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At Home Dog Grooming: Tips for Bathing Your Dog

At Home Dog Grooming: Tips For Bathing Your Dog

In Part One of Jeffers At-Home grooming series, we took a look at choosing the best brush for your dog’s fur and coat. In Part Two, we discuss tips and tricks for making washing your dog at home a better experience.

After brushing out your dog’s coat, you may decide that it’s a perfect time for a bath. But how do you know when the right time for a bath is? Read below for some tips on choosing the best time to bathe your dog, as well as some of our best tips for making before, during, and after a bath easier for everyone.

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

A brown dog in a bathtub wih a white towel over his body and bubbles on his head and in the air.

While it varies depending on a few factors, generally speaking, a dog should only be bathed roughly once a month. No more than twice a month (unless instructed by your veterinarian). Some deciding factors can include:

  • What type of fur or coat do they have?
  • How dirty is your dog?
  • What is their environment and lifestyle like?
  • When was their last bath?

While regular baths are important to your dog’s health and well-being, the importance of preventing overbathing cannot be emphasized enough. Washing a dog excessively can lead to irritation and dryness of your dog’s skin and coat. Still unsure? Speak to your veterinarian to decide on a schedule that will work best for your dog.

If it’s not quite time for a bath, but your dog still needs to be cleaned up, consider alternatives such as wipes, sprays, or foams specially formulated for your dog’s needs, such as Davis Pet Wipes, One Shot Dry Clean Spray, or Simply Pure Foaming No-Rinse Bath.

If you decide that it is time for your dog to receive a bath, continue reading for some tips to help make bath time run smoother.

Before Bath Time

Protect Their Ears. Placing a cotton ball in your dog’s ears can help prevent water from entering the ear canal. Excess moisture in the ears can create an environment that’s optimal for bacteria and yeast growth. For proactive dog ear care, look to products such as Zymox Ear Solution.

Choose a Specially Formulated Shampoo. Using shampoo designed for humans can excessively dry your dog’s skin. Good general-use shampoos include Jeffers All Purpose Shampoo, Davis Hypoallergenic Shampoo, or Best Shot Ultra Wash.

During Bath Time

Check the Temperature. Much like Goldilocks, the temperature of the bath needs to be just right for your dog. Hot water can easily burn your dog’s skin. As a rule of thumb, if the water is too hot for a human baby, it’s too hot for your dog. Use slightly cooler water for larger breeds who can easily overheat.

Don’t Forget to Rinse! The importance of rinsing out fur thoroughly cannot be overstated. Any shampoo left in your dog’s fur can irritate your dog’s skin once dry. If you’re unsure whether or not all the shampoo has been rinsed out, rinse again just to be safe! Tools such as a multi-functional, removable shower head can help make washing your dog easier.

After Bath Time

A small white dog being dried with a pink towel.

Pay Attention When Drying. A human blow-dryer is too hot for your dog’s skin. Instead, use a blow-dryer designed for dogs. A dryer for dogs is set at a lower temperature that won’t cause itching or dandruff. You can also towel dry your dog and let them dry naturally. If your dog is crate trained, you can towel dry them and put a fluffy towel in the crate with a treat.

Reward Your Dog. It’s important to finish any task on a positive note. Ending bathtime with a favorite treat or a little playtime is the perfect reward for your squeaky clean pup!

While some of us wish bath time didn’t have to happen, these tips will help keep your dog clean and make at-home grooming run a little bit smoother. Not only that, but regular grooming will help alert you to any potential health concerns which may need additional attention.

Still Have Questions?

Grooming at home doesn’t have to be expensive. We hope these tips make washing your dog easier for both you and your dog. Jeffers offers a wide variety of dog grooming supplies at an affordable price point. Unsure about what will work best for your dog? Jeffers’ Pet Specialist, Renee Jones, can help.