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How To Bathe Your Dog

Let us educate you on the finer points of dog-bathing for the next time Spot comes home smelling of sewage and rotten birdseed.


  • Step 1: Prepare a bath Prepare a bath by adding three to four inches of warm water to the tub, sink, or basin.
  • TIP: Line the tub with a towel to keep the dog's feet from skidding.
  • Step 2: Put dog into bath Put the dog into his bath. He will likely resist, so stay firm.
  • Step 3: Wet your pet Use a spray hose or a large plastic pitcher to thoroughly wet your pet. Be sure not to get water directly in the dog's eyes, ears, or nose.
  • TIP: Leave your dog's collar on to help you hang on to him if he tries to flee. Another pair of hands will also help if your dog is especially large or wriggly.
  • Step 4: Massage in shampoo Working from head to tail, gently massage the shampoo throughout the dog's coat.
  • TIP: Speak soothingly to your dog while you're working, to help calm him down.
  • Step 5: Use sponge or washcloth Use the sponge or washcloth on the dog's grimiest areas—his underbelly, the insides of his legs, and of course, that ever-wagging tail.
  • Step 6: Rinse him off Using the hose or pitcher again, rinse him off. Take care to do so completely—dried shampoo can seriously irritate a dog's skin.
  • Step 7: Check inside ears Check the insides of his ears. If necessary, clean them gently with dampened cotton balls.
  • Step 8: Dry him Dry him as much as possible with a clean towel.
  • TIP: No matter how dry you think you've gotten your dog, be prepared: he'll shake himself like mad the minute he gets a chance!
  • Step 9: Brush dog Give your dog a quick brush to release any small tangles, and then set him free. He'll probably go roll around in the dirt to celebrate.
  • FACT: Portuguese water dogs were originally bred to herd schools of fish and retrieve broken nets from the sea.

You Will Need

  • A tub
  • sink
  • or basin
  • A spray hose or a large plastic pitcher
  • Dog shampoo
  • A washcloth or sponge
  • Cotton balls
  • Towels
  • And a dog brush
  • A collar
  • And a human helper

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