A woman shampooing her dog with Wahl pet shampoo.

How to Bathe Your Dog

Dog bathing doesn't need to be difficult. With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can easily become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your pet avoid many diseases and infections.

What you need:

  • Dog shampoo
  • Tub or sink
  • Towel

How to Give Your Dog a Bath Step-by-Step

  • 1


    Place rubber mat in bottom of the tub or sink so dog won't slip or slide. Fill the tub with 3-4 inches of lukewarm water. (Do not use hot water.)

    Brush dog thoroughly to remove tangles, mats and loose hair.

    Place cotton balls snugly in dog's ears to keep out water and soap.

  • 2


    Place your dog in the water, holding them gently but firmly.

  • 3

    Using a plastic pitcher, unbreakable cup or spray hose, thoroughly wet your dog from head down, keeping water out of the ears and eyes.

  • 4

    Apply dog shampoo over entire body and lather in from shoulders to tail, finishing with the head. Never use human shampoo on your dog. Use one of Wahl's many varieties instead .

  • 5

    Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly with warm water, beginning with the head.

  • 6

    Remove dog from tub or sink. Towel dry until dog is damp.

  • 7

    If it is sunny and hot, you can allow the dog to air dry in an enclosed area, exercise pen or ventilated enclosure. It is unwise to allow a damp dog to run free because he may be enticed to roll on dirty areas.

  • 8

    Continue to towel dry or use a commercial pet dryer approved for home use. A blow dryer can be substituted for a pet dryer, using a low, warm setting to finish the drying process.

  • 9

    How often should you bathe your dog?

    A general rule of thumb, according to ASPCA recommendations, is to bathe your dog at least every three months, increasing the frequency during the hot, summer months. Many breeds and coat styles, however, require more frequent bathing (as do, naturally, mischief-finding, outdoor-loving dogs), while others necessitate fewer baths. Regular bathing will also help keep shedding to a minimum with most such breeds. Remember to use approved dog shampoo, preferably one that also conditions, detangles and moisturizes. Wahl has all of the dog bathing products you need.

What to use

Need help deciding what you need?

Wahl has a full line of pet-grooming products that will let you handle brushing to bathing in the comfort of your own home.

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