Whether Spot's rolled around in something stinky or simply has a bit of a doggy odor, it might be time to bathe him. While equipment like a pet bath mitt may help when bathing some dogs, it's definitely not a requirement. Using your hands alone, without a bath mitt, is enough to get your pup lathered up and rinsed, but the mitt may be something to consider as part of your bathing routine.
The Bath Mitt
A bath mitt, typically found in pet supply stores, usually consists of a mitten that has rubber nubs on it. Some mitts have one side that is made of soft microfiber and the other rubber with nubs, which you can flip over depending on your needs. The rubber side allows you to gently massage soap into your pup's skin, stimulating his circulation and removing shed hair from his coat. You can also use this side dry to brush your short-haired dog as well. The soft, microfiber side allows you to wash delicate areas around the face without having to use a separate washcloth.
If Spot is patient during his bath, you can certainly use a bath mitt to give his skin a gentle massage. The scrubbing rubber nubs also help to remove stubborn dirt and grime that has become lodged into your dog's coat. They can also help exfoliate his skin. Bath mitts work well for dogs with short, single coats, but those with medium- to long-haired coats may become more tangled when you use a bath mitt on them while lathering their coats. For these pups, soap up their long fur by hand and use a wide-tooth comb to remove any tangles or dirt from the coat.
If you plan on using a bath mitt to bathe your dog, get him used to the mitt and aspects of the bathing experience prior to the bath so that it doesn't scare him. Show him the mitt and give him a treat a few days before the bath. Do the same when you show him your bath tub, sink or hose. Use the mitt on him dry or slightly damp to gently brush his coat so that he understands the feel of it on his skin, treating and praising him so that he associates it with good things.
Over time, the rubber nubs may wear down on your bath mitt, so replace it as needed. For long-haired dogs and those with sensitive skin, if you want to use a bath mitt, choose one made completely of microfiber instead of with rubber nubs to wash his face and body. A microfiber-only mitt won't irritate his skin or tangle his coat. If your pooch is bothered by the direct spray of a garden hose, faucet or shower attachment, some dog bath mitts attach to a special hose, which you hook up to a spigot. The water then streams through the glove, making the spray a little less intimidating for the pup, as it appears to flow directly from your hand.