The Best Ways to Give Your Dog a Pampering Bath

by Mary Helen Berg
    Control fleas and dander with specialty shampoos.

    Control fleas and dander with specialty shampoos.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    If your canine friend is starting to smell like a real dog, it may be time for a scrub in the tub. Give your pal the star spa treatment right at home and spend some time bonding amid the suds and water.

    Step 1

    Gather all your tools before calling your dog. If you are fully prepared, you will be able to give your full attention to your spa client.

    Step 2

    Find a friend to hold your pup steady during the wash and rinse cycle. Speak soothingly throughout the process to reassure your pet.

    Step 3

    Spray your pup's fur with a detangling product and let it set for five to 10 minutes.

    Step 4

    Use a slicker brush and matting comb and work with small sections of fur to remove tangles before you begin the bath. Once the fur is wet and covered in shampoo, mats are much harder to remove. If your dog is sensitive to combing, removing the mats with scissors may be a better option than trying to untangle them. If the mat is close to your dog's skin, take him to a professional groomer.

    Step 5

    Place your dog in a tub or tether her outdoors in a spot near a water source.

    Step 6

    Give your pup a treat to reassure her that her bath is a positive experience.

    Step 7

    Wet your pet all over with warm water.

    Step 8

    Lather her tip to tail with a chemical-free shampoo made especially for canines. Work the soap into the body and legs until you reach the skin. Carefully wash her face with a washcloth and keep water and soap away from her sensitive eyes.

    Step 9

    Massage your pup's muscles while you wash. Gently rub beneath the suds to loosen her shoulders, chest, back and hips.

    Step 10

    Rinse her coat thoroughly with warm water to remove all soap residue.

    Step 11

    Check her ears for dark discharge. Gently swab with a soft towel or gauze to remove any ear wax or debris. Check for redness and signs of infection. Never stick anything directly into her ear canal.

    Step 12

    Dry your short-haired dog with towels and let her shake out the remaining moisture. Use a blow dryer on a low heat for breeds with longer coats. If your dog has wrinkles around her nose, face or neck, separate each flap of skin to dry between each fold.

    Step 13

    Apply a few drops of conditioner to your hands and rub the product through your dog's coat.

    Items You Will Need

    • Slicker brush
    • Matting comb
    • Shampoo
    • Washcloth
    • Conditioner
    • Detangling lotion
    • Warm water
    • Towels

    Tips

    • Wash your pet on a high surface, such as a table, to make bathing easier.
    • Sit her on an outdoor rug or an old towel so she doesn't slip during the bath. Place a towel over your pup's peepers so shampoo doesn't drip in her eyes.
    • Use shampoos containing vitamin E and flaxseed oil to keep your dog's coat soft and shiny. Try oatmeal shampoo for sensitive skin.

    Warning

    • Shampoo ingredients such as perfumes, eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil can irritate your dog's skin.

    References

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in Los Angeles, Mary Helen Berg has been writing about pets, travel, families and parenting since 1989. Her work has appeared in publications such as "The Los Angeles Times" and "Newsweek." Berg holds a Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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