How to Wash Your Dog

Since dogs are active pets and love the outdoors, they get dirty often and require bathing or washing. Even if they don't go out of doors, it's still necessary to wash them at regular intervals. The ASPCA recommends bathing your dog at least once every 12 weeks, and more often if it spends a lot of time outdoors [source: ASPCA].

Here's how to give your dog a routine bath.


  1. Brush your dog's hair to remove any dead hair and tangles.
  2. Put a rubber mat on the bathtub floor so your dog will have solid footing and won't slip and slide.
  3. Fill the bathtub with 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) of tepid water.
  4. Wet your pet with a spray hose. You can use a large plastic pitcher if you don't have a hose. Make sure you don't spray directly into your dog's eyes, nose or ears.
  5. Massage the dog with a canine shampoo. Human shampoos may be too harsh for your dog's skin.
  6. Rinse the shampoo off your dog with the spray hose or pitcher.
  7. Check your dog's ears. If they seem dirty, use a cleaning solution and a cotton ball and carefully clean its ears.
  8. Dry your dog off with a large towel. You can also use a blow dryer to dry your dog [source: ASPCA].

If your dog is both dirty and smelly, bathe it as follows:

  1. Brush your dog's hair and remove all the tangles and dead hair.
  2. Take the dog outdoors.
  3. Mix together a solution of equal parts water and apple-cider vinegar.
  4. Put the solution in a spray bottle.
  5. Spray the solution onto a micro-fiber cloth and wipe down your dog. Don't spray directly on your dog.
  6. Sprinkle your dog with baking soda. The baking soda will refresh its coat and get rid of the vinegar smell.
  7. Prompt your dog to shake itself by blowing into its ears a few times.
  8. Brush its hair [source: Good Housekeeping].