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How to bathe your dog at home

From my personal experience of having 3 dogs in a city apartment.


Is your dog afraid of water or of taking a bath? When I first brought Bi and San home, they were hot happy to take a bath. I had to train them for a while for them to get used to bathing. In this blog post, I will share my personal experience on how to bathe dogs at home while living in an apartment.

How often should you give your dog a bath?

How many times a week you should bathe your dog depends on your dog’s coat type and living environment. Of course, dogs with thick fur or usually play outside should be cleaned up more often. Most short and thin-haired dogs (such as my San and Bi) need to bathe at least once a month, or once a week if you can.

For dogs with thick hair, you should take the time to brush their fur instead of a regular bath. Brushing will help remove old, greasy hair and help the oil on your dog’s skin be distributed evenly throughout the body. The hair is also smoother and softer this way.

Remember that you should not bathe your dog too often, as this might make the dog’s coat to lose its natural oils, causing hair loss, dandruff, or even allergies.

Where to bathe the dog?

It’s very easy for small dogs like Bi: I can bathe her in the bathtub, sink, in my garden or shower. Nowadays there are many bathtubs for dogs made of plastic, which can be folded after use. Some spas or pet shops also offer baths or rentals of dog tubs and towels.

How to bathe a dog?

Once you’ve got all the “gears” ready to bathe your dog, here are some tips to make it easy and fun for both you and your dog!

  • Brush the dog’s coat before bathing. As mentioned above, brushing helps to smooth and remove dirt, old hair… before the bath.
  • Use warm water. Dogs’ skin is more sensitive than ours. Too hot or too cold water makes them feel uncomfortable. It is recommended to use a little cooler water for large and thick-haired dogs because they are more prone to heat.
  • Talk to your dog. It may sound strange but I found that when I talk gently and explain to the dog about the “process” of bathing, they understand the situation better and will be more cooperative.
  • If possible, use a shampoo made specifically for dogs. These products will keep your dog’s skin soft and moist after bathing. Pour a little shampoo on your hands, lather and gently massage your dog. Be careful not to get the shampoo in their eyes.
  • Rinse well. Dog’s skin is very sensitive if any soap is left after bathing. So I often rinse my dog thoroughly 2-3 times after using shampoo.
  • Let it dry naturally. Some thick-haired dogs may need a hairdryer to dry their coat after bathing, but most dogs won’t. The heat from the dryer can make dogs uncomfortable. In addition, there is also a dryer made specifically for dogs with a lower heat to prevent them from itching and peeling skin after drying.
  • Give your dog a little treat. After bathing, be sure to spend time playing with the dog (for example, playing tug of war with a towel to relieve stress!) or reward them with their favorite treat. They will cooperate more the next bath time!



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