Culture and Lifestyle Pets How To Bathe And Brush Your Dog Safely At Home Your complete guide to bath time at home. By Zoe Denenberg Updated on March 14, 2023 Fact checked by Khara Scheppmann Fact checked by Khara Scheppmann Khara Scheppmann has 12 years of marketing and advertising experience, including proofreading and fact-checking. She previously worked at one of the largest advertising agencies in the southwest. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article View All In This Article How Often to Wash a Dog How Often to Brush a Dog How to Wash a Dog How to Wash a Dog’s Face If you're anything like me, you have a standing monthly appointment with your dog's groomer. In a matter of hours, she washes his coat (with organic shampoo, of course), brushes his teeth, and clips his nails—he emerges from the groomer donning a new bandana and smelling fresh and clean. While I can wash my dog at home, this monthly check-up is absolutely worth it; groomers have all the right tools, know how to handle dogs under distress, and do the important, yet unsavory work of cleaning a dog's ears and expressing his anal glands. If your normal groomer is booked up and Fido has found his way into a mud puddle, it may be time to take matters into your own hands. Here are a few techniques and tips to help you wash and style your dog with ease. Getty Images How Often to Wash a Dog According to the American Kennel Club, the frequency that you bathe your dog will vary based on your dog's breed, age, hair length, and type of coat. "Washing to control odors, remove residual dirt, or manage a skin sensitivity all have different bathing frequency recommendations," writes Petco. "Most dogs require bathing on an occasional basis usually when their coat becomes dirty or when they develop a 'doggy odor'," write Dr. Tammy Hunter and Dr. Cheryl Yuill for VCA Animal Hospitals. "Non-shedding breeds that have no health issues usually need to be bathed about every six to eight weeks." How Often to Brush a Dog You'll want to brush a dog frequently between baths to keep his coat fresh and shiny (as much as once per day for long-haired dogs). Generally speaking, short-haired dogs require less grooming maintenance than long-haired dogs. "Dogs with long, silky or curly coats require daily brushing to keep their hair from becoming tangled or matted, especially around the ears, in the armpits, or along the back of the legs," write Drs. Hunter and Yuill. "Dogs with short hair coats may require less frequent brushing. However, daily brushing of any dog that sheds will cut down dramatically on the amount of loose hair and dog dander floating around the home." How to Wash a Dog It's no surprise that puppy bathtime can be challenging at home. But according to Petco, "The key to getting your pup accustomed to bath time is to make it enjoyable." Here's how to wash your dog with ease and make bathtime fun for all. Brush your dog. Brushing your dog before bathtime helps remove matted or excess hair, which could irritate your dog's skin.Choose your washing area. Some prefer to wash their dogs inside, while some prefer the great outdoors—there are pros and cons to both. Handheld showerheads can help to control water, but bathing your dog in a standard bathtub can end with a messy, flooded bathroom; outdoors, all that's required is a hose, but your dog can easily get dirty all over again. Weigh the pros and cons and determine what area and environment will be most comfortable for you and for Fido. No matter where you're washing, setting down a non-slip mat will help you and Fido stay safe.Prepare your supplies. You'll want to get a specially-formulated dog shampoo to clean Fido's coat. "Dogs should only be bathed with a shampoo that is formulated for use on dogs - their skin has a different thickness and pH (acidity) than human skin. Human shampoo, including baby shampoo, is far too harsh for their skin," write Drs. Hunter and Yuill.Protect Fido's ears. Stuff cotton balls into your dog's ears to ensure no water gets in.Get washing. Wash from the neck down, rubbing shampoo into your dog's fur and rinsing out with lukewarm water. Rinse. If desired, repeat process with conditioner.Avoid your dog's face. Don't splash water directly on Fido's face: Instead, use a damp washcloth to clean his cute little face off.Dry. You can speed along the drying process by using a blow dryer, but be careful not to linger too long in one spot and burn Fido's skin. Alternatively, simply use a towel. How to Wash a Dog’s Face When washing, you'll want to avoid splashing water or using shampoo directly on a dog's face. Instead, use a washcloth to gently clean Fido's face. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. American Kennel Club. Why it’s worth having your dog groomed professionally. VCA Animal Hospitals. Coat and skin appearance in the healthy dog.