Doggie Grooming: Bathing

This should also be started early to allow your dog to get accustom to it. Start them at an early age and start slowly with lots and lots of praise. Unless your vet says otherwise, it is best to bathe your dog once a month or more if needed. If you have an outside dog or one that is outside a lot, they may need to be bathed more often, as they will be romping in the mud and trees (and possibly other smelly things).

It is important to use a good quality dog shampoo and NOT human shampoo. Human and dog shampoos are very different, the pH of our (human vs. dog) skin is not the same.

Depending on the size or age of your dog, you may start bathing them in a sink or the bathtub using the shower head, or allowing the tub to fill slowly. I recommend getting one of those shower heads that have a long flexible "neck." It helps you reach all of your dog's parts and will help you get your dog accustomed to being bathed.

Start with a little water in the tub/sink and let your dog get used to the water, use lots of praise and maybe a treat or two to help them relax. If you are using the flexible shower head, start at the dog's feet and slowly work your way up until the dog is completely wet, be sure they are relaxed and don’t go too fast. Keep them relaxed as much as possible, remember make it a positive experience for the dog. Once your dog is completely wet, apply the shampoo and gently work it over the dog’s body just the same as if you are washing your own hair, follow the instructions on the shampoo label for how long the shampoo should stay on the dog, as times may vary.

Once you have finished washing your dog with the shampoo rinse them gently and completely. Use soft towels to dry them, you will most likely not get us completely dry, but that is ok we will dry in time, but be sure that we stay in a clean warm place until we are completely dry.

If your dog has been bathed, and still has a funny or unusual order, or seems to smell funny a few days after bathing, consult your vet, as this may be signs of skin problems.

A photo of Leeloo, a chow chow mix dog, with her tongue out. She does not like baths.