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Simple Tricks to Make Dog Bathing
Safier, Easier, Faster and Neater
Basic Helpful Tips to Bathe Your Dog
Bath your Dog or Puppy Easily & Safely
How to Bathe the Dog who Hates Water
How to Bathe a Newborn Puppy
How do you give a dog a bath?
How to Bath a Dog without Shampoo
Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies
Shower for your Dog & Puppy
DIY Homemade Natural Healthy Dog Shampoo
Dog Bath Supplies & Accessories
Dog Bath Misconceptions
Dog Bathing Tips
Dog Coat Wash
Bathing Tubes
How to Bath your Dog
Where to Bath your Dog
Dog Bath Myths
Mobile Dogwash
Dog Bathing Tips
Dog Pajamas

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The first step is to consult your veterinarian about your particular pooch. Different breeds and lifestyles will dictate how often your dog requires bathing and what sort of pet shampoos work best. If your dog spends a lot of time playing outdoors, chances are he will need a bath more frequently. Some breeds, such as poodles, generally require more bathing than German shepherds. Dogs with smooth coats generally require even fewer baths.

Again, it depends on your dog's lifestyle.

Too much bathing, such as once a week, will remove vital oils from your dog's coat, causing his skin to dry out. Unless your dog is especially dirty, regular grooming can reduce the number of bathes. It will also keep him looking and feeling fresh.

Ask your vet how often your dog should be bathed - it depends on activity level and breed, and if your pooch requires special shampoo. In general, we like the shampoos and conditioners from Cloud Star, Pet Head, and Earthbath - they smell terrific and contain expert-recommended ingredients. Oatmeal shampoo tends to be the most gentle on coat and skin. If your dog has sensitive skin, test shampoo on a patch of her leg a day before giving her a bath, and monitor for signs of irritation.

Bathing a Dog

If your dog can announce his presence without barking or even entering the room, it may be time to give him a bath. Many people look forward to this as much as their pets do - that is, not at all. But you both may soon need to take the plunge.


Bathing is a good opportunity to check your dog's skin. Feel all over for lumps or rough areas.

As a rule, animals generally benefit from baths only when they are dirty, but for dogs, a cool rinsing or a swim can do a lot of good, particularly in hot weather. The sooner you get your dog used to bathing the better, so integrate bathing into a puppy's routine. Be careful, though: too much bathing will actually strip your dog's coat of its natural oils.

On this page you will found a few tips to make the ritual of dog bath more enjoyable, or at least tolerable, for the both of you. With some patience and practice, your dog, rather than you, will get the lion's share of the bath.



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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.

How often should I bathe my dog?
While dogs don't require daily scrub downs like we do, they do need regular baths - but just how regular depends on several factors, such as the dog's environment and type of coat.

Here are some general guidelines:

Bathing once a month works for most dogs.

Dogs with an oily coat,like Basset Hounds, may need bathing as frequently as once a week.

Many short-haired breeds with smooth coats, such as Beagles and Weimaraners, do just fine with less frequent baths. Short-coated Basenjis are fastidious in their personal hygiene and rarely need a bath.

Breeds with water repellent coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees, should be bathed less often so as to preserve their natural oils.

Dogs with thick, double coats - such as Samoyeds, Malamutes, and other Northern breeds, do best with fewer baths and a lot of extra brushing, which gets rid of loose, dead hair and helps distribute natural oils that keep your dog's skin and coat healthy.

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.

That said, avoid bathing more often than truly necessary, or you'll strip your dog's coat of its natural oils, making it dry and more prone to dandruff, frizzies, and mats. Some shampoos may dry or irritate the dog's skin more than others, in which case you should bathe less often or try a different shampoo.

Trying to decide when and how to bathe your dog is often difficult. This is because bathing frequency depends on a number of factors: the particular breed of dog, how much time is spent outdoors, the dog's age, and any existing medical conditions, to name a few.

The fact is that when and how you bathe your dog will change throughout the year and throughout the dog's life. Here are some reasons that your dog may need a bath, as well as some bathing pointers:

1. The dog rolled in something and smells.
Pretty obvious right? This is actually the #1 reason most dogs are bathed. If your dog has a habit of seeking out something smelly and rolling in it, then he will need a bath right away. Use a good strong shampoo like the Deodorizing Dog Shampoo and don't be afraid to wash him twice.

2. The dog has a doggy smell.
An odor on the coat can often be traced to a problem with the ears, mouth, feet, or anal glands. An odor coming from the skin is often a sign of disease, such as a yeast infection. Any dog with more than a "doggy" smell should be checked by a veterinarian. For dogs with a simple doggy odor, choose a general shampoo, such as Deodorizing Dog Shampoo.

3. The dog has dandruff.
Dandruff may be caused by dry, irritated, or oily skin, but all of these conditions can be helped by the appropriate shampoo and a good bathing. Check with your veterinarian or groomer to determine the cause of your dog's skin condition and then choose the right shampoo.

4. The dog has allergies.
Bathing a dog with itchy skin from allergies can be soothing and help reduce itching. In most cases, a soothing oatmeal shampoo, or a gentle hypo-allergenic or hydrocortisone-based shampoo should be used.

5. The dog has fleas, mites, or lice.
Shampooing is still one of the best ways to get rid of external parasites. Our advanced flea and tick shampoo formula is pH-balanced and cleans and conditions coat while fighting the problem of fleas and ticks on your dog. Make sure to work with your veterinarian and get the appropriate diagnosis and corresponding treatment.

Before and After Reasons Your Dog May Need a Bath Once you determine the primary purpose for the shampoo you will need - for instance, if your dog always gets an unpleasant doggy odor three weeks after bathing - then choose an appropriate shampoo and have it on hand for when you need it. Use our Shampoo Selection Guide for help in choosing the right shampoo for your dog.

If a dog is bathed too often the skin will be stripped of its natural, protective oils. This will result in dry itchy skin, which will cause your dog to scratch, further irritating the already sensitive skin. If you need to bathe your dog more frequently make sure to use a pet shampoo that will also moisturize your dog's skin. You may also want to follow up with an after bath pet coat conditioner specifically formulated for dry skin.

There are two major points to consider when bathing your dog:

1. How often to do it ?
2. How to go about it ?

"Not too often" is the short answer. A dog's coat needs its natural oils to remain soft and silky and to keep from getting brittle or damaged. If you bathe your dog too often (every week, for example), you will strip away those oils.

A good rule of thumb is to only bathe your dog when he is noticeably dirty or smelly. However, the time between baths will vary from dog to dog - a long-haired dog will get tangled and matted hair if he goes too long between baths, and may also change from one time of year to another.

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.


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David A. Grass

As summer is here, it's a great moment to refresh things up. And here, of course, we are not only thinking about the usual summer cleaning session. Our furry friends also deserve a lot more attention, taking into account that we usually spend more time outdoors. So, what should you do to help your pet cope with higher temperatures easier? Taking into account the large number of myths closely linked to this topic, it's easier to see why some of us may get mislead. Thus, let's demystify some of the most popular myths regarding the perfect dog wash solution for this summer.


Misconceptions About Flea Shampoo
One popular misconception is the use of FLEA SHAMPOOS. Flea shampoos do not have any lasting impact on killing fleas, and are bad for this reason: They use toxins to kill the fleas on the pet but they don't typically last more than 24 hours, so you have to use more toxins & increases total toxic load. Please don't use "flea shampoo" unless your pet has an overwhelming infestation of fleas / ticks and MUST have that "kill" effect due to health risks. There are also now oral products on the market that work much more safely for a quick kill effect on a heavily infested pet. They are intended for only a 24-hour effect and must be followed with a longer acting flea / flea combination preventative.

MYTH: Dogs hate baths
The majority of dogs would not make bathing their first choice of possible activities, but are nevertheless cooperative and put up with it very well. Although it may not be something they love, it is not a huge deal. Most actually enjoy at least parts of the experience, whether it be the quality attention they get throughout, being brushed, being rubbed down with towels, or being blow dried - yes, many dogs do like that. A significant number quite enjoy the whole process, and seem to be eager to get started.

MYTH: Dogs hate grooming
There are dogs who actually love grooming time. Why? They either like spending time with their owner, they enjoy the attention they get, they like being brushed or they love the massage that comes with the bath. Any way you take it, there is at least something they enjoy, try to find what your dog loves and use it in your own favor. Thus he will enjoy the bathing time more and more.

MYTH: Bathing your dog regularly damages his skin and coat
This is just one of those myths that never seem to disappear no matter how much accurate information there is. Bathing your dog regularly can moisturize his skin, prevent certain skin conditions and bring a series of health benefits, but ONLY IF you use the right organic dog grooming products! Top-quality products are specially created to meet their needs, as they are enriched with minerals and vitamins to help them stay healthy.

MYTH: There's no need for a dog shampoo
We cannot stress how wrong this really is! Human products do no good for your pets. This is why pet products have been created - to meet their special needs and requirements. A fact is certain that our skin is different compared to our dogs, and by washing your dog with a human shampoo you are basically damaging their natural barrier against infections.

MYTH: All dog shampoos do the same thing
There's no need to state that every dog shampoo is different. It depends on the substances used, the vitamins and what they are designed for - see the anti-itch shampoos, the deep cleansing shampoos and so on. Each one has a different purpose. How should you choose your dog shampoo? Focus on organic and all-natural dog wash products. Read the labels and try some non-toxic and no-preservatives products. Choose some that bring benefits to your dogs' health.

MYTH: A good dog wash = 30-minute bath
Brush, bathe and dry! There's no exact science when grooming your pet. This should be relaxing and entertaining! Focus on making your pet happy while cleaning and revitalizing his coat and skin. It's that easy!

MYTH: Dogs don't need bathing
If you own or host dogs you will know that unlike cats or other animals, they don't really lick themselves clean. Issues related to that are that dead skin and fur doesn't fall off and stays stuck to the dog, which can in the long term cause skin irritations and encourage parasites. Not only that, but the sebum - skin oil can become too abundant. Dogs need regular bath with shampoo to get rid of their dead skin and fur, as well as other unwanted things such as pollution which is very present in our cities.

MYTH: Frequent baths make dogs smell nice. But can they also cause doggy dandruff
They sure can. So let's not cause a dry-skin blizzard. Keep the washings to a minimum and make sure you only use soap that's made specifically for canines. Human shampoo can irritate a dog's skin. If you take these steps and still notice flakes when your dog shakes, talk to your veterinarian to make sure you are providing proper nutrition for a healthy coat.

MYTH: Frequent baths make dogs smell nice and it's good for dog's skin
While baths can make your pet smell nice, you may be stripping the natural oils out of your dog's coat. These natural oils keep the dog's skin and coat healthy and stripping the oils out could cause an increase in dander, white flakes on the coat, and itchiness. Human shampoos can irritate dog's skin because they are not designed for dog skin and coats. Use only shampoos that are for dogs because dogs require a higher pH balanced soap than humans.


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Wait until a puppy is more than five weeks old before giving him his first bath, and start them young. Yep, we mean as babies, but even if they are babies, you can't just toss them straight into the bathwater, as apposed to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You need a strategy, or a plan, or something to help you get those fluffy bundles of joy ready for a lifetime of enjoying a splash in the tub.

Where To Bathe Your Dog?

You basically have 4 options:
Indoors - in the kitchen sink
Indoors - in the bathtub/shower
Outdoors - in a kiddie pool, plastic tub, aluminum pail
Outdoors - standing freely near the garden hose

How To Bathe Your Dog?

#1 Treat Time!
During, before, and especially after - treats are a definite essential to any bath time. But make sure they are healthy - but, sorry, no bacon. We love handmade, organic, healthy, delicious treats. Think Dean & Delucca. Think Harrods. Think luxe but with an affordable price tag. And if you want more karmic bang for your hard earned bucks, buy from small purveyors over large conglomerates. They will also have your dog's health and welfare in mind. Small people often have the biggest hearts.

#2 Bubble, Bubble
Fortunately, no toil and trouble this time. But we will the best way to make bath time fun is getting your pet high quality shampoos, conditioners, and spritzers, which are hopefully made in exotic locales using exquisite ingredients. Of course, such luxe doesn't have to cost a paw and a tail. In fact, some of the best are available at very reasonable prices. So find a brand or brands, your pet likes.

#3 Water Wings
We are not saying you need those floaty devices that are so popular in teaching the young to swim. But for a young animal who's never really been put into a pool of water, porcelain against paws can end up in a horrible sliding, scrabbling, scared event that no one wants. A non slip mat to perch your pet on is the perfect alternative to them sliding into the great white abyss of your tub. Your pet will have something to cling to and bathing won't be traumatic, or seem like a bad rehearsal of Ice Capades.

#4 Water Temperature
Puppies are very sensitive to hot and cold. Just make sure the water is lukewarm, so their sweet, sensitive, baby skin won't burn. Also, hot water can be a shock to an animal that has never had the luxury of a bath. Remember, this is their first time in the water!

#5 Playtime
Toys and play are essential before you even get your pet into the tub. Play with them in the bathroom and bring in favorite toys. Basically, you are teaching them the bathroom is not a scary place. Of course, like kids, toys in the tub are fun for your pet, too - though only the ones made of plastic! Dogs especially love toys with treats hidden inside them. We say bonus points for the types of toys with treats that clean the teeth and sweeten the breath.

Dog and Puppy infograms, infographics - PRESS TO SEE IN FULL SIZE!!!

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If you get your puppy used to regular bathing now, bathing him as an adult will be a breeze. Follow the guidelines above with your puppy. The same ideas apply. Try to focus on associating bath time with treats, toys and games, and on slowly and gently introducing your puppy to the sights, sounds and sensations of bathing. Bring some toys into the tub, encourage your puppy to play with the bubbles and make the bath seem like playtime.

It's also worthwhile to get your puppy accustomed to other kinds of grooming and handling. Take time every day to touch your puppy all over his body. Handle his feet and toes, open his mouth and look at his teeth, examine his ears, brush his fur, carefully trim his nails, lift and handle his tail, and gently restrain him in your arms for a few seconds at a time. Immediately after touching or handling, give your puppy his favorite treat or play with him. Just like with bathing, your goal is to convince your puppy that people restraining and handling him result in good things. If you can build your puppy's positive feelings about grooming when he is young, handling and grooming will be much easier for you both throughout his life. Please see our articles, Grooming Your Dog and Trimming Your Dog's Nails, for more detailed tips.


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Because newborn puppies have limited ability to regulate their body temperature, bathing them can be dangerous. Usually, it is not recommended that puppies be bathed until they are at least 4 weeks old. First, determine if the newborn really needs a bath - if you can get away with not bathing a newborn that is preferable. If there is no other option, such as when the puppy was not cleaned after birth or is covered in filth, you will need to proceed carefully so as not to chill the little pup.

If you can avoid bathing, leave the puppy until it is 4 weeks old to bathe. If the puppy desperately needs cleaning, you will need to ensure you do everything you can to keep the puppy warm during the procedure and dry him off so he does not get chilled from damp fur or skin. A newborn puppy in this situation will often be frightened and in need, take care to provide all the comfort and support you can.

Only bathe a newborn puppy if really necessary. Usually, their mom provides all the cleaning they need. Avoid immersing a newborn puppy in water or using shampoo, except in the most extreme conditions when other options are not viable. Keep the bathing process as short as possible by having items ready and using an assistant. Return puppy to mom or a warm space as soon as possible. If bathing a newborn puppy is necessary, usually it can be done once and does not require repeating until the puppy is 4 weeks old.

The Minimal Intervention Method
Step 1 - Work in a warm locale Hold puppy close to you for comfort and warmth. Work in a warm place with no drafts.

Step 2 - Use a cloth Use a soft washcloth, or use a cotton ball or gauze square for tiny puppies.

Step 3 - Wet cloth Wet the cloth in warm water, not hot or cold, do not use soap.

Step 4 - Wipe with cloth Start at the puppy's head and work toward their back end and tail. Gently wipe away dirt. Warm up the cloth often with warm water, do not allow it to get cold. Work as quickly as possible so puppy does not have to stay damp longer than necessary.

Step 5 - Dry carefully and quickly Dry the puppy by gently wiping with soft dry cloth, blow dry on lowest warm setting, carefully. Put the puppy back with mom to keep warm or in a warm location. A warm water bottle or other carefully regulated heat source can be used if mom is not available.

The Exceptional Cases Method
Step 1 - Prepare bath If the puppy is caked in a harmful substance, filth and feces, or has fleas, a more invasive bath may be required. This should only be conducted in the most extreme circumstances. Fill a container with a few inches of warm water. Containers should be just large enough to hold the puppy and to let you work. Throughout the bath, make sure water stays warm and does not get cold. Bathe in a warm area free of drafts.

Step 2 - Avoid shampoo If really necessary, use a gentle puppy shampoo. Talk to a veterinarian about what product would be appropriate. Preferably, use fingers to remove debris and dirt.

Step 3 - Wet and work quickly Place the puppy gently in the water and scoop water with your hand over the puppy. Watch the puppy to make sure he does not start shivering or show other signs of chill, adjust water temperature accordingly. Work quickly to minimize exposure. Have an assistant present if possible to help speed up the process. Make sure puppy's head stays well above the water line and avoid getting water on the puppies face.

Step 4 - Wipe off Gently wipe with a soft cloth, or piece of gauze. Use gentle puppy shampoo on especially soiled areas or pick off debris, keep away from the eyes, nose and mouth.

Step 5 - Dry Dry puppy with soft cloth and blow dry on a low setting. Pick off fleas manually with soft tipped tweezers. Return puppy to mom as soon as possible or put in a temperature controlled area with a heat source once bathing is complete.

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Things will go more smoothly if you introduce your pet to the idea of bathing before actually giving him his first bath.

Help your dog learn to trust you through such actions as touching the paws, handling the ears and opening the mouth several times a day. Praise positive responses and consider reinforcing good behavior with small treats.

Let the dog sniff grooming tools such as his comb, brush, clippers and tooth brush. As the dog becomes less timid and more accepting of the items, praise and if food-motivated, supplement the positive reinforcement with treats.

Let your dog get accustomed to the sound of running water. You can reinforce calm behavior and build a positive association by using verbal praise and treats.

If you plan to use a dryer, slowly introduce the dog to the dryer. Pet dryers are recommended over human blow dryers.

If you think the dog will balk at his first bath, you might want to have someone help you the first time. You want to make your dog's first bath to be a good experience so that he will be accepting of future baths.

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Bathing your dog is a challenging, but essential, part of dog grooming. It's funny how your dog will cleverly evade you when you try to get him into a dog bath, but will be just as determined to get past you when you don't want him to jump into the water at the beach.

Dogs are unlikely to get into the tub willingly. For bigger dogs, a second person to help you get Fido into the bath can help avoid straining your back. Make sure water isn't too hot or too cold. Let your dog hear and then gently feel the water before going full-speed ahead with the bath.

If you're washing your dog in a room with a door make sure to close it so that your dog will not see an escape route or get very far if he prematurely gets out of the bath. This way you'll have an easier time getting him back in the tub to finish the job. It can be a challenge bathing a dog that's wiggling around but the challenge gets a little tougher when your dog is an escape artist. If your dog takes any opportunity to get away from you at bath time you may want to consider restraining your dog.

Restraints are used during bath time to avoid injury to you as well as your pet. Some pet bathing tubs come with restraints included. With these your dog will be safely and securely restrained and you will be able to give your dog a quick and hassle-free bath.

Some dogs are fearful or aggressive when their pet parents attempt to bathe or handle them. Signs of fear or aggression include trembling, trying to get away or hide, drooling, panting, whining, freezing, staring, growling, snarling, snapping and, of course, biting.

Many dogs find bath time unpleasant and who can blame them? It involves being restrained, soaked with water, which some dogs really dislike, slathered in scented suds and handled in various, sometimes uncomfortable ways. However, you can help your dog learn to tolerate and maybe even enjoy bathing.

The secret is to teach your dog that bathing is always followed by things he loves. If your dog learns that bath time reliably leads to wonderful stuff-like special treats, brand-new chew toys, the start of a favorite game, a walk in the park or dinnertime he will soon learn to feel much better about it. And if he feels much better about getting a bath, he will behave better too, which will make bath time easier for both of you. So whenever you bathe your dog, help him to associate bath time with things he enjoys. Right after putting him into the tub, give him a tasty treat, like a small bite of chicken or cheese. If your dog seems nervous about running water, give him a treat right after turning on the tap. After toweling him off, immediately invite him to play a rousing game of tug or give him a handful of his favorite treats. With repetition, your dog will probably decide that getting a bath is fun, not frightening or stressful.

Take time to gradually introduce your dog to bathing. Before giving him a bath, spend a couple of days just taking him into the bathroom, putting him in the tub, giving him a few tasty treats and then taking him out again. Spend a few more days turning on the water or the sprayer before giving your dog his treats, but don't give him an actual bath yet. You are just getting him used to the sensations and sounds involved in bathing. After two to five days of getting your dog used to the bath-time scenario, you can give him a real bath. Remember to keep delivering treats throughout the process and right after you finish bathing.

It's also helpful to pay attention to your own voice and body language. In order for your dog to be relaxed and calm during bathing, you will need to be relaxed and calm, too. When it's time for a bath, approach him calmly and speak quietly. Continue to talk to him in a casual voice and praise him throughout the bath. When you apply shampoo and lather up your dog, massage his body as gently as possible, handle his paws carefully and try to avoid causing him physical discomfort.

Avoid calling your dog to come to you when you're about to bathe him. Coming when called should always result in rewards for your dog. If you call him, he comes running and then something unpleasant happens to him, like a bath, he will learn not to come. Instead of calling your dog, just approach him calmly when you're ready to bathe him. Gently pick him up and carry him to the bathing area or use a leash to lead him there.

Is your dog slipping and sliding in the bath?
Slipping and sliding can be the most stressful part of bath time for a dog. Put a rubber mat down on the bottom surface of the tub to prevent your dog from sliding and getting hurt. A sure-footed dog will be less resistant and much more at ease during bath time.

Into the Tub
Place a rubber bath mat or a thick towel in the tub to prevent your dog from slipping and sliding when he gets in. This will prevent injury and help him feel more secure during the bath. When you are ready, get your dog and lead or carry him to the bath area. Turn on the water and test the temperature before putting your dog into the tub. Make sure it's lukewarm not too cold and not too hot. Then lift your dog into the tub. If he's too heavy, show him a tasty treat, such as a small bite of chicken, cheese or hot dog, and toss it in the tub. He might hop in to get it. If he doesn't, you will need to teach him a cue - a command, so that you can ask him to jump in and out of the tub.

Teaching Your Dog to Get In and Get Out
You will teach your dog two cues: "Get in" and "Get out." Start by preparing some tasty treats, such as small pieces of chicken, cheese or hot dog. Take your dog to a quiet area, not the bathroom, and find something your dog can step or easily hop into. You can use anything that's large enough for him to comfortably stand in. An empty cardboard box will work well. You can trim the sides down so that it's easy for your dog to step into and out of it.

1. Show your dog a treat.

2. Say your cue, "Get in."

3. Toss the treat into the box. When your dog steps into the box, say "Good!" and give him another treat.

4. Then say "Get out," and clap your hands and move away to encourage your dog to step out of the box. You can praise him when he does, but you don't need to treat him. It's best to convince him that it's the most fun to get into the box and later the tub.

Repeat these steps about 10 times. Take a break for a few minutes, and then practice another set of 10 repetitions. After your second set, end the training session.Practice the steps above for two or three days. Aim to have a couple of training sessions per day.

Now that your dog has practiced following a treat into the box, ask him to go in before rewarding him with the treat.

1. To warm up, do a couple of repetitions just like you did before throwing the treat into the box so that your dog follows it. Then change the rules a little.

2. Say "Get in," and point to the box instead of throwing a treat into it. When you point to the box, it might help to move your arm like you did when tossing a treat into the box. A similar motion can remind your dog what you want him to do.

3. Wait until your dog goes in. When he does, praise him and immediately give him a couple of treats while he is still in the box.

4. Then say "Get out," and encourage your dog to come out of the box.

Do 10 repetitions and take a short break. Repeat the exercise 10 more times, or until your dog knows the game and readily steps in and out of the box when you ask him to. Practice the steps above for two or three days. Aim to have a couple of training sessions per day.

Now you are ready to move your training sessions to the bathroom. Before you start, put a rubber bath mat or a thick towel in the tub, and a bath mat outside the tub, so that your dog doesn't slip as he jumps in or out. Repeat the steps above, but this time use your cue to ask your dog to jump in and out of the tub instead of the box.

1. Say "Get in," and point to the tub. The first few times you give the cue, you might need to toss a treat into the tub to show him what he's supposed to do.

2. When your dog jumps in the tub, praise him lavishly and immediately give him a few treats.

3. Say "Get out," and encourage your dog to jump out of the tub.

Repeat the steps above 10 times. Take a short break, and then do another set of 10 repetitions. After your second set, end the training session and give your dog an extra-special treat or chew bone, or play his favorite game with him. You want him to learn that great things happen when he plays the tub game! Practice the steps above for about a week, with a couple of training sessions a day if possible.

When your dog confidently jumps in and out of the tub when you ask him to, try using the cue at bath time. Continue to reward your dog right after he jumps into the tub and right after the bath is over.



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by Teresa James
Copyright (c) 2004


Get the right shampoo. Shampoo designed for people - even baby shampoo, has a different pH than what's best for your dog.

Stop the tears and wet ears.

Brush your dog.

Stock your station.

Use three-towel trick.

Block the drain.

Put in a nonslip surface.

Go warm on the water.


So, first of all, you should choose the most suitable place to bathe your dog.


In warm weather you can bathe your dog outside. Pick a place that will not turn to mud when it gets wet. It's a good idea a have a washtub large enough for your dog to stand up in and fill it with a few inches of water. Water straight from a garden hose may start off warm, but usually gets cold very fast. If your dog starts to resist and shiver, as the water gets colder, you may want to consider another option.


Many pet owners have overcome this problem by purchasing a raised dog bath. This convenient, back-saving dog bath is often used with a water temperature mixer valve assembly that completely solves this problem. With the proper equipment set up you will be able to save your back and control the water temperature of your dog's bath. Some temperature mixer valve assemblies hook up to your existing washing machine water supply. At bath time just connect an ordinary garden hose to the valve assembly and run it outside to the bathing area. This convenient type of back-saving dog bath can even be used for bathing your dog inside.

If you choose to bathe your dog inside, regulating the water temperature shouldn't be a problem. But deciding where to bathe your dog might be. Small dogs and puppies can usually be bathed easily in a sink or a washtub. For bigger dogs you will need something bigger like a bathtub or a large shower stall. And of course, the bigger your dog is the bigger the potential hassles.

Prepare yourself for dog bath.
Be sure you are donning clothes that you are okay with getting wet and dirty and furry. Move all your grooming materials into the bathroom shampoo - ask your vet for suggestions specific to your dog, conditioner - a must for longer coats that need to be brushed out, brush, mineral oil for eyes, cotton balls for ears, at least two big, absorbent towels and, most importantly, TREATS. Lay a non-skid mat down in the tub to help the dog keep his footing. If you don't have a detachable showerhead, a bowl or even a large cup is helpful in rinsing.

Prepare your dog for Bath
Put a drop of mineral oil in the eyes to protect them from suds. Some people use cotton balls in the ears. If you use cotton balls, make sure they are the right size for your dog's ears - if they are too small, they may slip down the ear canal.

If you are using a tub, fill the water to the level of your dog's knees. The water should be about his temperature, around 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trimming your pet's nails prior to bath time will not only give your dog better footing, it will also help protect your skin in case he tries to make a break for it.

If you are able to, gently putting a cotton ball in each ear can help keep water out โ€” just be sure to remove them when you are finished!

Before bathing, comb and brush out all mats. Otherwise, the water will turn the mats into solid masses, which will require clippers to remove. If your dog's hair is matted with paint, tar or some other sticky material, trim with clippers or soak the area with vegetable or mineral oil for 24 hours. You may want to speak with a professional groomer if the tangles are difficult.

Why you should brush your dog thoroughly before bathing:
Depending on the type of coat your dog has you may need an assortment of grooming brushes and combs to properly care for your dog's skin and coat. Before you bathe your dog it's always a good idea to brush your pet's coat thoroughly to remove any tangles or matted areas as well as any other foreign debris. Many dog owners know first hand that if they don't spend time removing old, established tangles and mats before bathing many times they just get worse. If your dog's coat tangles and mats easily make sure to look for shampoos and conditioners that are formulated to prevent and break up mats.

If your dog has gotten into any sticky or gooey substances like tar or gum never use commercial solvents or industrial cleaners on your dog's coat. Many of these are toxic to your dog. Try dissolving these substances with mineral oil. If you're unable to remove something from your dog's coat carefully snip away the affected area. It's always best to sacrifice some hair or fur since it will grow back rather than risk damage to the skin. Brush your dog thoroughly between baths, daily if you can, to distribute the natural oils and remove tangles, mats and foreign matter.

A popular bathing technique is to start at your dog's head and work your way toward the tail. This is especially the case if it's possible that fleas are present. If you know that your dog has fleas you may want to use a flea & tick shampoo. Starting at your dog's head forces any fleas to gather away from your dog's face, eyes, and ears. It is much easier to dunk the rear of your dog into the tub than your dog's face. As you may imagine, your dog is likely to be much more cooperative by following this simple bathing technique.

Let your dog get used to the sound of the running water. If you are using a tub or basin fill it with a few inches of warm water. Then get your dog into the bath. If you're using a raised dog bath just secure your dog into the dog bath. Starting from the head thoroughly wet your dog with warm water. You can use a plastic pitcher or a spray nozzle for this task. If you're using a spray nozzle make sure the spray is not too strong. Never spray water directly onto your dog's face or genitals.

Soak your dog from head to toe with warm water using a hand-held sprayer. Always test the temperature on your arm before spraying your dog. Be sure to avoid the eyes and inside of the ears. Many dogs have water-resistant coats, so a thorough soaking is usually necessary to penetrate the hair coat.

Tip: Your dog will instinctively want to shake the water off. Keeping a hand on your dog's head may help prevent this.

Apply a Dog Shampoo / Coat Conditioner
Follow the instructions on the package. Work it in from the head to the tail. Be sure to get all those nooks and crannies! Like the rectum, between the toes, behind the ears and under the chin. Be careful not the get shampoo in your dog's eyes. If this is a concern you can protect your dog's eyes by putting some protective eye gel in each eye just before getting your dog into the bath.

Apply shampoo to your dog's coat. Avoid the eyes, face, and genital area. Use enough shampoo to create a lather. Apply small amounts of shampoo at a time to avoid using too much.

Tip: Mix two parts shampoo with one part water so a more liberal amount can be applied. Add the mixture to a spray bottle or large plastic cup for easier application. Remember to use caution around the face and eyes.

Rub, scrub and massage your dog for several minutes. You can use your fingers, just like shampooing your own hair. Your dog will probably actually enjoy this part. Remember to clean the feet, too. Ideally, you should allow the shampoo to remain on your dog's coat for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

Tip: You can also use a rubber tool with small nubs made especially for bathing a dog. It provides an extra massage for your dog.

Apply a stream of warm water to your dog's coat, avoiding the eyes and ears. Thoroughly rinse all shampoo out of your dog's coat. It is very important to remove all shampoo residue from your dog.

Tip: Do not forget to rinse the feet and any skin folds or crevices on your dog.

Rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water
When you are ready to rinse, don't forget to drain the tub first. The rinsing cycle, by the way, is very important. You want to do it twice to make sure all the soap is rinsed off. Shampoo residue can cause skin irritations so make sure you give your dog's coat a thorough rinsing. Rinse out all the shampoo, using your fingers to make sure you get through the undercoat to avoid subsequent irritation. This is where a detachable showerhead or bowl comes in handy to be sure bigger dogs get rinsed thoroughly.

Dog Bath

Towel drying your pet's coat in the dog bath will remove some of the excess water before you take your dog out of the tub. Some breeds should never be rubbed, only patted, since their coats easily tangle. Dog owners often prefer to use dedicated pet towels. There are pet drying towels available that will absorb 10 times their weight in water. These are very handy towels to use for a dog bath and can also be used any time your pet gets wet. If you need to, drain the tub again so your dog isn't standing in water while he dries. Now, you'd better back up, your dog has been waiting to shake off the excess water since you began.

Dog Bath

Gently squeeze out excess water - don't forget to remove the cotton from his ears and finish drying him with the towels. If you use a hair dryer, keep the heat and blow force on low. Remember to dry the ears with cotton balls to prevent infection.

TREATS! Reward your dog for patience
Although many dog owners think of bathing their dog as a challenge, with the right approach, supplies, and equipment, you can get through it relatively unscathed. And don't forget to reward your dog's good behavior in the bathing process with treats and plenty of loving kindness.


Tip: Try to keep your dog from going outside until dry, otherwise you will have a dirty dog again in no time.


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If you have a dog that spends a good amount of time outside, this is a perfect solution to that musty sweat smell your four legged family member may have after a day of play. Not only will your dog LOVE you after using this quick Homemade Dog Shampoo and Cleaner, but so will your wallet! Simply take 1 cup dish soap, 1 cup white vinegar and 1 quart of warm water and mix. Make sure that it's all mixed up, and if you want to get fancy put in an old shampoo bottle, or just mix in with bath water for your dog and lather up that stinky puppy. Let it works its magic for about five minutes, then rinse.

Using some simple ingredients, one can craft a very high quality dog shampoo that smells wonderful, cleans effectively, and moisturizes your dog to cut down on itching. You will want to use it on your own hair and skin!

1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup ground Oatmeal
1 T Lemon Juice
1 T Glycerin
1 T olive oil
2 T water
1 T liquid dish soap
1/4 cup Aloe

Quick Note on Soap
The base of the shampoo is going to be liquid Castile soap. Soap is made from two things: Lye and oil/fat.

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Your local veterinary clinic can provide advice about the most suitable products for your pet dog. Choose a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Dogs have sensitive skin and their skin pH is different to the pH of human skin so human shampoo products should not be used on dogs. For dogs with healthy skin and coat, choose a mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo. For dogs with skin conditions your local vet can advise what type of shampoo or product to use to help manage or treat specific skin problems. You can also try applying a mild and gentle hypoallergenic rinse-out conditioner after shampooing to help prevent dryness after shampooing. Test patch a small amount of products first to make sure there is no reaction or irritation. If your dog seems irritated at all โ€“ talk to your vet and try a different product that doesnโ€™t cause any irritation.

Shampoos formulated for dogs and those formulated for people are not interchangeable.

Shampoos are designed to clean specific types of hair and scalps. Dogs have different hair types and skin from us. Our shampoo is not formulated for our four-legged friends. With some very rare exceptions, you should avoid using shampoo made for people on your pooch, because it's too harsh on his skin and can cause a whole slew of skin issues.

Ingredients Matter
Dog shampoos have ingredients formulated especially for their skin and coats. For example, flea and tick shampoos contain insecticides to help eliminate or control these pests. Dog shampoos also contain salicylic acid, menthol, colloidal oatmeal, aloe or hydrocortisone. These ingredients relieve itching and other skin allergy symptoms. Dog shampoos also often contain lactic acid and glycerin, which help them with dry and sensitive skin, as well as almond or coconut oil to help keep coats shiny. Even the best shampoo formulated for people lacks these ingredients, which are vital to keeping your dog's skin and coat healthy. Prolonged use of "people" shampoo ultimately will harm your dog, even if the shampoo doesn't already contain chemicals that will harm your dog.

pH Balanced for a Human
A dog's skin has a pH balance of 7.5, versus our skin, which has a pH balance of 5.5. It may not seem like much of a difference, but our shampoo simply is not designed to deal with a dog's more alkaline skin. Even a high quality shampoo formulated for people will not have a pH balance of between 6.5 and 7.5, which is what your pooch needs, and therefore will irritate his skin. Cheaper "people" shampoos also are very acidic and prolonged use of such shampoos on your furball will strip his coat of essential oils, which will dry out his skin and dull his coat.

A Matter of Thick Skin
The reason shampoo formulated for people is so harsh on your dog literally is a matter of thick skin. People have skin that is three times thicker than a dog's skin, which means that, compared to people, dogs have extremely sensitive skin. Even if you use a shampoo designed for people with sensitive skin, the difference in thickness is so great that it still will be harsh on your dog's skin.

Different Types of Dog Shampoos
"People" shampoos are designed for people with color-treated hair, dry hair, normal hair and oily hair, and some contain tea tree oil and menthol to treat dry scalp and dandruff. People have different types of shampoos to deal with different types of hair and scalp issues. In the same manner, therefore, not all dog shampoos are created equal. Those with insecticides treat flea and tick infestations. Medicated shampoos are formulated for pooches who suffer from skin allergies. Oatmeal shampoos treat dogs with dry and sensitive skin. While using a "people" shampoo on your dog once or twice if you run out of doggie shampoo is not likely to cause harm, it is important to stick with shampoos made especially for your pooch.

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As much as we all love for our furry friends to smell fresh and clean, getting to that point is not always easy. Dogs are rarely excited to jump into the bathtub for a good scrub. Bathing fearful dogs might be better handled by a professional groomer or your veterinary office. But if you decide to wade in, here are some helpful hints.

Before you tackle your dog, you will want to go through a pre-bath checklist. Prepare the bathing area out of your dog's presence. There's no point in warning him ahead of time, he will only get anxious. Here are some items you will want to have on hand:

A warm, draft-free area MUST !

Raised Dog Bath - This is a fantastic idea for a dog bath. It's ergonomically designed for both you and your dog's comfort. Your local pet groomer is likely to have just such a bathing station set up in their shop. If you are thinking about buying a tub or basin to bathe your dog in, ask them if you can check out their tub set up. If you have the room or more than one dog, you may find it worthwhile.

A veterinarian-approved Dog shampoo and Dog conditioner, People products are not recommended because they can cause allergic reactions.

Rubber tub mat

Large cup

Washcloth or sponge - Use a washcloth to clean your dog's face and ears.

Large towels (the bigger the dog, the more towels you will need

Space heater (optional)

Cotton balls

Mineral oil

Dog treats

Hair dryer

Drain Screen (make sure to protect your plumbing from hair clogs with a simple to use drain screen.)

Waterless dog shampoo

Eye Protective Gel (Are you concerned about shampoo making its way into your dog's eyes? Just put a little protective eye gel in each eye just before bath time to prevent burning and redness.)

Pet Dryer - If your dog has a thick, long or double coat it's best to use a pet dryer. Unlike "people" hair dryers, pet dryers are designed to use less heat and more air volume so they quickly and safely dry a dog without damaging the coat or burning the skin. If you use a "people" blow dryer be very careful since you can easily burn your pet!

A bathing tether if you are bathing him in a tub. If you Are bathing him outside, a tether to a fixed point will do.

Brush and comb for his coat - a pinhead brush is best for longer or wiry hair, use thicker bristles for short-hair breeds

A soft brush for in between his toes and on his nails

Plastic Bucket - It's very convenient to have a waterproof container that will keep your dog grooming supplies close at hand.

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1. Take a looong walk first. Not only will you tire out your dog, but the water will be refreshing on his coat. A nice warm day is also more comfortable when he's air-drying post-bath.

2. Go jump in a lake. If you have made a habit of steering your dog clear of puddles, ponds, lakes and lawn sprinklers, it's time to loosen the leash. Bathtime splashes will seem exciting, not threatening, when they are used to playing in the water.

3. Consider rub-a-dubbing in the sink. The vast expanse of the bathtub is unsettling to some small dogs. Avoid giving your tiny dog a massive existential crisis by using a sink instead. He'll feel more contained and secure, and you will be physically closer to him the entire time.

4. Cue the pre-bath playlist. Play and cuddle with your dog as the water fills nearby. This allows him to get used to the sound of rushing water while associating it with positive emotions.

5. Invite a buddy. It's totally counterintuitive, but bathing two dogs together is often easier than one - as long as the other pup likes to bathe. An apprehensive dog will take cues from a calm counterpart and view the experience more as playtime and less as nuclear threat.

6. Lukewarm is the new steamy. Your dog likely doesn't share your preference for a piping hot bath. Start with lukewarm water and only slowly increase the temperature if the dog is clearly cold or shivering.

7. Don't forget the treats. Every unpleasant task for humans and dogs is made better with treats. So reward his good behavior after every lather, rinse, and repeat. Pro tip: Wear a kitchen apron with pockets to store the treats and protect your clothes.

8. Slow and steady wins the bath. If you tend to rush through the task with Olympic-level speed and focus, it could be working against you. Your dog knows you well enough to know you rush when you are anxious. Slow down, breathe deeply, and give your pup a sudsy massage while you get him wiwee wiwee cwean and shiny!

9. Ears equal tears. Do your best to keep soap and water from getting into your dog's ears. They clean themselves naturally and any excess soap and water is not only uncomfortable and distressing, but can sometimes lead to irritation or infection.

10. Keep the suds out of his face. You know how you hate getting soap in your eyes? Yeah, so does your dog. Wash him with shampoo from neck to tail, before giving him a thorough rinse. Then use a damp washcloth to gently wipe his head, face, and chin. Cup his chin in one hand while you wipe with the other to help him feel secure. And finally, don't be too fussy with trying to towel or blow dry. That instinctual wet dog total body shake is thought to be something he really enjoys. Let him have that - he's earned it. The nearby furniture will dry.

Brush thoroughly and remove all tangles and mats, which you won't be able to unsnarl when the fur is wet. For badly matted fur, you may have to snip mats with scissors. Proceed with caution; it is easy to nick the dog's skin, and you do not want to do that.

If the dog has any ticks, foxtails or other embedded items, remove them carefully. Typically, you will use tweezers. For details about fleas, ticks, insect stings and skin conditions, see the web links listed at the end of this tipsheet.

If there is paint, tar, pine sap or other sticky substance caught in the fur, try to soften and remove it with petroleum jelly, or soak the area with vegetable oil or mineral oil for 24 hours. Some people have also had success removing sticky and oily substances with Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent. If these techniques do not work, trim away the affected fur. Do not use solvent, paint stripper, concentrated detergent, or fabric softener on dogs, since these substances are toxic when ingested and can also hurt the skin.

It's a good idea to trim and file a dog's nails before a bath, especially if the dog might claw or scratch the floor, tub or you in an attempt to get away.

You Will get wet, so wear a smock or old comfortable clothes.

Pick a suitable location for the bath, such as a room with a closed door. This will prevent the dog from escaping and will also keep the rest of your house from getting sprayed with water. Prepare the room by removing items that could be damaged by water and any items that could injure you or the dog as you move around. You can line the floor and other surfaces with a plastic sheet, an old shower curtain, large cut-open trash bags or sheet.

Gather your supplies: shampoo, brushes - you may want to use a shampooing brush, comb, washcloth and or sponge, towels, cotton balls, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and detangler and moisturizer if you use them. A soft brush is helpful in cleaning around paws. You can place the items in a plastic bucket for easy carrying and access and open bottle caps beforehand so that you do not have to wrestle with caps while holding onto your dog. You may wish to put a few small tasty treats in a plastic baggie so that you can reward your dog for good, calm behavior.

A detachable shower spray nozzle makes washing and rinsing much easier. You can find shower hose attachments at home improvement stores. Many attach right behind your regular showerhead.

If you don't have a shower spray nozzle, get a pitcher.

Remove the dog's regular collar. To help you restrain the dog during the bath, you can use a nylon collar and nylon leash. Do not use leather in the water, since the water can cause the leather to shrink and to leak dye on your dog's fur. Many groomers recommend using a bathing tether when bathing dogs in tubs.

If your dog tends to bite when confronted with a bath, you might want to use a muzzle.

Shampoo. Use a shampoo formulated for dogs, and one that is gentle and will not strip the natural oils of the dog's coat. Do not use human shampoo, which is not the right pH for doggie fur and skin. Read the directions, and be aware that some shampoos and soaps are not appropriate for all ages or types of dogs. Oatmeal shampoos are good for dogs with itchy skin. Many people use dog shampoos containing chlorhexidine, which has anti-bacterial qualities. Avoid shampoos with insecticides, since the chemicals can be harsh. If your dog has fleas, use a gentle shampoo containing pyrethrin, pyrethrum or citrus oil.

Here's a gentle homemade shampoo for pups and dogs with extra dry or troubled skin. Mix 1/3 cup glycerin, 1 cup lemon Liquid Joy, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1 quart water in a liter bottle. Shake the solution before each use to mix thoroughly.

Use a saline or weak salt and water mix to cotton swab around your dog's eyes to clean away debris.

To protect your dog's eyes from bath water and soap, apply some petroleum jelly or mineral oil around the eyes. In addition, put a drop of mineral oil in each eye to protect against irritation.

Put a cotton ball in each ear to keep water out. Make sure the cotton ball is large enough that it does not get caught in the ear canal.

You might want to wipe around the dog's anal area with a baby wipe or wet-nap before the bath, and/or clip long soil-prone fur beneath the tail around the anus.

Choose a tub or basin that is not too deep.

Smaller dogs can be bathed in the kind of rubber storage bin available at discount stores. Some folks with little dogs use two basins: one for bathing and the other for rinsing. Metal washtubs are available from agriculture supply merchants.

Place a nonskid rubber mat in the basin or tub. This will prevent slipping and make the dog feel more secure.

Choose a warm, draft-free place to bathe and dry the dog.

While some people have bathed dogs with garden hoses, there are drawbacks such as the water being too cold, the outside air being too cold or windy, and the hose frightening the dog.

Make sure water is warm but not hot. Then, fill the water to knee level.

If you plan to use a nylon collar and leash to stablize your dog during bathing, put them on now.

Lift your dog and place in the tub. Be sure to lift in a way that will not hurt your back. For example: place one arm under the chest in front of the dog's front legs, and place the other arm behind the rear legs and under the tail. Stay fairly upright and lift with your legs - not with your back. For a heavy dog, have someone help with lifting the dog into and out of the tub.

Watch dog and puppy video

Get your dog used to the water by spraying his back and shoulders. Keep the spray on low. Remember, scaring or hurting your dog will increase his resistance to being bathed in the future. Be gentle, work gradually, and give the dog time to acclimate. Try to keep the spray nozzle about an inch from the dog so that the water efficiently penetrates the fur.

After your dog relaxes, wash his head. Never spray water directly in a dog's face. Slightly lift his face so that the water runs down the back of the head. Use your fingers, a washcloth or sponge to move the water around the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Lather up the body with shampoo. You can apply a line of shampoo along the dog's back and back of the head. Massage the suds all the way down to the skin.

Some experts suggest shampooing the body, then toward his rear end and then the head last. Other experts suggest starting with the head and neck to prevent fleas from moving up the body to the head. In any case, avoid getting soap in the dog's eyes.


You can use a rubber brush on a dog with shorter hair to help work the shampoo into the coat. The rubber brush can also be used to remove debris clinging to hair. For dogs with long hair, massage the coat in the direction of hair growth to avoid tangles.

Work the suds down and under the tail, the underside, legs and all around the paws. And remember to clean under the neck, in facial wrinkles and ear flaps. A soft brush is useful for cleaning around the paw pads and other small areas.

If the dog's ears stand up, cup your hand over the ear opening while washing and rinsing.

Remember, you can reward good behavior by giving your dog a few treats during the bath.

After thoroughly lathering, rinse the dog with lukewarm, never hot, water. A detachable shower spray nozzle is most convenient. Check the temperature and make sure the spray is not too strong before aiming at the dog. Or use a large pitcher.

Gently rinse the dog's face and head first. Cover his eyes with one hand and rinse the top of the head and around the eyes. Next, cover the nose and rinse the rest of the face and neck. Work down the body.

If the dog is rather dirty, you can repeat the lathering and rinsing steps.

Rinse until the water runs clear so that no dirt or soap residue remains. Otherwise, the residue can lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions. The pet may also ingest the residue when licking himself. Knead the fur with your hand to help remove soap.

Mist dog's coat with a detangler spray for easier combing after the bath. You can also apply a moisturizer.

Depending on the dog's coat, use your hands to squeeze excess water from his fur. Start by squeezing water from the tail and paws.

Wrap the dog in a large, absorbent towel. Gently rub him dry. If he has long hair, avoid heavy rubbing that can tangle the fur; blot instead.

Remove cotton balls and towel out the remaining moisture in the ears. Moisture left in the ears can lead to infections.

If your dog has urinary accidents, place a towel under her when drying to absorb any urine released.

You can let him help by letting him shake his fur.

If you prefer, you can also use a pet dryer or blow dryer on a low setting. Dryers are often preferable to towel-drying for dogs with frizzy or long fur. FYI, pet dryers are better suited to dog fur than are human blow dryers. Never aim a dryer at a dog's face. And never use overly warm or hot air, which can dry out the skin and even burn the dog. Use a low setting.

If using an automated dryer that hangs on the front of a crate, test the temperature before aiming it at the dog, and check on the animal at least every 10 to 15 minutes for safety reasons. * Do not let the dog outside in cool or cold weather until he is completely dry.

Brush and comb daily. Check for fleas, ticks, debris, foxtails and skin conditions.

To give your pet a waterless bath, sprinkle on baking soda and brush off the excess.

And remember, you can also have a professional groom and bathe your dog.

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Wait until a puppy is more than five weeks old before giving him his first bath.

Start young. - This will help your dog get used to the process.

Make it fun and praise your dog throughout.

Select a location for the wash to take place based on breed size and time of year. A sink or a washtub works fine for puppies and small dogs, whereas big dogs need the bathtub. If it's warm outside, use a hose.

Put a rubber mat in the bottom of your tub. Your dog will feel more secure if he isn't slipping all over the place.

Before starting, gather all the things you need: shampoo, towels, possibly a bucket. Don't turn your back on a wet dog unless you want to be involved in a chase!

Make sure the water is lukewarm.

Only use shampoo that has been formulated specifically for dogs, and if possible, make it a tearless shampoo.

Avoid getting water or soap in your dog's eyes and ears.

Wet your dog's head last this will minimise his desire to shake.

Rinse well.The flaky, itchy discomfort many dogs experience after a bath comes from inadequate shampoo removal or sometimes by too frequent bathing.

In the winter, keep your dog inside until dry. A blow dryer, set on warm or cool - never hot, to avoid burning, can speed things along.

Dogs love a good shake to remove excess water. A shake starts at the dog's head, so if you hold his head still, shaking will be limited. Tossing a towel over your dog immediately after the bath is done can prevent too much water on the walls. If you want to avoid getting an unwanted shower entirely, teach your dog to shake on command. This takes a little patience and training, but it's possible.

Once you have finished washing your dog, tell them to sit/stay. If he starts to shake, quickly guide him back into his sit. Resume sit/stay and get out of the way. Tell him to shake and praise, praise, praise.

Even the most docile dog may struggle or squirm during a bath, so be sure to put on a smock to keep yourself from getting soaked. The best location for bathing a dog is in a room with a closed door; this will prevent a wet and nervous dog from fleeing through the building should she get away from you. Make sure that the dog stands on a non skid surface during her bath. Before beginning, have your supplies ready: brush, shampoo, detangler, mineral oil, cotton balls, and a muzzle or harness - if you plan to use one. That way, you don't have to leave a possibly frightened dog in the room by herself.

Prepare the Pooch. Before starting the bath, you may want to let the dog get accustomed to you, and give her a chance to relieve herself. If the animal is particularly nervous, consider muzzling her and asking a partner to help you. Try to comb out major snarls in the dog's fur, and trim her nails to keep her from clawing you accidentally. Put a drop of mineral oil in each of the dog's eyes and cotton balls in her ears to keep water and soap from getting in them. Be sure to remove the cotton balls after the bath!

If the dog is heavy, don a back brace. Then lift the dog into the tub. Use a lightweight spray hose that can be maneuvered with one hand. Test the water temperature before spraying the dog, then gently get the dog used to the temperature by spraying water on her back and shoulders. After the dog relaxes, begin washing her head and then move gradually toward her rear - this will prevent fleas from moving up her body and congregating on her head and face. Lather the animal with a mild shampoo formulated for dogs. The active ingredient should be chlorhexidine, which is mildly antiseptic. If you must use an insecticide, use a gentle pyrethrin-based shampoo, and be sure to follow the safety instructions on the bottle. Oatmeal shampoos are good for dogs with itchy skin.

Scrub and rinse the dog thoroughly. Soap stays in the fur long after it seems to be gone, so keep rinsing. When you finish, rub the dog down thoroughly with towels. Don't put a wet dog back in her cageit's okay if she's just damp, especially if you have a climate-controlled facility. If you use an automated dryer that hangs on the front of the cage, test the temperature of the air before aiming it toward the dog, and check on the animal at least every 15 minutes or so to make sure she's comfortable.

Puppies have special bathing needs. Don't use an insecticidal shampoo on a puppy unless the shampoo is formulated specifically for puppies and the puppy actually has fleas. With a young dog, it's especially important to use warm water and make his bathing experience pleasant, using just the right combination of gentleness and firmness. If you are kind and sensitive to their fears, puppies will begin to regard their baths with pleasure rather than dread, making life more pleasant for you, for the puppies, and eventually for their adoptive families.

Waterless dog shampoo cleans and deodorizes dogs, although not quite as well as a traditional bath.

If you don't have any waterless dog shampoo, sprinkle your dog's fur with baking soda, rub it in, then brush it out to remove odor.

If you have a shower sprayer, wet and rinse your dog by holding the sprayer head very close to his fur. Holding it farther away can make more noise and scare him, making baths a trying time for both of you. Never spray water directly on your pooch's face or in his ears or eyes. Use a sponge to clean his delicate areas to avoid an excess of water.

Do not let your pet outside in the cold months after a bath until he is entirely dry.

Never wash your dog outside if the weather is cold. This is particularly true for puppies, who have trouble regulating their body temperatures. Puppies should be at least four weeks old before they receive their first bath.

Before bathing, comb and brush out all mats. Otherwise, the water will turn the mats into solid masses, which will require clippers to remove. If your dog's hair is matted with paint, tar or some other sticky material, trim with clippers or soak the area with vegetable or mineral oil for 24 hours. You may want to speak with a professional groomer if the tangles are difficult.

Toys and play are essential before you even get your pet into the tub.Play with them in the bathroom and bring in favorite toys. Basically, you're teaching them the bathroom is not a scary place.
Of course, like kids, toys in the tub are fun for your pet, too though only the ones made of plastic. Pets especially love toys with treats hidden inside them. We say bonus points for the types of toys with treats that clean the teeth and sweeten the breath! 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.

Shower Sprayer. Rather than the old cup and half-full bathtub method, purchase a hose-type showerhead attachment. Then you can direct the stream of water wherever you want, and you may stay a little dryer in the process.

Fleas are clever little critters. When you wash your dog, they will run for dry land, usually your dog's head. Before you even get your dog wet, draw a line all the way around the base of your dog's neck with flea shampoo. This will keep the fleas from running and finding a safe zone on your dog's head once the bath starts. Warm soapy water kills adult fleas.

Dry Thoroughly. Not drying your dog completely causes chills and wet-dog-on-furniture syndrome; symptoms of which include yelling, foot stomping, and headaches.

Washcloth for Dog's Face. Using a washcloth helps keep water out of ears and eyes and causes less discomfort for your dog. Water in the ears causes infections, water in the eyes can be damaging and makes dog NEVER want another bath.

Brush FIRST! Brush your dog thoroughly and remove any mats before bathing. Mats get worse when they get wet and you'll have to cut them out. Furthermore, any dirt and grime wrapped up in the mat won't come out when you wash. Brushing first will help dogs with any length hair because it means you'll have less hair and dirt to worry about in the tub.

Use the Right Dog Shampoo. Use the appropriate shampoo for your dog's age, skin type and coat type. There are different shampoos for puppies, flea problems, dry skin, sensitive skin, white hair, dark hair, curly hair, and straight hair to name a few.

Don't Over Bathe! On average, once a month is enough. Over bathing dries out the coat and strips it of its natural oils. Over bathing is especially bad for water dogs whose oils help water roll off the coat so they stay warmer and drier when working in the water.

To keep your dog clean between baths, brush vigorously and regularly - preferably daily. This is good for the coat and skin, and helps the dog look and smell good. If you are allergic to your pet, wear a mask when you brush. Brush outdoors or onto a newspaper indoors to aid in clean up...and wash hands afterwards.

Remember that after being indoors during the colder months, a dog's fur and skin can become dry. And if your dog grows an undercoat, you need to comb it out in warmer weather. If a dog's fur gets matted, the skin cannot breathe, compelling the dog to scratch and pull out fur, which can result in sores.

If your dog's hair is matted with paint, tar or some other sticky material, trim with clippers or soak the area with vegetable or mineral oil for 24 hours. You may want to speak with a professional groomer if the tangles are difficult.

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1. Brush all tangles and debris out of your dog's fur.

2. Put a rubber tub mat in the bottom of the tub for stability. Place your dog in the bathtub near the center.

3. Spray waterless dog shampoo into your hand and apply it to your pet. Massage it into his fur and down to the skin level.

Brush the excess dry shampoo out of his fur and then remove him from the bathtub. Rinse any excess dry shampoo down the bathtub drain with water. Vacuum or sweep up any dry shampoo that your buddy shook onto the floor.

Waterless dog shampoo cleans and deodorizes dogs, although not quite as well as a traditional bath.

If you don't have any waterless dog shampoo, sprinkle your dog's fur with baking soda, rub it in, then brush it out to remove odor.

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If you can't or don't want to use your bathtub to bathe your dog, try one of the following ideas instead:

If you have got a medium-sized or larger dog, you can bathe him in the shower. It's much easier for dogs to step into showers without tubs.

If it's warm enough, try bathing your dog outside. You can use a plastic kiddy pool or a regular hose. If your dog loves to chase a stream of water coming from a sprayer, you can incorporate that game into bath time. Spray water into the pool and let your dog jump in to chase the stream. After a minute or two of fun, shampoo and rinse your dog. Then, after the bath, you can play with the sprayer again to reward your dog.

If you have a small dog, you can bathe him in a kitchen or utility sink. You won't have to bend over, and your dog won't have to get into a big bathtub, which might scare him. You can use the kitchen-sink sprayer to conveniently wet and rinse your dog!

You can purchase a special tub made specifically for bathing dogs, such as the Scrub-a-Dub Dog Tub. Dog tubs usually include a leash clip to restrain your dog, a hose and a showerhead attachment or sprayer. Some are designed to make it easy for your dog to get into and out of the tub. Many are portable, so you can bathe your dog anywhere you like.

Some pet-care businesses, such as boarding kennels, day cares and groomers, offer do it yourself dog wash stations. Usually, you just have to bring your dog. The business provides shampoo, conditioner and towels. The self-serve tubs include sprayers or hoses, and they often have ramps, so your dog can easily walk into the bathing area.

If your dog really dislikes bathing, only bathe him when absolutely necessary. Instead of getting him wet, brush him daily and use a damp cloth to wipe stubborn dirt off of his fur and paws. You can also try using a powder, spray or foam "dry shampoo" on your dog, such as Waterless Bath by Bio-Groom®. Just apply the shampoo to your dog's coat and then brush him. No rinsing is needed.

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