Dog Articles: Lifestyle

Tips on Bathing Your Dog

Choosing the best shampoo for your dog is important. The right one will leave him with a bright, shiny coat for weeks after his bath, so consider these facts as you shampoo shop for your pup.

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two dogs in a tub covered in soap

Doggy Suds: Finding the Right Shampoo

The condition his skin is in

If you dog has dry, itchy or flaky skin, choose a moisturizing shampoo that’s unscented. Scents often contain chemicals that can irritate the skin. Natural ingredients like oatmeal, honey and vitamin E are also recommended. Of course ask your veterinarian about medicated shampoos and additional treatments if your canine’s skin condition worsens.

Flea and tick formulas

Flea and tick shampoo offers short-term protection, so use this type of shampoo only to supplement other flea and tick preventive measures.

Puppy locks

Choose a shampoo that’s specifically designed for younger dogs. Like human baby shampoos, puppy shampoos are gentler and even feature no-tear formulas if they get in your pup’s eyes.


Dogs love smell, and their highly trained snouts often lead them to food, garbage and other mystery items. Deodorizing shampoos work well on these adventurous dogs by removing unpleasant odors, not just masking them.


Restore a healthy shine to your dog’s coat with a nourishing shampoo that features minerals, vitamins and proteins.

Go platinum

You can even find specialty shampoos with brighteners and whiteners to help prevent yellowing if your dog has a lustrous white coat.


Dog conditioners or shampoos with built-in conditioners, can restore moisture and manageability if your canine is prone to tangles.

Dry shampoos

Waterless shampoos and wipes are a convenient solution if your dog hates water or you’re traveling.

Dirty dogs are a fact of pet-parent life. Bathing your dog at home can lead to some water on your bathroom floor. At the worst, you’ll wish you had a much bigger tub, owned seven more towels or had invested in one of those fancy self-serve dog washers.

Here are some ways to make bath time a more fun and positive experience for both you and your favorite canine.

Doggy prep

If your dog has a hard time relaxing or calming down during baths, a long walk or jog may solve the problem. An exercised dog will be more bath-friendly simply because he’ll be tired and need a break. Like us, many canines enjoy a dip in the water when they’re hot and exhausted after exercise.

For first-time bathers, break the routine down into simple stages. Use toys or food to engage in play and reward him in the bath area before initiating the bath. Run the water while you give him a treat, or throw his favorite toy into a tub of ankle-high water. This helps your dog make positive associations with bath time. It may take repetition but will be well worth it, when your dog takes to the bath like a fish to water.

Set up

Dogs don’t possess infinite attention spans, especially when they’re puppies, so have as much set up for the bath before you introduce him.


Lukewarm water is recommended because hot or cold water can startle dogs, especially puppies, and immediately stress them out.


Never use shampoos or conditioners meant for the non-furry family members. Human skin is not as sensitive as a dog’s. Consequently, our shampoos are made to remove natural hair oils and wax, which can leave your pup with a dull and brittle coat, prone to rashes.

Dog-friendly shampoos tend to feature natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, herbal proteins, vitamins, and citrus extracts. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the right shampoo for your dog’s specific skin and coat needs, and avoid artificial fragrances and dyes.

Get your dog’s special shampoo ready beforehand and give him a chance to see and sniff it before you run the bath. Waiting until he’s wet to grab his supplies is like inviting a monsoon into your bathing area.

Toys, Treats and Towels:

Any training toys and treats ready before your dog arrives. Positive reinforcement items will help him refocus his energy if he’s a little anxious and get him in a more relaxed state.

Also bring plenty of towels to the bathing area so you can dry your dog thoroughly before he runs off.

Prepare to bond

Watch your appearance: You’re most likely getting wet no matter how well behaved your dog is while bathing, so wear comfortable, older clothing you won’t worry about.

Also mind your body language. If you remain calm and confident, your dog will follow your lead. Bath time is great for bonding so try not to rush the experience. Reinforce bathing as playtime by treating your dog to favorite toys, foods and affection. Soon, taking baths may end up one of your favorite furry pal pastimes, next to cuddling, of course.