How to Bathe a Dog

how to bathe a dog

You want to prepare to bathe a dog before you start the actual process. Start by taking the dog on a long walk for 45 minutes to an hour. Make sure it is long enough to where the dogs’ ears are back, tail is relaxed, and open mouth.

Once you exhaust the dog enough and come back to the house let the dog smell everything. This gets the dog comfortable. Let me smell the leash, towel, shampoo, and water hose until the dog turns their head.

Wetting the feet first is a recommendation if you are outside or inside the house. Whenever the dog is not standing still stop bathing and washing them until they get calm. Using a leash until the do is trained is a strong recommendation.

Corrections are good for communicating you don’t like the behavior. So, just to make sure we are clear when the dog is moving you stop until they stop, and you continue when the dog is standing still.

You can train a dog to not shake after you give them a bath but try to let them do the behavior away from you. They can and will learn this behavior with consistency.

Doing this every time your dog needs a bath will create a calm and positive experience. Lead with exercise and the rest will become easier.


The worst thing you can do is try to bathe a dog calmly while they are full of energy and excitement. Nothing is wrong with energy and excitement but you want to give them an outlet so they can be calm during the bath.

If you never exercise your dog, you may want to give them a longer session of an hour or better. If you take the dog to the bathroom, mailbox, or put them in the backyard that’s not any form of exercise.

Dogs will start to show signs of through body language and behavior. Ears back, tail relaxed, and an open mouth is the best sign that you are ready to bath the dog. Ignoring dogs and other cats is another sign that they are getting tired.

Leash While Bathing Dog

The reason you should use a leash is to control the dog and the distance. We never want the bath to turn into the dog running around the yard. Fixing this is easy when using a leash that is short.

Longer the leash the worst because of the same problems you have with them off leash, too many options. Removing all the options starts and ends with a leash on that is short but not tight.

You always want the leash to have some slack so that the dog isn’t pulling away when they are calm. You only want the leash to get tight when they are jumping around and with slack when they are standing still.


Only time clients have a hard time with bathing a dog is due to excitement. Although exercise will take care of the bulk of this issue you need to make sure you are not making the dog more excited.

This is done primarily from talking, soothing, and verbally interacting with the dog. During training you should remain silent until you are done and praise after you and the dog have done the right thing.

How Often to Bathe a Dog

Dog differ but most breeds only need a bath once a month or once every six weeks. Putting products and chemicals that are safe but not natural for a dog to bath in should not be put on the dog weekly.

True as this is dogs still need to have acceptable hygiene and the last thing you need is to smelly dog. And in some cases, it can be bad so make sure they get 12 bath a year.

How to Bathe Dog at Home

In the home you should take the same precautions you would outside. To recap, take the dog on a long walk or run, put them in the tub, wait till they’re calm, turn the water on, wait till their calm, and start bathing.

Let them smell each item until they turn their head. Put them in a dry place after drying them off. Using a large cup can assist with getting the dog a bath without putting them in uncomfortable situations.

Can You Bathe a Dog with Human Shampoo?

Human shampoo is not made for dogs and will ignore several factors. PH balance is a big issue and most people look to avoid anything that may potentially be harmful to the dog.

Make sure the shampoo says something that approves of its use on animals or avoid altogether. You should consult with a professional before using items that are not made for dogs.

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