Tips on Giving Your Dog a Bath

Have you been wondering how often you should bathe your dog? Or how warm the dog bath water should be? Then you’ve come to the right place. We know how difficult it can be to wash your dog, especially if you don’t go to a dog wash or a groomer.

There, they will have the dog bathtub and the dog shampoo ready to use.  Unlike at these neat pet wash places, when you’re bathing your dog at home, you can make a huge mess. Check out the tips on giving your dog a bath to make it clean and simple.

How often should you bathe a dog?

If your dog has rolled in mud or poop, you should bathe him. Also, if your furry pal likes to roll in dead animals, you should bathe him whenever he does that.

If you have an outdoor dog, a little bit of dirt is not that awful. But, it wouldn’t hurt to at least brush out the dirt and give him a bath at least three to four times a year. A quarterly dog wash is actually recommended by the ASPCA.

If you have an indoor dog, you want to remove as much dirt as possible so your pet will need more frequent baths.

If your dog’s fur tends to tangle a lot or you have a snow-white dog, you’ll obviously want to bathe him more often.

On the other hand, if you have a short haired dog, your life will be much easier and you won’t have to buy tons of dog shampoo every year. Dogs with short hair and those sensitive to cold weather should be bathed less in the winter.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bathe a smelly pooch just because it’s cold outside. If your dog stinks, he needs a bath.

If your dog is prone to skin allergies, he may also need more frequent baths. Just make sure he isn’t allergic to the dog shampoo you’re using.

If your dog recently underwent any kind of surgery, you shouldn’t bathe him. Talk to your vet about this, but our advice would be to take your pooch to a dog wash a few days before the scheduled surgery.

How warm should dog bath water be?

Most of us enjoy hot baths, but our four-legged friends don’t. Hot water can easily burn dogs so you should avoid making this mistake.

On the other hand, your dog probably won’t enjoy freezing cold water or being sprayed with a garden hose. Unless it’s the middle of the summer, of course.

But for regular baths, you really want to use lukewarm water for your dog bath tub. Your dog will appreciate it.

For those of you who prefer numbers, lukewarm is about 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius. However, we’re not suggesting that you have to use the thermometer when giving your dog a bath. Simply try to use water that’s neither hot nor cold.

Other tips for bathing your dog

Getting your dog to a groomer is a good idea if he also needs a haircut, nail trimming, or has a show coming up. Also, if your pup really hates baths, good dog groomers know how to handle this.

Never use your own shampoo or another human shampoo to bathe your dog. Dog shampoos have the right pH value and won’t upset your dog’s skin. However, if you notice a reaction even though you were using dog shampoo, your dog might be allergic to one of the ingredients.

In this case, you should switch to another dog shampoo. Also, make sure you rinse thoroughly to prevent skin reactions. If the skin reaction is severe, you should talk to a vet.

Always brush your dog before giving it a bath to remove excess dirt and untangle tangled hair.

Don’t bathe your dog if you’ve applied a spot on treatment within the last 48 hours or you plan to do so in the next 48 hours.

Place cotton balls into your dog’s ears to prevent them from getting wet. Don’t use hot air blow dryers to dry your dog. Either air dry or use blow dryers designed for dogs.

Finally, reward your dog when it’s all done.

Key takeaways

Here’s a summary of our top tips for bathing your dog:

  •         If your dog smells bad or has rolled in mud, poop, or dead animals, give him a bath
  •         Wash your pooch at least three to four times a year
  •         Don’t wash your dog every day (once a month is okay for most dogs)
  •         Use lukewarm water and dog shampoo your pet is not allergic to
  •         Consider taking your dog to a groomer or a pet wash
  •         Don’t bathe your dog right after surgery, or within 48 hours of using a spot-on treatment
  •         Brush your furry friend before bathing him
  •         Place cotton balls into your dog’s ears to keep them dry
  •         Don’t use hot air blow dryers