Top 8 Tips to Make Your Dog Baths Easier

Giving your dog a bath is not always a howl of a good time – for you or your fur child. From the pre-bath trembles to the dreaded wet-dawg shakes, bathtime can be a messy, hairy hassle.

dog shaking in a kiddie pool at doggie daycare

Fortunately, our team at Hounds Lounge has seen the best and the worst of dog baths and we’re here to present you these top 8 pro tips for making your dog’s bath go smoother, faster, and tidier.

Also, if you haven’t used our DIY dog bathing stations yet, we highly encourage you to try them out. Not only does the Lounge offer super convenient raised tubs and special accessibility accommodations for our large and tiny guests, but we also have everything you could need to give your pooch a professional dog bath. From infinite towels to brushes to professional doggie spa products and dog-friendly blowdryers, we are fully stocked and ready to help you get your pup squeaky clean. You can learn more about this service here.

clean dog after a dog bath

#1: Brush That Pup Before Bathtime!

Brushing your pooch before they get in a bathtub will help you avoid worsening mats and tangles during baths. It will also extend the life of your drain by removing loose dog hairs. You can take this time to use the best brush type for your doggo to give their coat a thorough combing to make sure they’re mat-free. Water makes tangles infinitely worse, so brush BEFORE you bathe!

dog in a DIY dog wash tub at Hounds Lounge

#2: Gather Your Supplies

Whether you’re at home or using our dog wash stations at Hounds Lounge, make sure you have everything you need for a successful dog bath within arms reach. We keep our doggie spa supplies stacked neatly on shelves by each station for easy access and offer all of the amenities listed below. Being prepared for the bath will help you keep your furry friend contained during bathtime.

You’ll need several products and tools for a complete dog bath including:

  • Dog brush and/or comb
  • 3+ towels
  • Dog-friendly shampoo (we use SPA by Tropiclean)
  • Dog-friendly conditioner (optional, for long-haired fellas)
  • Cleansing facial wipes or a washcloth
  • Treats
  • Non-slip bathmat or extra towel (optional)
  • Leash (optional)
  • Blowdryer (optional)

dog baths at Hounds Lounge in Arkansas

A special trick to minimize splashing is to adopt is the three-plus towel rule. Keep one towel under the tub for any excess splish-splashing, one to cover your woof when you’re grabbing more shampoo to contain the notorious bath shakes, and one (or more) towels kept close by for after bathtime drying.

Some people also find it helpful to place a towel in the bathtub if you don’t have a grip mat for your dog to stand on. Keeping your dog slip-free will help him or her to feel safer and more at ease in the tub. This is also helpful for our older fellas to prevent falls.

Happy dog in a self-wash dog bath

#3: Give Plenty of Praise and Treats

Doggos can be anxious when it comes to bathtime. To help soothe him before, during, and after, make sure you praise your pooch so he can begin to recognize bathtime as a positive experience. Keep extra tasty treats on hand to help put your dog at ease and remind him what a good boy he’s being.

For our more nervous fur babes, it may be helpful to get another family member involved to help hold your dog during bathtime. They can also be sure to give copious amounts of praise to soothe him.

#4: Prep your pooches ears

Keeping shampoo and conditioner away from your dog’s face will help keep their eyes from getting irritated. It’s very super to make sure the insides of your furbaby’s ears are kept dry as this will help prevent future ear infections. Ouch!

You can place a cotton ball in your dog’s ears to keep them dry during his dog bath. At the Lounge, we encourage using our facial and ear wipes to clean your dog’s face instead of lathering and scrubbing with shampoo.

dog shedding after a dog bath

SuperPro Tip #5: Add Steel Wool Over the Drain

To prevent your woof from causing some major drain clogging, place some steel wool over the drain to catch any hair that is shed during bathtime. You can thank us later on this one.

white dog getting a diy dog bath

#6: SOAK

Before any shampoo is lathered into your doggo’s luscious coat, make sure they are completely soaked, including their undercarriage. This might take some additional time for our woofs with double coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees. Double-coated breeds have a dense undercoat to keep them warm in the winter and a longer overcoat to block the sun’s rays in the summer.

scrubbing a dog during a bath

#7: Use the Ideal Lather Technique

Working from your pooch’s neck, down his back and feet is the best way to ensure you don’t have to rewash and rinse parts of your glamorous hound. Use a rich lather to remove all dirt and any excess. Thoroughly rinse your pooch as any leftover shampoo or conditioner can irritate their skin.

cute golden at Hounds Lounge

#8: Dry Thoroughly

As some of you dog owners know, your pooch probably despises being wet. Your dog gets cold after his bath just like you! To prevent any post-dog bath mishaps, make sure they can’t get outside to roll in the mud or grass as all your diligent work will be for not.

Have a designated drying area planned before your dog’s bathtime, complete with extra towels. You can also blowdry your woof if he or she is tolerant of dryers. Just be sure to use them on a low-heat setting for a comfy furbabe. Hounds Lounge offers professional groomer-grade blowdryers to get your woof dry before you leave.

owner and dog smiling during a DIY dog bath

Dog baths will never be 100% hassle-free. However, by being prepared and taking the right steps, you can be sure that your pooch is as comfortable as possible. Hounds Lounge works hard to make bathtime a breeze with all the supplies you could wish for at our DIY dog wash.

Our self-wash stations are designed to make your dog baths easier by reducing bent-over back pain, supply everything you could need, and most importantly, keep the mess out of your home! For even more information, you can learn how our DIY dog wash works here.