We all love our dogs- but it's hard to give them hugs when they're covered in mud and smell after digging in the yard. Luckily, washing your dog can be easy and relatively hassle free for you and your pet if you know the best methods!
Step 1: Supplies You'll Need....
- Coat brush
- Shedding brush
- Shampoo or wash that will work best for your dog. You can find shampoos pertaining to specific issues like shedding or odor and conditioners.
- Towels- plenty
- Dog treats
- Bowl for rinsing if using bathtub or shower with a removable shower head
- Optional: Spare comb for ears- it will be more gentle and effective.
Step 2: Prep Bath and Dog
While the bath is running, lay a big beach towel down in front of the bath- this will keep muddy paw prints and water from getting on the floor or rug, making an easier cleanup.
Note: The water should be more lukewarm than warm. Don't make it the hot temperature you'd use for your own bath!
Once the water is a good temperature, fill the tub up to less than a fourth of your dogs height.
Have treats nearby: if your dog is more squirmy and likes to try jumping out, you can use it to coax them back in, or reward them after their bath is over.
Step 3: Rinse Dog
Once your dog is in the bath, fill the bowl with water, and rinse your dogs back, chest, and paws.
For their head, gently tip their chin up and carefully pour the water so it falls back, away from their eyes and snout.
Step 4: Prep Brush
Take your brush and run it under the faucet to wet it, then add a bit of shampoo onto the bristles- a tall, quarter size works for my dog's size- and massage it in to create a lather.
- You can also use your hands if you don't have this kind of brush available and massage it straight into your dog's coat.
Step 5: Shampooing
Carefully brush the top of the head, again tilting the head back- if soap gets in the eye area, gently dab it away with a towel. Run the brush in strokes down your dog's back, sides, and chest, as well as the front and back of the legs, avoiding the pads.
Step 6: Brush Hindquarters
Brush the hindquarters last, giving the brush a good rinse afterwards
Step 7: Rinse Off
Now that your dog's coat is nice and lathered, rinse off the soap, making sure not to leave any traces of it behind. Be sure not to rinse the soap into their eyes!
Step 8: Drying Your Dog
Wrap your dog in a towel as soon as they get out of the bath. You can then pat them down with the towel stop all the drips.
- Your dog may run around a lot after and roll on the carpet to try to dry themselves!
- If it's a warm, sunny day, take your dog for a quick walk to help them dry much faster.
Step 9: Brushing Fur
Once your dog is dry, start by brushing out their head and ears.
- If they shed a lot, consider using a carding/shedding brush first. It helps get rid of loose fur and makes your dog's coat appear and feel neater.
- Brush your dog out head to tail
- If you run into knots in their ears or elsewhere, do not pull. See the next step for removing knots.
Note: Be very gentle with the ears. They're sensitive, so don't use force or pressure.
Step 10: Removing Knots
Sometimes, especially with long haired dogs like my King Charles, knots will form in areas like the ears or in the long fur that grows behind their legs. It's helpful to remove these, as they can be uncomfortable for your dog and look pretty messy. To remove the knotted fur without hurting them, see if you can use your fingers to gently work out the knot. If the fur is matted, not just tangled, you'll need to use pet grooming scissors, which can be found at most pet stores.
- Gently separate the knotting from the rest of the fur.
- Cut unknotted fur closest to the knot, to avoid making the fur look uneven.
- Brush over the area again.
Step 11: Enjoy Your Clean New Dog
Now give your nice smelling pup a treat for being so cooperative!
Note: It's normal for them to smell like wet dog as they dry even if you use shampoo that smells like peaches. No worries, once they're fully dry they'll smell much better!