How To Bathe Your Dog: Tips For Beginners

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 04/28/22 •  6 min read
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How To Bathe Your Dog

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Dogs are one of the most honest and loving friends. And just like every other animal, they indulge in processes and activities that help them get cleaned up. 

As a dog owner, you play a huge role in making sure your pup maintains good hygiene. One way you do this is by giving your pet a good and effective bath. Just like humans, when they begin to smell, a bath is very well needed and a next cause of action. 

Bathing your dog doesn’t only solve the problem of bad smell but it also does many other vital, necessary functions for your pup. Let’s highlight some below:

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

Many baths can cause dry skin and irritation. It can also diminish useful natural body oils and may aggravate skin conditions. How often you bathe your dog majorly depends on a couple of factors:

This is one of the major factors that determine how often your dog should have a bath. Some pups spend most of their time indoors while others are running and playing outdoors.

Outdoor canines pick up more dirt from their environment, while pups that stay indoor are typically more protected from dirt and grime. The more activities a dog carries out daily, the more frequent their bath times will need to be. It’s similar to when you take a shower after lots of running or a full on exercise. 

The most active dogs should be washed at least once in two weeks. Of course, if your dog gets into a puddle or gets on some mud, food, or product that soils the coat on their body, they’ll have to be washed immediately even if they had a bath not too long ago.

 Breeds with long or curled hair like the Yorkshire Terrier will require more frequent baths than others. This will keep their hair from tangling or matting over time.

It’s recommended to bathe every four to six weeks, with regular brushing between baths to maintain the dog’s coat. Dogs with no hair on their bodies need to be washed more often because they do not get rid of bacteria by shedding. 

Breeds like the English Springer spaniel or the West Highland white terriers who have mostly oily skin require more frequent washes too to help their oil buildup.

Dogs with allergies or a skin infection have to bathe with a medicated shampoo, according to the vet’s prescription and depending on how serious the infection is. Treating external parasites on your dog will require you to scrub them more often.

You can also give your dog a wash depending on how soon you get bothered by their smell, or when they bring in certain allergens along with them from outside.

Tips On How To Bathe A Dog

Most dogs aren’t particularly fond of water and do not like to be bathed. They however still require a good wash time and to help you, here are a few tips on how to easily wash your dog:

Bathing is just one part of grooming a puppy and ensuring they have good hygiene. To stay in top shape, dogs also need you to:

  1. Clean their ears with a dog ear cleaner or a 50/50 solution of distilled water and white vinegar.
  2. Trim their nails with a dog nail grinder.
  3. Cut their hair when it gets too long.
  4. Brush their coat often.


It is advised to start bathing your dogs when they’re younger to help them get used to it. It is also always helpful to have someone assist you with your self-service dog wash. Four hands are always better than two. 

Take note of bath times with your pup and be intentional about using such moments to bond, play and build intimacy with him. To clean your dog is special, as well as vital for his hygiene. These tips would help in getting you a good experience for every time you wash your dog. 

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!