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How to wash a dog: how often to do it and how to trick them into the bath in the first place

Washing a dog isn’t always the easiest task for pet owners. To help you get your canine clean, follow our tips on how to bathe a dog and how frequently to do it.


By Cleanipedia Team

dog with duck after being washed

Key steps

  1. Wash your dog in a space that’s big enough – the bath is more appropriate for a big dog.
  2. Use warm water that’s cool enough to touch, and shampoo that’s especially designed for dogs.
  3. When washing a dog, keep them calm by speaking to them soothingly, stroking their fur, and incentivising good behaviour with treats. Bath time should be a postive experience for everyone!

Dogs are great to have around: excited when you walk through the door, always keen for walks and playing ball. But in winter weather, those walks can leave us with a dirty pet – mud caked on paws and in fur.

In this article we give some basic tips on how to bathe a dog and the all important clean up afterwards.

Clean your dog only as and when required. Apply shampoo specially formulated for animals and make sure to use an effective bathroom cleaner like Cif or Domestos to clean up at home once you’re done.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

How often should you wash your dog?

If you ask a few different people ‘how often should you bathe a dog?’ you may get a few different answers. Some people argue you should do it once a month, but others feel this is too much and that you should simply do it as required.

For some general advice, you should always wash if your dog:

  • Smells bad
  • Has stepped or fallen in something dirty
  • Has an infection
  • Has visible dirt caked into his or her coat

If you’re still not sure, don’t hesitate to ask your vet how often should you wash a dog and simply follow their advice.

How to wash a dog?

There are a few different steps to washing a dog. Here is our go-to guide:

  1. Make sure you have a space big enough to wash the dog. Many people use the kitchen sink for small dogs and the bath for large ones.
  2. Use treats to incentivise good behaviour. If your dog gets stressed in water, try having one particular toy that they use only before having a bath. This will help them associate positive feelings with bathing and calm down.
  3. Fill up the sink or tub slowly using warm water that’s cool enough to touch. Always be careful not to burn your dog. Speak to them soothingly throughout and stroke their fur.
  4. Apply shampoo designed for dogs and lather up the fur. Wash your dog’s face, but make sure not to get shampoo in their eyes or ears. Once fully covered, rinse off.

When you’re done washing a dog, the next task is to get them dry. Pat your dog dry, but never rub as this can cause matting. If you use a hair dryer always make sure it’s not too hot and never blow it directly into your dog’s face.

How to clean your bathroom post-wash

Once your dog is clean your final task is to clean up any left-over mess. Use a powerful and effective cleaning cream like Cif. Their classic lemon cleaner is effective at getting rid of all types of dirty water marks and stains. As always when using a new cleaning product read the directions on the label, test in a small area first and take any necessary safety precautions.

And there you have it: one happy, sweet-smelling canine and one clean home. Perfect.

Originally published