How to Give a Dog a Bath




About: Avid Geocacher and fan of all things iBles.

Intro: 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

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

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

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

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.

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    42 Discussions


    6 years ago on Step 4

    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?

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    7 years ago on Step 4

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


    8 years ago on Step 4


    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!

    1 reply

    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


    9 years ago on Step 4

    good idea to dilute the soap in a bottle!


    9 years ago on Introduction

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

    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


    9 years ago on Step 4

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


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.