Bathing 101: Make Bath Time Easier, Faster and Neater

Bathing 101: Make Bath Time Easier, Faster and Neater

Most dogs would rather skip bath time, but bathing plays an important role in the health of your dog’s coat and skin, helping to keep your dog clean and free of dirt and parasites. And of course, there’s the added benefit of making your pooch more pleasant to be around. Here are a few FAQs and answers about giving dogs baths that should help you get started.

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

While dogs don’t require daily scrub downs like we do, they do need regular baths. Veterinary dermatologists are changing the rules, now saying that bathing weekly isn't a bad idea at all. Forget the old idea that bathing strips the oils from the coat and should be done only every six months or even less often. Information presented at recent veterinary conferences suggests that there are benefits to weekly bathing including reducing allergies (yours and your dog's), treating skin infections (at least as effectively as some medications) and reducing the itching and scratching that drives everyone crazy.

Of course, if your dog likes to go swimming, is obsessed with mud puddles, or lives in the country and does a lot of rolling in who-knows-what, then you may want to bathe more frequently than if that same dog lived in a condo in the ‘burbs. Basically, the best way to gauge when your dog needs a bath is to give her a good sniff. How does she smell to you? Not so good? Start running the water.

Where Should I Wash My Dog?

Owners of small dogs have an advantage – they can just plop the dog in a sink or laundry tub. But if you can’t fit your dog in a sink, use the bathtub, or get in the shower with them and use a detachable nozzle.


What’s the fastest, most efficient way to bathe your pup without the mess? Our portable BARKBATH™ Dog Bath & Deep Cleaning System is your best option. It lets pet parents bathe their dog with virtually no mess - eliminating the inevitable cleanup that comes along with washing a four-legged family member. This easy to use all-in-one system can be used in any room of the house, anytime, with minimal mess.


How Should I Give My Dog A Bath?


Brush your dog before a bath. Matted hair holds water, leaving your dog with irritated skin. Use our grooming gloves or grooming brush to remove all mats before you start bathing your dog. (Product Links)


Use lukewarm water. Dog skin is different from ours, and hot water can burn dogs more easily. Bath water should never be hotter than what you’d run for a human baby. Keep it even cooler for large-breed dogs who can easily overheat.


Talk to your pet in a calm and reassuring voice. Some dogs will eventually learn that you’re not torturing them, although others will continue to hide under the kitchen table whenever you get out a towel.


Use dog shampoo. It dries their skin less than people shampoo. Work the shampoo into a gentle lather and massage it all over your dog’s body, being careful not to get soap in their eyes. Try our No Rinse Dog shampoo designed for use with the BARKBATH™ Portable Dog Bath System. It contains only the essential ingredients to provide a clean and fresh coat. (Product Link)


Rinse well. Any soap left in their fur can irritate your dog’s skin once they’re dry. Rinse, rinse, and repeat the rinse.


Air-dry. Hot air from a human blow-dryer can be too hot for their skin. Either air-dry or use a blow-dryer designed for dogs; its lower temperatures won’t cause itching or dandruff.


Reward your dog. Follow up with abundant praise, petting, or play. Many a damp dog loves to vent their frustration over bath time by playing exuberant tug-of-war with the bath towel–or just running away with it–when it’s all over.


When Should I Go With The Pros?


If the idea of wrestling your dog into a bath tub and expecting them to quietly tolerate being lathered and rinsed makes you laugh hysterically, then do what many opt for: take your dog to someone who makes bathing dogs their business.


Groomers will not only bathe your dog, but they’ll clip their nails, express anal sacs upon request, trim near the eyes, and dry them off. Most are priced reasonably.


Professional dog groomers are a must for certain dogs with long, hairy coats. Unlike fur, hair doesn’t shed, and it will keep growing until it gets cut –  just like yours.


What’s your technique for bathing your dog? Do you have any tricks for getting them into the tub? Did the Bissell BARKBATH™ come to the rescue on bath day at your house? Let us know!

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