Bathing a Dog at Home


Dog Bathing


  • Signs Your Dog Needs a Bath
  • How Often Should You Bathe a Dog?
  • What To Wash Your Dog With
  • How to Bathe a Dog
  • Reward Their Good Behaviour
Having a mucky pup running around the house can be a handful for dog owners. It’s one thing taking them to the groomers to have their hair trimmed, but if you both embark on a particularly muddy walk, it’s important to know the best way to clean them up before they leave muddy paws everywhere. Saving you from having to live with a mucky pup until you can get into The Spa at Jollyes.
It’s almost impossible to predict when your dog will need a quick bath and a groom to freshen them up. Dirt can get caught in their coats at any time, so having everything ready and the know how when it comes to bathing a dog can be super helpful. We’ve collected everything you need to know with a step-by-step guide on how to get your pooch smelling like daisies again in no time!

Signs Your Dog Needs a Bath

Signs that your pooch might need a quick refreshing bath include some very obvious things, such as a healthy coating of mud stuck to their fur after a particularly adventurous walk to some more subtle cues. Sometimes when your stroke your pup, you might notice some discolouration on your fingers. This discolouration is dust and dirt you pick up from their coat as you’re fussing them. It’s nothing to worry about as a bath will remove it in no time.
Tear staining, brown staining around their mouth and a dull lacklustre coat are also signs that your pup could use a good clean to help them feel fresh!
image of dog in bath

How Often Should You Bathe a Dog?

On average, bathing your dog once a month or taking them to the groomer is ample to keep them looking and feeling good. If you have a long-coated dog that leads an active lifestyle and gets mucky then a full bath and groom once a month with daily brushing at home should be enough to keep on top of it.
For shorter coats on a Jack Russel Terriers where mud just seems to crumble off them, they might need to be bathed less frequently. If you have a breed of dog that tiptoes around puddles instead of flying through them like a Chihuahua or Whippet, they might even just need to be bathed every other month.
Bathing your dog at home yourself is a much more cost effective way to keep them clean, but every now and then a grooming appointment might be worth the cost to get all the extra bells and whistles when they come home smelling nicer than a fresh bouquet of flowers.

What To Wash Your Dog With

Before you go reaching for your shampoo and conditioner when you want to groom your pup, you should only be washing them in dog friendly shampoos. Some hair products made for human dog owners contain ingredients that can damage your dog’s coat or be toxic if they ingest it.
Dog’s coats are much more sensitive to PH levels so dog specific shampoo is a necessity. You can get shampoos for sensitive skin, itchy skin or even flea shampoos. You can even get shampoos specific for dogs with white coats like the Groom Professional Bright White Shampoo.

How to Bathe a Dog

When you’re bathing your dog at home, you should first consider where you’re going to be doing this. Larger dogs may find it easy to hop in the bathtub where you can make use of the shower head and waterproof tiles while smaller dogs may be more suited to a sink where you can use something gentler like a jug or cup to pour water over them.
It all depends on their comfort levels and what the easiest option is for you, especially when it comes to the clean-up.
image of dog sprayed with hose in garden

Brush Your Pup Before Their Wash

All pups will need a brush before being bathed. Brushing their coat before washing them will remove some amount of dirt so you don’t have to tackle it all in the bath, but it will more importantly untangle their coat.
When you wash a dog with any knotted fur, this can quickly become thicker and harder to get out. Knotted fur can turn into matting and if fur is already matted before you wash your pup then the water will make them tighter and harder to remove. When matted fur becomes tight it can pull at their skin so make sure all mats and tangles are removed before the bath.

Check The Temperature

image of dog in bath with foam on head
When bathing your pooch, the temperate shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. We might enjoy a nice hot shower, but we can always turn it down while our dogs have no way of telling us it’s too hot.
Cold water can cause their immune system to lower through prolonged exposure which could result in their getting sick. Warm water, comfortable enough for you to hold against your skin should be used.

Massage the Dog Shampoo Into their Coats

Lathering the shampoo into your pup’s coat is one of the most important steps in bathing them. The lather loosens and removes all of the dirt from their coat so once they’re wet, spend a good few minutes making sure to massage it into the coat everywhere.
Even for dogs who don’t love a bath, this part is usually quite enjoyable. Not only are they going to be clean after, but they get a free massage with their bath to loosen any sore muscles!

Make Sure To Fluffy Dry Their Coat

image of dog being dried with hairdryer
Drying their coat after a bath with a highly absorbent towel will help to get most of the moisture out to help them dry off quicker. Some dogs will quite enjoy being blow dried on one of the cooler settings and you can use this to really dry from the tip of their coat right down to the skin and fluff up their fur at the same time.
Drying your pup after a bath instead of letting them dry naturally will help to avoid that wet dog smell from lingering or soaking into any soft furnishings they might lie on while they’re wet.

Reward Their Good Behaviour

Bath time isn’t really bathing time if it doesn’t come with lots of bribes. Making it an enjoyable experience for you and your pooch means a nice reward after so that next time when you say bath time, they don’t run for the hills. Linking something they may not instantly enjoy with a tasty treat or chew after will make the whole process more enjoyable for them, even if it just means they will learn to wait patiently for it to be over so they can have their reward.
For everything you need to make bath time as easy as possible and all other doggy essentials, take a look at our wide range of products in store and online.