Dog jumped in the pond or rolled in the mud? Here is the ultimate guide on how to wash your dog

iStock 671942042

As dog owners, we've all experienced those muddy paw prints on the carpet or that distinct "wet dog" smell after a romp in the rain. While our furry friends may love getting dirty, giving them a bath isn't always a walk in the park. However, with the right approach and a little patience, washing your dirty dog can be a stress-free experience for both of you.  

Here's the ultimate guide to make bath time a breeze:  

Image sourced from iStock

1. Preparation is key 

Before you even bring out the shampoo, gather all the necessary supplies. You'll need dog-friendly shampoo, towels, a brush. Plus close any bedroom doors incase they escape the bathroom and decide to dry themselves on your bed! 

2. Brush before bathing: 

Start by giving your dog a good brush to remove any tangles or matted sections. These are worse when wet. However, this obviously depends on how dirty they’ve managed to get. A short blast with a hose outside may be the first order.  

3. Get the water temperature right: 

Ensure the water is lukewarm, not too hot or too cold, as extreme temperatures can be uncomfortable for your dog. Test the water with your wrist to make sure it's just right. If your water is heated with gas, you should get efficient heat control. If not, might be time to talk to your plumber or gas fitter about an upgrade!  

4. Use dog-specific shampoo:  

Never use human shampoo on your dog, as it can irritate their skin and strip their coat of essential oils. Choose a gentle, dog-specific shampoo that is formulated for their skin type and needs. Plus make sure you like the smell!

Image sourced from iStock

5. Wet, lather, rinse: 

Thoroughly wet your dog's coat, avoiding their eyes and ears. Apply the shampoo and gently massage it into their fur, focusing on areas that are particularly dirty. The underbelly can be a secret spot for bidi bids, grass seeds and other matter. Rinse thoroughly to ensure all the shampoo is removed, as leftover residue can cause skin irritation. 

6. Dry thoroughly: 

After the bath, use towels to dry your dog's coat as much as possible. If your dog tolerates it, you can also use a hairdryer on a low, cool setting to speed up the drying process. Just make sure to keep the dryer at a safe distance from your dog's skin to avoid overheating. 

7. Treat time! 

Throughout the bath, praise and reward your dog with treats for staying calm and cooperative. This positive reinforcement will help make bath time a more enjoyable experience for them, and you, in the future. 

Bath time can be a bonding experience if you handle it well. A bonus is that they smell much nicer afterwards. If your dog is like some of our teams’ dogs, then it’s wise to keep an eye on them for 30 minutes or so after the bath, to stop them going to find something “fragrant” in the garden to soil themselves with!