How To Wash Your Dog
in Pampered Pooch Blog

How To Wash Your Dog

Dogs don’t mind being dirty and stinky and many aren’t afraid to put up a fight, especially if they think that it’ll help them get out of bath time. Lilly the Labradoodle gets concerned whenever I run the bath. She will pop in to check on the progress and then she’ll scuttle off out of my reach. While Poppy the English Cocker Spaniel loves a good bath! She really enjoys the one-on-one attention and the massage she gets at bath time.

I try to wash my dogs every one to three weeks – unless of course they’ve rolled in something nasty and smelly! Regularly washing your dog can promote healthy skin and fur as well as reduce that doggy smell – both on your dog and in your home. I recently read some interesting (and disturbing!) research which said people don’t actually notice when their own house smells bad – and we all know that dogs can be a major contributor to household odours!

When it comes to the frequency you should wash your dog, there is a fine line. You obviously want your dog to smell nice, however, washing your dog too frequently can strip their coat of natural oils. And when your dog’s coat is lacking in natural oils, their skin and coat can dry out making them more prone to dandruff and matting. It was these problems associated with over washing which led me to develop the Pampered Pooch refreshing spritz range – I wanted my dogs to smell great every day without the hassle of having to wash them every day. Now, between washes, I just spritz them every day or two to maintain their freshness and silky soft fur.

To make bath time easier for both you and your pooch, I have a few tips that I’ve learnt through trial and error with Lilly and Poppy. And I’ve also picked up some great tricks from Pampered Pooch’s professional grooming clients.


How to wash your dog1. Washing your dog can be a stressful experience for them. To help alleviate any stress, make sure you talk to your dog in a calm and reassuring voice in the lead up and right throughout bath time.

2. Brush your dog before bathing them to remove any detritus and tangles. This will also help loosen up any dirt which will make shampooing easier. Brushing is a really important step because if your dog has any mats that aren’t removed, the matted hair will continue to hold water after the bath and this could potentially irritate your dog’s skin.

3. If your dog has mats which are proving difficult to loosen, Pampered Pooch’s detangling serum will help. Or try this great trick I recently learnt from a dog groomer – before using any shampoo on pooch (which will just tighten the tangles and make them impossible to remove), use a conditioner first to loosen all the tangles, then rinse the conditioner out before shampooing pooch and conditioning again.

4. Lay down a towel in the bath or shower to help prevent your dog from slipping around and feeling unsure of their stability.

5. If possible, I recommend you have a helper with you who can help soothe your dog and maybe offer the occasional treat for being a good girl/good boy in the tub. The goal is to create a positive experience so your dog won't develop an extreme dislike or fear of being bathed.


How to wash your dog

1. Use lukewarm water, just like you would use to wash a human baby. For large breed dogs, keep the water slightly cooler as they can easily overheat.

2. Saturate the coat and skin with the shower hose or a water jug – right along their back, down all four legs, over all four paws, and don't forget the undercarriage! Saturating the coat will make lathering the shampoo a lot easier.

3. Squirt a strip of shampoo down your dog’s back. It is important to use a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs. Check that it is pH balanced for dogs because human shampoos (even baby shampoos) are too acidic to use on a dog and can irritate their delicate skin. It is not a legal requirement to list all of the ingredients in pet grooming products, so be wary of ingredient lists which are a bit light on the details. At Pampered Pooch we list all the ingredients in our products so you know exactly what is going on your pooch. We have included a robust preservative system in our ingredients to ensure no bugs grow in our products, making them safe for your pooch.

4. If your dog has thick or double-coated fur then you can pre-mix some shampoo with water (50:50 works well) and then apply it to your dog.

5. Work the shampoo into a gentle lather and massage it all over your dog’s body – start from the neck and work your way back and then down. Be careful not to get any shampoo in their eyes or ears.

6. Rinse well. Any shampoo left in the fur could irritate your dog’s skin once they’re dry, so rinse and then rinse again!

7. When you’re rinsing, tilt pooch’s head back to make sure the shampoo runs backwards over their neck and not down into their eyes or ears.

8. For extra silky, soft and nourished fur, I recommend using a dog conditioner after shampooing. Apply the conditioner to several areas of pooch’s coat and then massage it through their coat, avoiding eyes and ears. Then rinse thoroughly with clean, lukewarm water.


    1. It’s important you keep your dog warm after their bath – especially in the colder months. Dogs can easily get chilled when their skin and fur is wet, so dry them straight after their bath to prevent them from getting cold and trembling.

    2. When it comes to drying your dog, I suggest you use a towel to dry them. Hot air from a human hairdryer is far too hot for dog skin. So if you do want to use a hairdryer, make sure you use one that is designed for dogs with lower temperatures which won’t cause harm or irritation.

    3. Once you’ve finished bathing your dog, remove as much moisture from their coat as you can and of course be prepared for the inevitable ‘shake’ as your dog dries themselves off.


    As soon as my pampered pooches are nice and dry, I give them a treat to reward and reinforce their good behaviour during bath time.

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