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Simple Steps to Give Pets a Bath That You Both Enjoy

Updated on August 13, 2018
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Author of 5 books, a retired pet groomer, certified advanced dog trainer, Search dog handler, dog breeder, herbalist who loves to write!

Let's Enjoy a Bath !

If the bath is made to be relaxing then your pet will enjoy it and relax instead of fight you like he hates it. With these simple steps you can both look forward to bath time making for a healthier, cleaner pet and happier you !

Pets enjoy baths too
Pets enjoy baths too

Prepare the Bath


It will be much easier if you gather these few things before you get your pet ready for the bath.

Place the items near the tub and within hands reach, you can put them all in a bucket or carry all for easy storage and use.

  • 2 towels, medium to large size depending on pet size
  • Cotton balls should be put in ears for bath, then used to clean ears with a little rubbing alcohol and a few pieces of tissue paper after the bath
  • Shampoo, the more natural the better and tear less is best
  • For the face, Tear less baby shampoo if you can't find tear less dog shampoo
  • Coat conditioner or cream rinse, natural the better
  • A collar to hold your dog with that is loose enough to get under with the water to rinse the shampoo away very well.

Pet Wash Items

Self Wash Pet Items Needed
Self Wash Pet Items Needed

Prepare the Tub for Pet's Bath


Its best to buy a hose attachment that snaps easily on a tub facet with warm water so your pet can feel good and relax in the bath. Cold water can stress out some pets, especially the young and elderly pet.

A hose makes the bath much easier to do plus the whole body of your pet can be bathed which is much healthier and removes all shampoo and grime.

Large dogs can be bathed outdoors with a hose attached from a washing machine connections for warm water bath instead of the cold outdoor facet bath they often get.

All pets respond much better to a warm water bath, and if your pet hates the bath, maybe its because the water is to cold and isn't comfortable and soothing, if the bath is made to be relaxing then your pet will enjoy it and relax instead of moving around to much and hating a bath.

Pet Bath Set Up

Pet Bath Area
Pet Bath Area | Source

Washing a Pet


Start by wetting your pet from the back of the neck and along the back to the tail then work the hose from under the pet to wet the whole animal. This way the water is not spraying into the face or from above to scare them.

If the pet does not like the water, try a different approach like wetting under the chest between the front legs or at the hips instead and massage the pet with one hand as you wet the coat with the other so you are petting and wetting at once.

As you wash, continue to give the pet a nice hand massage, pet and massage firmly with pleasurable intent all over, so he enjoys it.

If your pet moves to much then try holding him in place with one hand firmly but gently on the shoulder and massage shampoo into the coat with your other hand until the pet holds still.

Praise with nice words and more massage !

Add more shampoo or the warm water in between massaging. The pet will learn quickly that the massage feels good and then stand still enjoying it.

As you rinse with water, massage the shampoo away using your hands to make your pet feel nice and enjoy the comforting bonding experience with your cat or dog.

Do not do the head with the hose. Use a wash rag with water from the hose to wipe

around the face and eyes until the pet is very use to being bathed.

RINSE very well so that the shampoo does not make the coat itchy, make sure to get under the legs,rear end under the tail and neck.

Sitting in the Tub

Emmu in the Tub
Emmu in the Tub | Source

Cleaning Pet's Ears

Remember to remove the cotton balls after the bath.

Use a clean cotton ball dampened with alcohol to wipe out each ear as far inside as you can see.

Never push deep into the ear with q-tips or fingers because this can damage tender ears.

If the ear has a bad odor or thick discharge, mucus, blood or looks any way other then pink and healthy a doctor's appointment might be a good idea to rule out infections.

Let the pet shakes its head to remove any excessive moisture then tap dry with another cotton ball or tissue paper.

I Need my Ears Cleaned too!

Freddie getting Groomed
Freddie getting Groomed | Source

Drying a Wet Pet


Towel dry pet well all over and if it is cold outside then the pet should stay indoors until their coat is fully dry.

If you have a crate or pet carrier you can hang a human hair dryer near the cage door so warm air circulates nearby to help dry the pet.

Do not point the warm or hot air from a hair dryer directly in the cage or on the pet because the pet can quickly overheat or burnt.

Do Not Leave pets alone with the warm air. Many pets die in grooming shops ever year because they are left in a crate with hot air blowing so be careful with this method. It can come in handy in very cold weather with a very dirty dog.

Recommended Shampoo

As a retired groomer who owned a popular pet spa I have had tons of experience with dog and cat shampoos. There are so many shampoos on the market it can be difficult to tell which one is best for your pet so I wanted to tell you about one brand I really like.

Earthbath Pet Shampoos are safe to use, lather up really well, rinse off easy and make a dog or cat sparkle and shine. They smell great and come in many scents.

I hope you and your pet have a great next bath together and this article was helpful!

Have Fun !

Enjoy the time spent with your pet !

Take the quiz below to see how your dog or cat likes a bath.

Thank you for your feedback, comments and shares !

Pet Wash Quiz

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© 2008 Amber Higgins


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