How To Give Your Dog A Bath

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

How To Give Your Dog A Bath

by Kirsten Frisch

Today is the day you are going to give your dog a bath. You imagine yourself in one of those commercials. You know the one, the big fluffy dog in a big tub of water, kids running around, beautiful summer day, everyone laughing. It is the perfect Kodak moment.

Today is not like that. First off, it is supposed to be summer outside, but it's 55F degrees and raining. You let your dog out in the yard while you hang out by the door encouraging him to hurry up. He does, but the moment he gets within 5 feet of you, you gasp. Your dog has just rolled in the nastiest thing you have ever smelled. You cannot even imagine where he found whatever it was he rolled in. You swear you were watching him the whole time!

Not only that, but he slips by you and gets inside. This is where he shakes. Shakes. Shakes. Shakes. Adding that putrid smell to everything within 10 feet of the door. You take your canine friend straight to the garage. All this, and you haven't even had your morning coffee!

Your dog has never had a bath before. You get this bright idea that today is the day you are going to give him a bath. He weighs 35 pounds, what could possibly be the big deal. After all, the dog in that commercial was at least 90 pounds and 8 year old kids handled him just fine.

You sift through all your bathroom goods and find a baby shampoo. This is a good start. You grab a bunch of towels, move things around a bit in the bathroom so there is room for two. Great.

You go get your dog, who is busy rubbing his new found smell onto everything in the garage. Coffee would make this entire moment just a little brighter you mutter. Since your dog hasn't left any stone unturned in the "spread the smelly love" department, you take a break and start a pot of coffee. Why not, the morning is shot anyway.

Phase 2. Start the bath. Get dog and put him in the bathtub. No problem, your dog does not associate the bathroom with anything yet, so he's game. He gets a little nervous in the tub. You talk to him soothingly and let him hang out for a minute. You pet him with one hand and grab the sprayer with the other. You had the foresight to buy one of those doggy shower adapters just for this purpose. Your dog looks a little worried.

You know your shower is quirky, but you have got it under control. As long as no one flushes a toilet the water pressure and temperature stay the same. Just get the dog wet, shampoo, rinse and dry. No problem. You start to spray your dog.

YOUR DOG FREAKS OUT. Your dog knew he had a reason to be worried. Mistake number sprayed his head first. Mistake number two...your dog has never been in the bathroom. Mistake number three...You left the bathroom door open and now it's a mad chase of stinky wet dog through the house. Mistake number four...your dog now KNOWS the bathroom is evil and he is not going back in there, no matter what!

The moral of this story is when giving your dog a bath, prepare them for the experience. Introduce the bathroom to them in a positive way before they have rolled in something stinky. Start the water spray slowly at their feet. Don't spray their head, gently use a sponge for that. Use a comfortable temperature for the water, not sauna hot or freezer cold. Get a friend (or two) to help. Offer treats. Take your time. Don't scare your dog. Have your coffee first.

Kirsten Frisch has worked with sled dogs for over 10 years. She has handled dogs in Alaska for mid and long distance races such as the Copper Basin 300 and Yukon Quest 1000 mile race. Her background also includes Veterinary Technician, sled dog rescue and foster, dog trainer, and webmaster. You can learn more about Kirsten and sled dogs at or

Kirsten Frisch - EzineArticles Expert Author

Return to Index


Cannot find it here? Search the internet with the power of Google: