Introduction: How to Give a Dog a Bath

Picture of How to Give a Dog a Bath

In this Instructable, I will show you the basics of giving your dog that much needed bath. I am going to teach you everything I know about proper washing techniques for a puppie and a large dog.

Step 1: Choosing a Location

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First off, you will need to find a proper location to wash your dog. You want to avoid a place that will get muddy or ruined with lots of water. I suggest an outside location, if you use the bathtub, prepare to clean a wet, hairy, bathroom. Get your dog on a clean, elevated object, like a table or stool, for easy access. This might require some training. if your dog can't stay on the table, attach a short leash to a pole next to the stand, short enough to keep the dog from jumping off.

Step 2: Begin the Wash

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Comfort is key. Attach the hose to an indoor water source. If you wouldn't want to take a shower at the water's current temperature, your dog won't either. Make sure the hose is on a gentle setting. Would you want to be blasted by a hose set to jet? Now the fun begins. You want you're dog soaking wet, and by soaking, I mean soaking. Cover every inch of it's body, leave nothing dry. Be extra careful around the eyes, ears, and nose.

Step 3: Shampooing

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Dilute the shampoo with water and place in a spray bottle. Apply heavily to every inch of your dog's body, including paws and the tail. Rub the shampoo deep into the undercoat, and if possible, reach the skin. Be extra careful around the eyes, ears, and nose. You don't want to cause irritation and discomfort. when every inch of your dog is soaped up, wash it off with water from the hose. Unlike humans, don't repeat. Wet, Lather, Wash.

Step 4: Drying

Picture of Drying

Do NOT use hairdryers, they will overheat the dog. If you can, buy a doggie blow-drier that blasts cool air at a high velocity. It quickly dries the dog without heat. We got ours at a dog show, check your local pet store. If you don't have one of these, towel dry your dog with a big hug. Your dog will be very frizzy after drying, comb this out. Your done, show of your nice and clean dog by taking it for a walk. Give it a treat for being such a good girl/boy.


TN777 (author)2012-03-06

Pic # 5 the dog has a mini afro!

DRH1469 (author)TN7772012-04-23

hahaha i agree

frenchkisser (author)2012-03-20

I use a hairdryer but my hairdryer has cold air button
is it okay to use a hairdryer when it has a cold air option?

Mauigerbil (author)frenchkisser2012-04-08

I would assume. Just make sure it is cold air 100% of the time! ;)

Lamarch (author)2012-02-13

What can I do to help, my dog relax and like taking a bath, he fights me so much I only end up giving him a bath once a year. he's two and did not mind a bath as a puppy. any help

adonsindra (author)2011-04-11

being a dog groomer for 13 years i have to say this is a pretty good instructable. although i would add make you brush you dog out very well prior to wetting them down with a slicker brush. these can be found at your local pet store. if your dog has any tangles when it gets wet, the water will make them worse and then you have a matted dog that might need to be fully shaved.

also, i wouldnt use people shampoo on dogs. as the other poster said the ph is much too high and can irritate an animals skin. also when bathing the head area use a pet shampoo made for the head and face or a very dialuted baby shampoo and be very careful to not get it in the eyes. shampoo can cause serious chemical burns in an animals eyes, not to mention possibility for eye infections.

remember to make bath time fun for your animal, and give them lots of treats. if you ever do have to take him to a groomer he will associate it with a good time and it will be much less stressful for him.

tsuwah (author)2010-10-06

i use chamois, the one you use on cars... i dont know if thats dangerous but it works well.

alexandrarb (author)2010-06-13


paper sack ideas (author)2009-08-12

How often should you give your dog a bath? I have a blue Heeler, gave him a bath and within a few days he is stinky again. I don't want to irritate his skin with too much washing and also concerned about washing off the flea/tick drops that I put on his back. I am new to owning a dog so would appreciate advice about this. Maybe I did not do a good enough job when I bathed him, I think this Instructable will help a lot with that! Thanks!

In the summer time I use my grand kids little pool (hard plastic)of course and put my baby in the water and away we go.Wash time and she loves it hope you enjoy your puppy. I have 2 dogs 2 cats 2 birds and they all get along great. Mama bear P.S. have fun

jjjjack (author)2009-05-23

good idea to dilute the soap in a bottle!

sweetened (author)2009-05-20

sweet dog thanks for the tips but I know how to do that already

Sunny124613 (author)2008-07-17

I wash my dog in the tub! she is just a Jack Russell and she does not like getting wet much either

my sister has a dog and she doesn't give her a bath the dog(rosey) smells very very bad.

benyasbabe (author)2009-03-26

This is great, thanks for the tips!

b_a_b_e (author)2009-03-14


iLikeCoolStuf (author)2009-02-01

could i use normal shampoo like the shampoo that we (Humans) use

Gman2005cs (author)iLikeCoolStuf2009-03-11

no no no. human's shampoo ph level is too high or low (i can't remember). it can give your dog a rash and dandruff

benthekahn (author)2009-01-03

Im assuming a dryer that has a no heat setting would be fine?

CRYROLFE (author)2008-08-11

Great well behaved! Another comment that I have is to have a comb or rake handy. Once you shampoo the dog, you should rinse then add a little more shampoo and a diluted cream rinse or conditioner on TOP of the shampoo....then it will spread well and fast. After that, with the shampoo still on the dog's coat, take your brush, comb, or short toothed rake and comb it through the entire coat making sure to get our any loose hair or undercoat. If the dog is shorter haired like a Lab or Rott or Beagle....the rubber curry brushes or Zoom Grooms work really well. (These also work well for long haired dogs to get the shampoo in very quickly). This step will save you a LOT of time and work on the brushing after the bath and will be more comfortable for your dog. I agree on the cotton for the bath but it will also help w/ the drying since the dryers can be loud and scary sometimes. I think (haven't tried it myself) that a regular (clean) shop vac will work for the drying too....just hook the hose part on the blowing end of the vac and use the nozzle attachment.

nicoletita (author)2008-07-13

Cute dog! i have a berner too
i bathed him yesterday, and it was kind of a pain cause he is shedding a lot
hes 10 months old and still got spots of dead puppy fur...
any advice on getting all the dead hai out?

Badgergirl (author)nicoletita2008-08-01

All I can think of is brushing him a lot!

Badgergirl (author)2008-08-01

I wash my golden retriever in a tub, and she always tries to escape. It takes two people to wash her. One to hold her down, and the other to wash her. She is kind of afraid of... well everything (stairs, heights, etc..)

rnc11254 (author)2008-07-19

Bulk cotton is sold in most drugstores. You can take a nice big loose chunk of cotton and lightly push it in your dog's ear to keep water out. Of course, you should still try to avoid getting water in, but the cotton makes a nice barrier for the accidental spray.

bristlenose52 (author)2008-04-06

You make it sound easy. I'm always scared i'll get water in my dog's ears. He always tries to move out of the way of the water. I have to wash him under the shower, then pass him on to someone else to towel dry. then he goes mental and runs up and down the house, shaking everywhere and looking for something revolting to roll in. I don't want to wash my dog in cold water, so that's why I wash him under a warm shower in the bathroom. Nice looking dog...

Here's a suggestion for preventing water from going into your dog's ears. Take your fingers and press from behind the ear (where it meets the dog's head) to close the ear flap over the ear hole. Remember to bring the water from the back of the head forward (you can even gently push the dogs' head forward to help the water fall off the front of the nose). You can even try to soak a clean sponge in water and squeeze it over the spots you need to rinse. This gives you more control of the water than a spray nozzle or container of water splashing all over the place. Hope this helps.

Brother_D (author)2008-06-11

This helps. It's impossible to get my dog anywhere near water.

=SMART= (author)2008-04-24

i use a towel to dry down my dog , she loves it! all warm and snuggly!

erick.mendes (author)2008-04-22

Hi friend. I got some points that I think really need to be considered in your instructable. First of, you suggest to put the dog in an elevated place to give it bath. thru not totally necessary, it's useful, but I would consider to recommend to be VERY careful when choosing where you are going to put your dog on: 1 - Consider the height of the place you are going to give bath to your dog in the case of choosing an elevated one. What a fall from that place would cause, if your dog don't have the agility to fall standing on it's pawns? Think of it in the case of a puppy or senior dog 2 - Consider the surface of the place: does it have holes where your dog could stuck it's pawn? Would your dog slip on it? 3 - Is the size of it enough to permit your dog to movement a little? In the case of using a leash to keep your dog in place while bathing him, the care should be even more, cause a slip and you could end with your dog hanged. My other recommendation is to carefully put cotton balls on your dogs ears before wetting him. Residual moisture could lead to infections. Just before ending the bath and before drying him with towels, you can take the cottons balls out. Other important thing is to check before if your dog's race have any issues with skin/hair moisture. Some races are more sensible, and can end up with skin deceases if you don't dry him carefully. In may very own case, I got two shi-tzus, and if I don't dry them with a hair drier after each bath, they can end up skin-ill after some baths. Other races simply don't have any problem with it, and drying it with a towel would be enough. For anyone worried about giving your dog a bath yourself, don't be afraid. Just take care where you put your dog on, what you use to bath him and how dry it need to be after bath. With that in mind, enjoy it!

DjProToJeeX (author)2008-04-14

quote from the rules of burning questions round 4 "They have to be on the list! Only Instructables answering questions on the list will be admitted to the group and prizes. Otherwise, don't submit them to the group!" great instructable. a+. But my only question is what list was this on for burning questions? i see how to get rid of bad doggie breath but no how to give a dog a bath on the list. just wondering if theres some secret list of burning questions i dont know about.

Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)DjProToJeeX2008-04-14

Once a question is answered, it is removed from the list. That way, there isn't multiple entries. First come first serve.

*It avoids a flood of instructables on the same topic.

DjProToJeeX (author)Spl1nt3rC3ll2008-04-14

does it also help avoid the fluff instructables people write that look like they took 5 minutes to compile just to enter in the contests?

DjProToJeeX (author)Spl1nt3rC3ll2008-04-14

they should make it easy and cross em off if there changin the list and adding to it. cause i see that this morning they musta removed a bunch of em that were still on there. Cause i was flipping through to vote on one. and i was like man theres a few that aint even on the list. there making it too confusing.

3g3e3o (author)2008-04-01

I have a 4 month old chocolate lab. If you leave the bathroom door open she will jump in the shower. She loves showers so we put so water in the tub wash her up then shower her off. The best way to get a dog in the tube is let them go in there with no water then slowly add water in a week or two. Good Luck

Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)3g3e3o2008-04-01

Thanks for the advise! I'll try it out when the weather it too bad for an outside wash. If you leave the bathroom door open she will jump in the shower. Lol, what does she/he do when the door is closed? Ignore it, or scratch at the door?

Did you vote for me?

Strange, did you hear that? Huh, must have been the wind.

Doctor What (author)2008-03-29

Awww! She's all fuzzy!

staylor29a11 (author)2008-03-29

cool i would have never thought to use a spray bottle for the shampoo, that makes it easier to hold the dog and clean the dog

manmelvin (author)2008-03-28

Did mazee shrink or something? i remember her being a lot bigger than in the pictures here

Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)manmelvin2008-03-28

Naw, those pictures are old. She's six now, and it's too cold out to give her a bath.

I love berners. Thank you for this post. I have a 14 month old who hate's getting baths

Thanks, If it doesn't snow tomorrow I'll update the the pictures and techniques, as I may have forgotten some things.

BTW, Berners RULE!

About This Instructable




Bio: Avid Geocacher and fan of all things iBles.
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