How to Bathe Your Dog

Bathing your dog may seem like a monumental chore, but with the right supplies you can have a clean fur buddy in no time.

1. The first thing you’ll want to do, even before you attempt to bathe your dog, is to teach him the stand command. This will ensure that he stands still and doesn’t slip and injure himself or you in the tub. Ask your trainer or grab a book with how-to instructions for stand.

2. Now that you are ready to get going, gather all of your supplies together. You’ll need:

3. You may be able to wash a toy dog in the sink; most other dogs will be heading to the bathtub. Place a no-slip mat on the bottom so that your dog has something to stand on.

4. Put cotton balls in his ears to avoid getting water inside.

5. Before getting your dog wet, brush out any tangles or mats in his coat. If a knot gets wet it just gets tighter and harder to get out.

6. Thoroughly wet him with the spray attachment, using warm (not hot) water.

7. Once he’s wet, rub the shampoo into the coat. Make sure to get the belly and legs, and avoid your dog’s eyes.

8. Rinse out the shampoo using the spray attachment. Rinse again. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Leftover shampoo in the coat can make your dog dry and itchy.

9. Add conditioner if you’d like; longer-coated breeds can benefit from conditioner, and so can dogs with dry coats.

10. Quickly towel-dry your dog and soak up most of the excess water.

11. In warmer months, a short- or medium-coated dog can air-dry. But if it’s very cold or your dog has a more complicated coat, it’s time to blow-dry. Invest in a blow-dryer made just for dogs, as they will not overheat the skin. Blow-dry sections of the coat at a time.

12. If you’d like, finish with a little coat conditioning spray.

There you have it—a fresh, clean dog who is ready to go outside and roll around in the mud (again!)