How to Properly Bathe Your Dog

Like us humans, your dog gets dirty and requires baths for good hygiene. Bathing a dog can be challenging sometimes, but it comes with great rewards. Before you give your dog it's next bath, follow these tips to properly bathe your dog. 

You may find that getting your dog to cooperate when it's bath time will take a lot of patience and coaxing. So the purpose of a thorough bath is to help with odor, dirt build up, possible parasites and allergies. 

Receiving baths is an essential part of a dog's development; baths should be given to your dog as early as four months old. It is important that they get used to the process while they are young so that they understand it is a part of their routine. 

In general, most dogs require a bath about once a month; however, different coat types and the environment in which your dog lives in determines a more specific time frame for bathing.

How to Determine When a Bath is Needed

If your dog is a short-haired or a smooth-coated breed such as Pointers and Weimeraners, he or she requires minimal bathing about once a month. More double-coated breeds such as Huskies and Samoyeds require baths about every two months.

Double-coated Husky

Be careful!  You don’t want to over bathe your dogs because their skin produces natural oils that help prevent their coat and skin from drying out leading to dandruff, coat static and tangles.

Signs Your Dog Requires a Bath

  • Your dog may be shedding 
  • Your dog has a bad odor
  • You see visible dirt and debris on their coat
  • You see your dog scratching themselves which may indicate parasites or allergies

How to Bathe and How Often

The frequency in which a dog needs to be bathed really just depends on your dog. Factors may include: 

  • Dog is very dirty
  • The dog's coat type 
  • Rapid hair growth
  • Preparing for a special occasion
  • Sudden appearance of parasites 
  • Medicated shampoo prescribed by a vet

Dogs can be bathed outside on warm days with the garden hose, inside your home in your tub, or if you have a small dog they can be bathed in the kitchen or laundry sink.  Before a bath is given, it is good to comb and brush through the coat and apply cotton balls to their ears so that water does not get in them. If you need to clean inside the ears then you can use dog ear cleaner or ear wipes. Make sure the water is lukewarm/cool when rinsing and to make sure that rinsing is done thoroughly as to not leave any soap residue behind. 

During your dog's bath, some handle the process very well while other dogs are not as comfortable. If you find that your dog is nervous and uneasy then use soothing and reassuring voices during their bath to help keep them calm.

Types of Baths

Your dog may require a more specific bath rather than just the typical bath. If your dog’s skin and coat fit a different criteria then they may need extra help that sometimes a professional can provide them. Some of the following baths that may be necessary are: 

  • Medicated bath
  • Hypo-allergic 
  • Texturizing
  • Deodorizing
  • Flea/tick 
  • Color Enhancer 
  • Deshedding 

Drying Methods and Techniques 

Once bathtime is over, you will have a dripping wet dog on your hands. The next step after your pup’s bath is to get him or her  to dry. There are different ways to dry your dog after they have been bathed.

  • Air dry 
  • Towel dry 
  • Hand held blow dry 
  • Force Dryer (mostly used by professionals)

These methods depend on the tolerance of your dog. Air and towel drying gives them the option of naturally drying on their own. As where a handheld blow dryer and a force dryer helps speed up the drying process as well as leave better results for their coat. 

Using the hand held and force dryer method is mostly based on your dog’s tolerance for those particular tools. The reason is because the noise may scare them and the heat setting must be monitored to prevent injury.

The Benefits of Bathing

If you want a happy, clean, fresh smelling dog to snuggle, then what better way to achieve that than to have a properly bathed dog. The benefits to having a clean dog include: 

  • A healthy coat 
  • Good smelling dog
  • No dirt and debris
  • Control of parasites 
  • Your dog's comfort

Still need more help? 

Sometimes your dog may be way more difficult for you to bathe than you can handle so that is when you may have to consider taking them to a professional. 

Signs that you may need more help: 

  • Dog thrashes around uncontrollably while being bathed or bites 
  • Unable to get parasites and/or allergies under control
  • After every technique you have tried no longer works
  • Not sure what shampoo is best to use
  • Notice that your dog requires grooming along with the bath 

A Bathed Dog is a Happy Dog

Repetitive bathing will help your dog get used to the process of being bathed and dried. Bathing your dog will leave their skin and coat clean and odorless. As long as you keep them bathed regularly, you are guaranteed to help have this part of their hygiene on the right track.

Here at Bark ATL, we are here to help you and your dog in any way!  So if you would like to pamper your dog with a professional bath and grooming, please give us a call at (404) 688-2275 to schedule an appointment with our dog groomer.