Dog Bathing Tips

by Pauline Gill
Bring his favorite squeaky toy to the tub.

Bring his favorite squeaky toy to the tub.

Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Your loveable ball of fur is a joy to cuddle until he smells of doggy odor. Then it's time for a bath. Bathing your pooch can be enjoyable, if you approach it as playtime and not a chore. Dog bathing tips include preparing him for the inevitable and making preparations for you. Toss in some enthusiasm along with his favorite treats, and dog bathing can be a great bonding experience for you and your pooch.

Step 1

Teach your pooch to trust you. Talk to him in a soothing voice as you touch his paws, open his mouth and touch his ears. When he accepts your touches, reward him with praise and a possible treat.

Step 2

Take your pup into the bathroom and turn on the water. Let him look at the water and hear it running.

Step 3

Prepare for the bath. Gather all the supplies you need. Open the bottle of shampoo and set it within easy reach. Place a rubber mat in the bathtub so your pup doesn't slip. Put a towel and washcloth where you can reach it.

Step 4

Brush your pooch before the bath. Speak to him as you brush his fur and check for mats. Remove the tangles or mats with a large-toothed comb. Praise him and give him a treat.

Step 5

Turn on the water and add a few inches of lukewarm water. Place a floating toy in the tub. This will keep your pup's attention while you're shampooing him.

Step 6

Lead your pooch into the bathtub. Show enthusiasm as you talk to him and show him the toy. Put a cotton ball in each ear while you keep talking to him.

Step 7

Wet down your pooch. Using the shower-spray nozzle, begin wetting the hindquarters and work up toward the head. Don't run the water over his head. You will use the washcloth to wash his face.

Step 8

Apply the shampoo by running it down the middle of his back. Lather up the shampoo by rubbing it into his skin. Be gentle. Lather his body, tail, legs, belly and neck area. Wet a washcloth and add a dollop of shampoo. Wipe his face, rinse the washcloth and wipe again. During the shampooing, talk in an enthusiastic voice as you praise him.

Step 9

Rinse his coat thoroughly. Begin at the top of the head and work down to this tail. Empty the tub and grab a towel. Place the towel over him and lift him out of the tub. Gently rub his coat. Give him another treat and praise him.

Step 10

Dry him with a pet dryer or let him air dry. Dogs love to run after a bath. Cheer him on. If you want, play tug-of-war with the wet towel.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog treats
  • Dog shampoo
  • Rubber mat
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Dog brush
  • Large-toothed comb
  • Floating toy
  • Cotton balls
  • Shower-spray nozzle
  • Pet dryer (optional)

Tip

  • Make sure you have plenty of small-sized treats. They should be small enough for him to gobble down without chewing.

Warning

  • Never use human shampoo because the pH is not correct for dogs. Choose a shampoo that fits your dog's skin. If he has dry skin, look for a conditioning shampoo.

Photo Credits

  • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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