Washing Your Dog

by Julia Woodbury
(last updated August 3, 2020)

Although there is a great variety of dogs out in the world, there are generally just two ways of washing them. Depending on what you know about your dog (How big is it? How thick is its fur? How much does it like water? How likely is it that it will shake off?) you can decide between these two options: indoor bath or outdoor bath. For any doggy wash you will want to collect the following items for yourself and your pet:

  • Clothes that can get wet (sweats and a tee shirt)
  • A dog brush
  • Pet shampoo or baby shampoo
  • A tether (especially for large dogs)
  • A large cup or pitcher, or a hose or shower attachment
  • Towels

If you are planning on working outdoors, find a large basin or kiddie pool that your dog will fit in.

Before you begin, you will want to thoroughly brush your dog in order to remove dirt, burrs, and matted hair. If your dog's fur is badly matted or tangled when it gets wet, the mats and tangles will just get worse.

If your dog is uncomfortable around water, fill the tub or sink in advance so that the sound of running water won't disturb your pet. Coax your dog into the water and, if you can, tether your dog so it can't escape in the middle of the bath. Begin to pour water over your dog. This is when it would be handy to have a shower attachment so you can have a continuous flow of water going over your pet. If that is not an option, a cup or pitcher will do the job.

Once your dog is wet, rub a sufficient amount of shampoo into your dog's coat. The amount will depend on the size of your dog and the thickness of its coat. Check your shampoo for more specific instructions. In general, you should rub the shampoo in the direction of your dog's hair growth. This is especially useful for dogs with long hair because it will keep the hair from getting tangled.

Next you will need to rinse your dog thoroughly using the shower attachment or water pitcher. It is important to get all the soap out of your dog's fur, otherwise it will make the skin itchy and flaky. Residue shampoo might also be ingested by your dog. A good way to check if you have gotten all the shampoo out is to press your hand along your dog's fur. If you see bubbles, keep rinsing.

In the washing process, you shouldn't submerge your dog's head. Some dog's ears are prone to infection if they get wet inside. Wash your dog's face separately using a sponge or a washcloth.

When the bath is done, towel your dog down. If you are outside, you may want to make sure to keep your wet dog away from the dirt for a while, otherwise it might get muddy and need another bath. If you wish, you can dry your damp dog with a hair dryer. Just be sure to use the lowest, coolest setting, and don't allow the air to stay on one patch of hair too long, otherwise it may burn your dog.

One last note is to try washing your dog only when it needs it. Washing your dog too much may lead to dry, flaky skin and a loss of the natural oils that protect your dog's fur.

Author Bio

Julia Woodbury

Julia Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University. She delights in the written word and has interests in magazine writing and editing. ...

MORE FROM JULIA

Washing Whites

There's a reason they're called whites. Don't let irony get the better of you with grey and dingy "whites." Here are some ...

Discover More

Washing Delicates

Although we should all wash our hands, when the tag on an article of clothing instructs to "hand wash," its not talking ...

Discover More

Washing Your Cat

Anyone who has chased a soapy, sopping wet feline around the house knows the risks of bathing cats. Here are some tips on ...

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Self Cleaning Cat Litter

Are you tired of cleaning the cat litter box? Some litter box set-ups self-clean the litter so you don't have to worry.

Discover More

Removing Cat Urine from Multicolored Pillows

Owning a young cat can be something of a mixed blessing. While they are cute and adorable, they have a tendency to make ...

Discover More

Keeping the Cat's Litter Box Clean

Find out how to completely clean and sanitize your cat's litter box. Then read on for some tips on how to keep it clean ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.