Summer Time Tips for Bathing Your Dog

Top dog-bathing tips to get your pooch clean, whether it’s at home or in a self-service bathing location.

Self-service bathing is a convenient way to bond with your dog - and keep your bathrooms at home clean.

Self-service bathing is a convenient way to bond with your dog – and keep your bathrooms at home clean.

Summer time in Indianapolis means outdoor fun for humans and dogs alike. It also means there are lots of happy pooches running around, exploring trails and lakes, yards and fields – and getting joyfully dirty along the way. Our guests often ask for dog-bathing tips, whether they’re giving baths at home or taking advantage of self-service bathing at the Good Dog Hotel.

Why not rely on expert advice from Tiki, our very own Good Dog Hotel Ambassador? He knows what it takes to make a dirty dog clean. Take a look at Tiki’s top summer time tips for giving your dog a bath.

Consider the breed and size of your dog. For instance, if you have a large dog that sheds a lot, an indoor bath at home probably isn’t the best option. Summer months are great for outdoor baths, as long as you have the space and access to water (make sure it’s not too cold). Smaller dogs are usually best suited for indoor baths (in lukewarm water).

Gather your supplies beforehand. Make sure you have everything you will need before you begin bath time. The basics include:

  • Pet-specific shampoo – preferably recommended by your vet or groomer
  • Cotton balls to protect ears
  • Brush
  • Nail trimmers
  • Towels

Brush and trim. Trim your dog’s nails before bath time. This helps them have better footing, and it also helps protect your skin in case your dog is fidgety or tries to run. Brush its coat thoroughly, making sure to remove any tangles or matting. And remember, brushing is one of the best ways to take care of your dog’s skin and coat – in some ways it’s even more important than bathing.

Protect the ears. If you can, gently insert a cotton ball in each ear to help keep the water out. Just make sure you remove them when you’re finished.

Run the water. Lukewarm water is best, but larger dogs with thicker coats can tolerate cooler water – especially the ones that don’t mind exploring icy ponds and cold bodies of water. Let your dog hear the running water and then gently introduce them to the water (before plunging in for the bath).

Suds it up. Begin shampooing your dog at the shoulders, moving down and out from there. Take special care around the face and other sensitive areas, and make sure you follow the directions on your shampoo bottle. Once done, thoroughly rinse their coat (a hand-held nozzle makes it much easier). Use your fingers to gently massage the undercoat to make sure all residue is rinsed out. Shampoo left in the coat can cause further irritation. Wash your dog twice, once for the dirt, and again to make them smell great. Apply conditioner, if recommended by your vet or groomer.

Dry the coat. When drying your pup consider the coat. If your pup has really long hair, you may want to get a professional groom. Groomers know how to dry and brush the coat to avoid matting (knotting the hair). Towel drying short haired dogs like Labs, Terriers and Beagles is the way to go.  After drying, make sure to brush the coat again – the bath will have loosened up more fur.

Consider your options. If you dread giving your dog a bath – or dislike the mess that usually comes with it – consider using a self-serving bath or leave it up to your groomer (click here for dog-grooming tips). If you are stressed or nervous about the bathing experience, your dog will pick up on that and resist it as well.

Advantages of self-service baths. Many dog owners find self-service baths to be the best option. This allows you to have that crucial bonding time with your pooch, without having to make a mess in your home. Our self-serve tubs are waist high, making it a much easier process – it eliminates the need to bend over. Our self-service bathing includes:

  • A warm water tub
  • Environmentally friends and eco-safe bath products – and they smell good
  • fluffy towels
  • hair dryers

Remember that you can schedule routine brushings too, which help keep the coat healthy in between grooms or baths.

What are your dog-bathing tips?

Tiki knows what he likes in a good bath, but he’d like to hear from you, too. Have you found any handy tips or tricks to make your dog-bathing experience a good one? We’d love to hear your feedback – please leave your comments below.

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