It’s no secret that many dogs dread bath time. Luckily, there are ways to make the experience easier and more pleasant for your pooch—and you! First, decide whether you will wash your dog outside (if the weather is warm) or in the bathroom. Then, follow these seven steps:
To get your dog comfortable with the bath process, put her in a tub without water, give her a treat, and then take her out. Do this a few times.
Put on clothes you won’t mind getting dirty. Place towels, shampoo, a brush, treats, and a cup within reach. If you’re washing your dog in the bathroom, move any items he can knock over, and place a non-skid mat down in the tub. Close the door behind you. Give the dog praise and a treat to start the experience off right.
Take off your dog’s collar and tags. Do a quick brushing to remove as much hair as possible.
Make sure the water isn’t too hot or cold. Use a shampoo that’s designed for pets. Human shampoos can strip too much of the fur’s natural oils, which protect dogs from cold and wet weather. Start shampooing the dog’s shoulders and move out from there, being extra gentle around her face and any sensitive areas. Be sure to get down to the undercoat.
Use a detachable showerhead, a large cup, or a flexible hose to rinse Fido. Don’t forget his chest, belly, neck, and under his tail. You can then apply a pet conditioner if your dog has a longer coat that needs to be brushed out, and rinse again.
If the weather is warm, wrap your dog in a towel and carry or keep her outside to get dry. If not, pull the shower curtain closed so she can shake off, and then rub her with a towel. If she has a longer coat, you may want to use a blow dryer set on low.
Brush your dog again. This will remove any hair loosened by the bath and redistribute oils in the fur. Your dog will shine!