A dog getting washed in a bathtub

As much as we’d love our best fur-iends to smell like roses, sometimes our pet’s get stinky! Dog’s require regular bathing to maintain a healthy skin and coat and bathing can help reduce shedding by removing loose fur. Always check with your veterinarian or groomer to determine how often your dog should be bathed. 

For the times when it isn’t convenient to take your dog to the groomer for a bath, you may have to take matters into your own hands. However, bathing doesn’t have to be a negative experience, with time and practice, getting your doggy soggy can be a paw-sitive experience for your pup! Here are some tips to help make your pup’s spaw day go smoothly.


  • A bathtub, outdoor tub or dog washing station with a sprayer attachment and a hair trap to prevent dog hair from clogging the drain.
  • A mild, pet-safe shampoo formulated for your pet’s skin and coat type. Optional: Pet-safe conditioner and tear-less face wash. 
  • Cotton balls to place in your dog’s ears to prevent water from getting in. Tear the cotton balls in half to fit smaller ears.
  • For long-haired dogs, a comb to brush out tangles. For short-haired dogs, a rubber curry brush for scrubbing.
  • Towels to dry your dog off.
  • Freeze-Dried Treats as a reward. 

Bathing Tips

  • Start getting your dog used to bathing as early as possible. Begin by getting your dog familiar with being in the tub without getting a bath. Start slowly, using lots of treats and praise.
  • Once your dog feels comfortable in the tub, it’s time to prepare your dog for bathing. Place cotton balls in their ears to prevent water from getting in. 
  • If you have a long-haired dog, comb out any tangles before bathing. Moisture can tighten up tangles, making them harder to remove and causing discomfort for your pet. 
  • Using warm water, wet your dog from head to paw. Avoid getting water directly in the eyes or ears. Remember, your pet doesn’t understand what’s going on so if they show fear, take frequent breaks and reassure them using praise and rewards.
  • Once your dog’s coat is wet, apply dog-safe shampoo from the neck back, and lather using your hands or a rubber curry brush. Only use tearless shampoo on your dog’s face and avoid getting shampoo in your dog’s eyes. 
  • Let the shampoo sit for a minute or two and then rinse. For very dirty dogs, a second shampoo may be necessary. Follow-up with a conditioner if desired. 
  • Make sure your dog is thoroughly rinsed. A good rule of thumb is to wait until there are no more soap bubbles coming off your dog’s coat, then rinse one more time. 
  • Dry your dog using a towel and remove the cotton balls from your dog’s ears. If the cotton balls are wet, use dry cotton balls to gently wipe out your dog’s ears. 
  • Reward your dog for getting a bath with some delicious Freeze-Dried Minnows
  • If your dog’s coat frequently has an odor, or if your dog has excessive shedding or allergies, consider switching their diet. Feeding a raw diet, such as Vital Essentials, can benefit your dog by promoting a shiny, odorless coat, reducing shedding and aiding in the growth of thick, healthy fur. 

Your best fur-iend will feel so clean and refreshed after their spaw day that they might even get the zoomies and start running around the house! So rub-a-dub your pup in the tub your dog will thank you later. To learn more, check out our other Blog Posts, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit the Vital Essentials Website and enter your email to receive exclusive offers. 

You can read about Dog and Cat nail clipping, Dog and Cat ear cleaning, and Dog and Cat dental care in our other blog posts. You can even learn how to give your Cat a bath.