How to bathe your dog (and how often)

Keeping your dog clean is an important part of caring for your pet, helping to keep them healthy and ensuring they smell fresh – but how often should you bath a dog and how should you wash them?

How often should you bath a dog?

Dogs should only be bathed when necessary, as washing too frequently can strip their skin and hair of natural oils – but how often will vary depending on your dog’s needs, such as their skin health, coat length, day-to-day activities, and more. Of course, you should always wash them if they’ve been rolling in mud or accumulated dirt on their coat.

What should I use to shampoo my dog?

Dogs have a different skin pH to humans, so you should never use your own shampoo on a dog. Choose a dedicated dog shampoo designed for their sensitive skin. If your dog has skin conditions, your vet can advise the best shampoo to use.

Where should I bathe a dog?

Dog in bath

The easiest place to bathe your dog depends on your home – you may find it easier to bathe them outside, in your bath tub or shower. Wherever you choose, you’ll need warm water (not too hot!) and either a shower hose or a bucket/pouring jug to easily rinse off the soapy water. Always supervise your dog, never leave them alone in a tub, and if you’re in the bath always let the water rinse away so it doesn’t fill up.

How do I bathe my dog?

Start by brushing through their fur to remove tangles, then gently wet their fur with the hose or jug, avoiding the eyes and face. Gently massage in the shampoo, starting with the chest and body then working your way towards legs and feet – then rinse away. Remember to praise them throughout, especially when they are calm and allow you to handle them – keep tasty treats on hand to reward them!

Do dogs clean themselves?

Dogs do lick themselves to clean their fur, with their tongues offering some antibacterial properties – however excessive licking could be a sign of irritation or itching, so do speak to your vet if you are worried.


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