retriever getting bathed

How to give your dog a good bath

Wondering how or how often to give your dog a good bath? Here we bring you some doggy-bathing challenges and suggestions for how to make these occasions relatively mess stress free. We welcome your suggestions and experience. Feel free to leave a comment!

Challenge 1: How often should he/she bathe?

The answer to this is – less than most people think.  How frequently you should do it depends on your dog’s breed and the amount of hair s/he has.

As a general rule, medium-coat dogs should bathe no more than every 6 weeks.  If your dog is relatively hair-free, you should probably give them a bath less often. This is mainly because there needs to be time for natural oils to build up, to keep healthy skin and coat.

#190 - Summer 'Bath' Day
Photo by Mike Deal from Flickr

If your puppy is less than 8 weeks old, hold off from giving it a bath. Regular wash is a good idea, but for other dogs, only give a proper bath once every month at the most.

Challenge 2: What to use as a bath?

Puppies tend to be fine in a kitchen or bathroom sink.  An older dog will obviously need to stand and fit in a bathing device without breaking or hurting itself.  The bigger your dog, the more you should consider using the garden and some makeshift but safe bathing area, like a kid’s paddling pool. There are also portable doggy tubs available…

doro the sink climber
Photo by Qwen Wan from Flickr

Challenge 3: To shampoo or not shampoo (that is the question)?

It is best not to shampoo your dog a lot as this is not good for his coat and skin.  He can bathe without it.  If your pup is particularly dirty though, only use special for-dog shampoo.  If you do decide to do this, be extra careful not to get near the eyes. You can put wool balls in the ears to protect them from the effects of the detergent.

Challenge 4: What temperature?

Lukewarm, OK? Your puppy’s body temperature is a little higher than yours, so remember to dial down the heat.

Challenge 5: What else will I need?

  • A brush and comb are essential items for using before and after the bath.
  • A non-slip mat – put this down for after.
  • Your dog’s favourite toy to have in the bath for comfort
  • Reward treats
Lucy's Bathtime!
Photo by Dan W from Flickr

Challenge 6: What steps to take?

Brush beforehand to get rid of excess fur/mats

Make sure water is only mildly warm (see above)

Talk to your dog in a caring tone!

Rinse – start at the neck and work downwards (this is particularly important if you have used shampoo).

Towel-dry thoroughly; dogs like to shake after being wet so that drying will lessen its urge. This will keep your walls dry!  You can use a blow drier but make sure it is no more than lukewarm in temperature.

Give an after-bath brush and comb.

Finally… Reward your dog with the treat(s) from his/her WufWuf box for being so well behaved.

Mr. Fluff
Photo by Aiko, Thomas & Juliette+Isaac from Flickr

Want to give your dog something great every month? Try our themed boxes!

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