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Bathing Your Dog – Step-by-Step Guide to a Soothing Animal Bath

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Ein Hund wird von seinem Besitzer gebadet

When your four-legged explorer has once again rolled around in cow dung, it's high time for a bath. You won't be able to get rid of all of the dirt and odours just by combing, brushing or wiping with a damp cloth. Nevertheless, please remember: dogs should be bathed as seldom as possible in order not to attack the natural protective film of their skin unnecessarily. However, a cleansing shower is sometimes unavoidable, even for short-haired and smooth-haired breeds. And if you bathe your dog correctly, it will benefit from a shampooing massage that stimulates the blood circulation of the skin and cares for the coat. Read here for tips on how to have a wet and cheerful foam party with your four-legged friend!


Why and how often should you bathe your dog?

Dogs should be bathed as seldom as possible but as often as necessary. The dog is naturally equipped so as not to need a bath. Its coat protects it optimally from environmental influences. The multi-layered coat structure with undercoat and topcoat repels dirt through an oily film and drains away moisture. The dog’s skin also has a protective layer of oil and talc.

Puppies should not be bathed at all, because their coat and skin protection layer is not yet properly developed, it dries out very quickly and begins to flake. This provides an ideal environment for fungal infections and parasites to thrive.

How to bathe your dog correctly

Most dogs dislike being bathed, and a slippery bathtub, water that is too hot or too cold, and a hard shower spray can ruin your four-legged friend’s desire to bathe altogether.

Hence, you need the following utensils for a good dog bath:

  • Mild dog shampoo without any fragrance, because dogs have a keen sense of smell. Never use human shampoos, because they often contain chemicals that can impair the natural acid protection of the dog’s skin.
  • Non-slip rubber mat: It is important to make sure that your dog cannot slip in the bathtub.
  • Large absorbent towel
  • Treats

Should your dog be bathed in winter? Only under exceptional circumstances!

During the cold season, dog baths are not recommended, especially in the case of short-haired dog breeds. The fur only dries slowly and the protective layer of oil takes time to regenerate. Dog breeds with only a top coat, such as poodles, or short-haired breeds with little top coat, such as whippets, have very sensitive skin which has enough to contend with in winter when the weather is bad.

If the unfortunate happens and your four-legged friend has jumped into the mud in winter, we recommend drying him with absorbent dog towels. Then remove the dirt with a comb, brush and, if necessary, a lot of patience.

Nevertheless, longhaired dog breeds need to be bathed from time to time in winter to remove fine micro-sand from the coat and prevent matting. However, it is best to just bathe your dog in the evening. That way it will have the whole night to dry its coat. Read more about this in the Maxi Zoo guide “Coat care for dogs“.

Step by step guide to animal bathing fun

Step 1
Temperaturanzeige in der Dusche.
Step 1

Set the water temperature so that it is pleasantly warm. Using a gentle stream of water, start wetting the dog from the paws upwards, avoiding the head and ears at first.

Step 2
Ein Hund wird eingeseift.
Step 2

Now shampoo your four-legged friend and turn it into a gentle massage.

Step 3
Ein Hund wird geduscht.
Step 3

Special care should be taken with the head and ears as even the most suitable dog shampoo can sting a dog’s eyes, and water entering the ears can subsequently result in ear infections.

Step 4
Ein Hund bekommt Shampoo aufgetragen.
Step 4

Apply a small amount of lathered shampoo to your dog’s head and ears. Then gently rinse with a gentle stream of water until no soap residue remains.

Step 5
Ein Hund wird von seinem Besitzer abgetrocknet.
Step 5

Rub the wet coat dry while your dog is still in the bathtub. Make sure that its hair does not become knotted or break off. Then, lift your dog out of the bathtub, let it shake and rub itself.

Step 6
Ein Hund liegt auf einem Handtuch.
Step 6

Leave the dog to dry in a warm place without draughts – near the heater in winter, in the sun in summer. Small dogs can also be wrapped in a blanket. Only brush your dog once its coat is dry.


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