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Bathing Your Dog

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Bathing Step 1: Get Ready to Bathe Your Dog
Dog bather in apron.

An apron can protect your clothing and make the process a bit less messy.

Photo © Jenna Stregowski
Before you begin bathing your dog, there are a few things you must do to prepare. Proper preparation can make the process easier for you and your dog.

Choose a Location

A tub is usually the easiest place to bathe your dog, though very small dogs may be bathed in a sink. If you will be using your tub at home, it might take a toll on your back and knees. Many pet supply stores offer self-service dog wash tub you can use for a small fee. It's less expensive than paying for a groomer, and you can avoid a mess in your house. If you choose to bathe your dog outside, remember that cold water is no fun for most dogs. You may want to hook up the hot water so your dog can get a nice warm bath.

Gather Supplies

If you pay for the use of a self-service dog wash, these supplies will be ready and available for your use. If you bathe your dog at home, be sure to gather the following supplies in advance so you don't have to scramble for things later.
  • Soft, absorbent towels. Beach towels work well for larger dogs.
  • Shampoo -- should be intended for dogs and soap-free. Products containing natural ingredients are often best.
  • Brushes and combs -- choose the appropriate tool for your dog's hair type.
  • Bath mat for your dog to prevent slipping, if necessary.
  • Apron and / or old clothes -- you are going to get wet!

Tip: Brush your dog out before the bath begins. Be sure to remove any tangles or mats, as these are harder to deal with once your dog is wet.

Many thanks to Highland Pet Supply for use of their dog wash facility.

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