How to Wash a Small Dog in a Kitchen Sink

Shih Tzus are the perfect-sized dog to wash in the kitchen sink.
photo by the author of the article

Dogs are a wonderful addition to your family, as evidenced by the love and devotion they have for you. With all the endless hours of play and occasional rolling around in the mud, dogs tend to get dirty. Show your dog the love she deserves by washing her in an easy and painless manner. Avoid the bending and backaches from washing your dog in the tub, and spare her the cold water and breezy temperatures of the backyard by bathing her in the kitchen sink.

Preparing Your Wash Area

Step 1

Clear out the entire kitchen sink, and line the sink with the clear mat. Move all dish racks away from the wash area. Lay the large towel neatly on the counter. Place the tear-free dog shampoo within reach from the sink.

Step 2

Put an apron on to protect your clothes from getting wet. Remove your dog's collar and place him into the empty sink.

Step 3

Hold your dog gently as you lather a generous amount of shampoo around your dog's neck to form a soap sud collar; this will keep any fleas from running up into your dog's ears. Use light pressure, as your small dog may not enjoy rough handling.

Step 4

Turn on the water and adjust it to a lukewarm (not hot) temperature. Test it with your arm.

Step 5

A kitchen sink bath for little dogs is good for both dog and owner.

Wet your dog's fur with the sink's extendable sprayer--being careful not to wash away the soap collar--and begin lathering soap into her fur. Use extra care when washing near her face. Shield her eyes when soaping and rinsing her face. Use the small hand towel to gently wipe the face area. Using the extendable sprayer, wash extra well under your dog's armpits, tummy and back, and rinse thoroughly. Hold your dog tightly when washing him so she does not slip or attempt to jump out of the sink. Give a light squeeze all over the fur to check for any excess soap suds.

Step 6

Towel dry your dog before letting him air-dry.

Loosely wrap your clean dog into the large towel. Allow him to shake water off while wrapped in the towel. Towel dry your dog until his fur is damp, and allow him to air-dry.


  • Always use caution when washing your dog's face. Avoid getting soap and water into the eyes and ears.

  • Use lukewarm water at all times. If the water is very warm to you, it is too hot for your dog.


  • Seating your dog in the sink makes bathing easier on him; however, have your dog standing while you wash him for easier access.

  • Dogs over 22 pounds may not be able to bathe in the sink, as it may be too cramped for them.

  • Talk to your dog while bathing her. Bath time is a bonding time between the two of you.

  • Offer your dog a treat when he is finished with his bath. This encourages him to behave well and look forward to his next one.

Items You Will Need

  • Kitchen sink with extendable sprayer
  • Clear sink mat with holes
  • Large towel
  • Hand towel
  • Tear-free dog shampoo
  • Apron