog as you wash them. 

Next, check the water temperature and pressure. The ideal temperature to shower a dog must be lukewarm, while the pressure must be low. We wouldn’t want the extreme temperatures to make our pooches uncomfortable. Colder water does not do a good job of thoroughly cleansing a dog. 

Once you place your dog in the bathing area, don’t forget to give them treats! It’s a great way to reinforce a positive treatment and to keep the whole experience pleasant. On to the bathing part, start soaking the coat in the middle of the dog’s body, spreading the water evenly all over the dog. Do not dump the water directly on the dog’s head, make sure to slowly wet the head to avoid getting water inside their ears or nose.

Dilute the shampoo in water to create suds and to spread the shampoo evenly on the dog’s body. Experts say to shampoo dogs twice when you bathe them. The first time is to get rid of dirt and oil, while the second time is to wash off the remaining dirt on the skin and fur. This is where your loofah or hand towel comes in handy, so you can scrub down your dog and spread the shampoo around. Don’t forget the paws, the insides of the paws, belly, armpits, and the backside!

If your breed has folds on their faces and body such as bulldogs or pugs, make sure to use a small towel with shampoo to clean in-between the creases to get rid of the build-up. Be gentle as you massage their face and head. Washing the dog’s face and head can be tricky, but you must avoid getting any product in their eyes and ears.  

After shampooing, apply conditioner evenly on your dog’s coat and leave it on for a few minutes to bring back moisture on their fur. Towards the end of the shower, rinse off the residual shampoo and conditioner completely. Not washing off the excess soap can cause irritation on the dog’s skin. 

You’re done with the heavy work of bathing your dog! As you finish the bath, put your dog on top of a solid surface with a towel underneath. Then, you can proceed with towel drying your dog. Pay special attention to their ears and dry it gently just in case some water slipped in. 

After towel drying, you can either blow-dry or air-dry your dog. To blow dry them, use it at medium at cool setting. Air-drying them is fine as long as they do not get shiver or get chills. No matter what option you choose, it’s important to brush your dog’s fur as it dries to avoid mats and to separate tangles and mats. 

Congratulations, you’ve successfully bathed your dog! Don’t forget to reward your dog in-between and after their bath with some treats for job well done. Reinforce a positive treatment and be gentle with your dog for an overall comfortable experience. 

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

Generally, most dogs should be bathed once a month. Unless they’re the type to run around and roll in puddles or mud, then yes, you should give them a bath after play time to keep them squeaky clean. The frequency of how often your dog should shower depends on their breeds. Usually those with shorter furs, require less frequent baths compared to those with long haired coats that need more maintaining and showering. 

Bathing dogs too often can actually lead to stripping their coat of its natural oils, their skin drying and in some cases, irritation may occur. If you are unsure on how often you should shower a dog, you can consult with your veterinarian. You may also consult with them on the type of shampoo to best suit your dog’s skin type or concern.

Where to Bathe Your Dog? 

To find the ideal place to bathe your dog, you must consider their size. For smaller breeds, they can be bathed on a sink. A bathtub is also a great option to accommodate most dog sizes where you can use a detachable shower head. 

On the other hand, if you prefer to bathe your dog outside, you can use a garden host, but make sure the weather is good. Avoid bathing them in colder weathers. Bathe them in an area that you’re comfortable getting the area wet, since you will get water everywhere. You can also use a dog tub to put them in.


Make you and your dog’s bathing experience comfortable by preparing the important products and where to bathe them. Keep their coat tangle and mat-free by brushing their hair before and after bathing. Use lukewarm water on your dog and make sure to avoid getting product or water inside their eyes and ears. Lastly, don’t forget to give your pooch treats to keep the experience positive and pleasant. 

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