Bathing your dog: how to care for and bathe your dog properly

Bathing your dog: how to care for and bathe your dog properly

You don't always have to bathe your dog, and if you do, then only as rarely as necessary. We'll tell you our tips for bathing your dog, how you can groom him without water, which accessories are helpful and much more.

I'm sure you've been there: your dog has had a good roll in the dirt or - even worse - in animal droppings while out for a walk, has wandered through the undergrowth and just looks scruffy, not to mention the smell. The first idea would be to give the dog a quick bath. But you're not supposed to do that very often. So what to do? In this blog post, we summarize the best tips for bathing dogs and reveal how to care for your four-legged friend so that he feels comfortable and his natural skin barrier is not damaged. We will focus purely on bathing your dog at home due to soiling. If you're more interested in the topic of "bathing dogs in pools and lakes", you've come to the right place.


How often and when can I bathe my dog?

The following applies to bathing your dog: only when necessary and preferably not too often, especially in winter only in exceptional cases. A rule of thumb is to bathe your dog a maximum of six times a year. As a relative of the wolf, every dog is equipped in such a way that it theoretically doesn't need a bath at all: the coat is multi-layered and normally wicks away dirt and moisture via a natural greasy film. Well, the comparison is a little flawed: a free-roaming wolf doesn't live with us and bother us with its smell or carry dirt into our apartment or house.

Our recommendation as an alternative to bathing if your dog is short-haired: especially in winter, rubbing your four-legged friend with a dog towel is often enough to roughly groom him, and with patience and leisure you can gently comb out any remaining dirt afterwards. This protects the skin's protective layer, which can be damaged by too frequent bathing. This protective layer of skin is still developing in puppies in particular, which is why you should never bathe puppies, as the drying out of the skin after bathing your small and unprotected dog can result in fungal or parasite infestation.

What do I need to consider when bathing my dog?

If you cannot avoid bathing, it is important that you equip your bathtub or shower cubicle with a non-slip mat so that your dog has a firm grip on the slippery floor and does not slip. Be relaxed throughout the bathing process, talk to your dog and don't get hectic. Once everything is done, treats have also proven to be a good reward for our dogs. Our dog snacks, which are easy to feed and are available in many delicious flavors in our store, have also proven their worth.

Strictly speaking, bathing a dog is more like showering a dog:

If your dog is standing in the bath or shower cubicle, start by wetting him with preheated water and a gentle stream from the shower nozzle from the bottom upwards, i.e. from his paws to his back to his head. If you use shampoo, shower him thoroughly afterwards and dry him with an absorbent dog towel.

Dog with bathrobe

Important after bathing the dog:

After bathing or showering, lift your dog out of the bath and let him shake himself off vigorously, preferably in a large shower cubicle. Alternative tip: if you put a large towel over him beforehand, you will have the least cleaning effort afterwards. In summer, you can leave it on the sunny patio to shake off and dry. In winter, you must make sure that your dog is not in a draught after bathing and ideally lies near a heater while it dries.


Dog bathrobe and blow-drying your dog after bathing: when, how, where?

The use of an absorbent dog bathrobe is particularly recommended to prevent your dog from cooling down after bathing. The dog bathrobe also dries the coat faster and prevents a possible cold. Keep him busy in this area or give him a few dog snacks to chew on so that he doesn't quickly leave the area half-dried again. Blow-drying may only be necessary for very long-haired breeds: use the lowest setting and don't hold the hairdryer too close to the coat.

Pro tip for bathing your dog in winter: ideally, bathe your dog in the evening, as the skin needs longer to dry and regenerate the fat layer during the cold season.

Once it is completely dry, you can start grooming it with a good dog brush, because only now will it stop tangling or pulling. You can find out more about coat care in our article "Dog coat care: tips for caring for every dog coat".


Which shampoo is recommended for my dog?

Good to know: for most short-haired breeds, rinsing with clean water is sufficient. If that's not enough, here are our recommendations. It is important that you use a special dog shampoo for your dog.

Never use your human shampoo on your four-legged friend.

At best, the smell will only confuse your dog and drown out his own scent, causing your dog to toss and turn on his next walk to get rid of the smell - counterproductive after a bath. In the worst case scenario, your shampoo contains ingredients that are not at all good for your dog and attack his natural protective acid mantle. You can recognize this by the fact that your dog scratches, his skin is reddened or even dries out.

Tip: use the shampooing process to give your dog a little massage while bathing

And when rinsing off, make sure that the shampoo does not get into his eyes or ears, as even the mildest dog shampoo can cause discomfort or inflammation.

Your dog shampoo should never contain these ingredients:

  • Fragrance additives
  • pH value below 7.4
  • Sodium lauryl
  • Phthalates
  • Musk
  • Formaldehyde

At Sabro, we use a special dog shampoo for bathing our dogs, whether short-haired or long-haired, that is very mild and sensitive. This is exactly why we also offer it in our store.


What is your bathing ritual with your dog? Does your dog like bathing or do you have to persuade him? We look forward to hearing about your experiences with bathing your dog.

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