What Are Other Ways to Bathe Your Dog?

Don't make your dog suffer through another bath.
Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The traditional bath isn't the only way to bathe a smelly dog. Whether you reach for a box of baking soda or switch to showers, you have options when it comes to getting your dog clean. It pays to know about them in case you're short on time or your dog is opposed to traditional bathing.

Dry Bathing

With dry bathing the dog is cleaned using a waterless cleaning agent, such as baking soda. Baking soda is sprinkled on the dog's fur and then brushed out. The baking soda absorbs the odors, leaving your dog smelling fresh. The benefit to dry bathing is that it's quick and easy. You don't have to worry about your dog needing time to dry either, which makes this a great winter-bathing method for long-haired dogs.

Waterless Shampoo

Waterless shampoo is just what it sounds like. The product is sprayed onto the dog's fur and worked into a lather. You then brush the dog to remove excess shampoo and towel away any excess moisture. This method does take longer than dry bathing, but can be more effective in getting your dog clean. You can also use this method for spot-cleaning muddy paws and dirty backsides.

Doggy Wipes

Doggy wipes are something that should be kept in every grooming kit. Whether your dog rolls in something or just stinks, you can wipe him down to remove dirt and odor. Doggy wipes are similar to moist towelettes and come in a variety of scents, including unscented for dogs with allergies. Small dogs usually require only one wipe for a full bath, while large dogs may need several. This is another quick and easy method that can also be used for spot-cleaning.


Dogs who hate baths may do better with showers. The key is to make sure your bathtub drain is clear so water doesn't pool around the dog's feet. It's easiest if you have a handheld shower system. This way you can direct the water to the desired areas, quickly wet the dog down and turn off the water. After working up a good lather with dog shampoo, rinse thoroughly. This method is fairly involved, but ensures a thorough cleaning that is less bothersome for a dog who hates water than a traditional bath.