How to Bathe a Dog: 5 Top Tips

We know that bathing your dog can be a splashing good time or a stressful experience. To make bath time easier and more enjoyable for you and your pup, we’ve listed our 5 top tips for bathing a dog, including puppy bath tips! Are you and your pooch ready for a trip to the bathroom spa?

How often should I wash my dog?

Before we dive into how to bathe a dog, one of the most common questions about doggy bath time is how often they should occur. Naturally, this will vary depending on many factors, like how often your dog decides to roll around in the mud!

Your dog’s coat will also impact how often you should bathe them. If your dog has an oily coat then more frequent baths are advised, such as one a week.

Many other dogs will be fine with just one bath a month, for example, breeds like Golden Retrievers need to preserve natural oils in their fur. It really is about finding what works best for you and your dog.

Puppy bath tips: You can usually hold off giving your pup their first bath until they’re around 8 weeks old. Before this time, their body may have trouble self-regulating so they’re likely to feel the chill a bit more. During this time, you can use a warm wet cloth to clean your pup when necessary.

Keep reading for our 5 top tips for bathing a dog.

How to Bathe a Dog

  1. Be calm and reassuring

Bath time can become chaotic if you get off to a bad start. To make sure your dog feels comfortable, always be calm and patient around them.

Going for a walk is an excellent way for your dog to burn off excess energy before their bath, and they’ll be more likely to feel relaxed and sit still.

Puppy bath tips: Remember that everything is brand new to your little pup, so if you’re giving them their first bath, offer them lots of praise and reassurance.

2. Regularly brush your dog

Brushing your dog before and after their bath is a good routine to follow, especially if you plan on letting their fur air dry as it’s more likely to become matted.

Lots of dogs enjoy their fur being brushed. This extra bit of pampering is like a mini massage and will help your pup to relax, plus it’s also a great way to remove excess hair and dirt before washing.

Smooth short-haired coats should typically be brushed once every few weeks to remove loose hair, and dogs with short yet dense fur should be brushed every 1 - 2 weeks.

For longer coated dogs, it’s recommended to brush them at least once a week to stop their fur from getting tangled or matted.

3. Use the right shampoo for your dog

Choosing the right shampoo plays a big role in how to bathe a dog. Dogs have a different PH balance than us humans, so it’s important to pick products that are gentle on your dog’s skin and fur.

A shampoo like our Pawesome Dog Shampoo is ideal for giving your pup the ultimutt deep clean and the heavenly scent will have your dog smelling fresh for longer. With an easy-rinse formula, this conditioning shampoo is PH balanced with pro-vitamin B5 that’ll clean your dog’s fur without stripping the essential oils from their coat.

Alternatively, you may want to try our luxurious Lavender Soap Bar. The soothing lavender scent will make your dog smell pawgeous and squeaky clean. Lather it up to make bath time full of bubbly fun!

When washing your dog’s fur, start with lukewarm water and apply a small amount of shampoo as a little goes a long way, then massage it into their fur until it lathers.

When it comes to cleaning around your dog’s face, be careful not to get shampoo in their eyes. Thoroughly rinse off all the soap and shampoo once you’re finished, as leaving any behind could cause irritation to their skin.

Puppy bath tips: Always read the label of your dog’s shampoo, as some need to be diluted and are only suitable for dogs over a certain age. Our dog shampoos are all suitable for puppies aged 6 weeks and above, ready for your pup’s first bath.

4. Safely trim your dog’s nails

If you’re wondering how to bathe a dog, you may be questioning when to cut your pup’s nails too. If you notice your dog’s nails clicking on hard floors, it’s time your pooch had a pedicure!

It’s important to keep on top of trimming your dog’s nails, as long nails can get caught on things and cause them discomfort.

5. Towel dry and treat your dog

First, towel dry your pup with their favourite dog towel or an absorbent drying mitt. You can let them air dry after this step as long as they won’t get too cold, otherwise, it’s best to use a hairdryer on a medium or cool setting.

If you’ve got to this stage successfully, you deserve a round of applause! Your reward is a clean, fresh-smelling pup and this is the perfect opportunity to reward your dog for their good behaviour too. How about a tasty, post-bath snack to indulge in? They’re paw lickin’ good!

Puppy bath tips: If you’re using a hair dryer to dry your puppy, make sure it’s not too close to your pup’s skin or directed to their eyes. It’s also important that the airflow is warm and not hot.


Walk this way for more

We hope you enjoyed reading our tips for bathing a dog. If you’re looking for more helpful how-to guides, check out our post on how to walk a dog.

And, if you’re looking to treat your pup or a dog lover, we have hundreds of personalised dog gifts to choose from.

Why not pick up a cute dog bandana or personalised blankets and dog cushions – they’re perfect for making your dog super comfy, especially after bath time.

If you’d like to know more about what Yappy offers, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Share this article


5 Ways to Avoid Collars Harming Your Dog


What Do Dogs Dream About? Dog Sleeping Habits Explained