Owning a dog brings joy like very little else. But, let's face it, there are downsides as well; fox poo, stinky ponds and wet dog - all scents loved by our dogs but not so much by us! Time then to throw yourself into bathing your dog which, if done correctly, can be a delightful bonding experience as well as a lot of fun.
At DotDotPet we have created this user-friendly guide on bathing your dog at home to ensure a smooth, stress-free experience for both you and your pooch.
Gather supplies and choose your location
Unless it is a fox poo emergency, the best place to start is by choosing your location and gathering everything you will need for a successful bath time
- Inside or outside in the garden – it will depend on time of year, weather, your set up at home and whether it’s a planned bath or an emergency!
- Dog Towels
- Dog Shampoo
- Non-slip mat (optional, but helpful)
- Brush or comb
- Dog Treats (optional, but highly recommended)
- Cotton balls (for ears)
Brush before bathing
If you can, we recommend giving your pup a good brush first (link to grooming brush). This helps remove debris, tangles and mats, making the bath more effective. Plus, it's an excellent opportunity for some quality bonding time and can calm you pooch before getting in the shower or bath
Prepping the bathing Area
Set up a comfortable space and if you're bathing them indoors, use the shower, bath, or large basin. Outdoors, a hose or kiddie pool can do the trick. Lay down a non-slip mat or a towel to keep your dog steady
Gently wet your dog with lukewarm water, starting at the neck and working your way down. Be mindful of their face, as many dogs don't like water on their head. Use a washcloth or your hands to wet their face instead
Apply a line or two of shampoo along the dog’s spine. Gently massage it into your dog's coat, starting from the neck down, adding more water if needed to get a good lather. Avoid getting shampoo in their eyes, ears, or mouth
Using a soft damp cloth or cotton ball, clean around your dog's ears and eyes. Be extra careful here, as dogs are sensitive in these areas
Make sure to rinse your dog's coat thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo. Any leftover shampoo can cause skin irritation
Time to dry!
Gently rub your dog dry with a towel, again being cautious around their face. If your dog enjoys it, you can also use a hair dryer on a low, cool setting. Be careful with the dryer to avoid overheating or frightening your dog. Voila, your dog’s luxury Spa experience is complete!
Keep your cool
Some dogs will be very anxious when bathed for the first time, it is important that you keep it as positive an experience as possible. Never get cross with them and offer plenty of treats and praise. End the bath on a positive note with another treat and some playtime. This reinforces that bath time is a fun experience
How often should I bathe my dog?
Here's a common question: How often should you subject your four-legged friend to a bath?
Well, it depends on your pup's lifestyle and breed:
- Active dogs who love romping in the mud may need more frequent baths, around once a month
- Less active dogs who spend more time indoors can go longer between baths, about every 2-3 months.
Remember, overbathing can strip your dog's coat of essential oils, leading to dry skin. So, moderation is key!
DotDot offers a range of solutions to keep bath time as stress free as possible for both you and your pup; from specifically formulated gentle shampoos with a dog loved scent to reduce anxiety, to a range of stylish bamboo dog towels topped off with Eco Towels which are great for drying your dog’s sensitive areas