Important Tips For Washing Your Dog

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Would you ever wear the same pair of socks without washing them for a month or longer?  Would you ever go without washing your hair for a month?  Then why would we make our dogs go weeks or even months without dog bathing them?

Cleanliness is so important to the overall health and happiness of dogs.  Training your dog to allow you to wash and dry their feet after coming inside from outdoors is essential and healthy. The amount of debris, mud, and plant material that gets stuck in between their paw pads is incredible.  This includes dangerous items such as pine needles, tree sap, rocks, snow, ice, insects, and even harmful chemicals like lawn fertilizer crystals and motor oil. 


Foot washing also decreases foul odors and helps you identify problems such as skin irritations and redness that you can then show to your veterinarian. But, again, the earlier issues can be identified and treated, the faster they will be healed.

If we as pet guardians do not remove this debris, our dogs will often lick it out, which can be toxic. Excess licking of the feet can also lead to skin infections and irritations. Washing debris out of your dog’s feet will prevent your dog from tracking it all over your home as well.  If you let your dogs sleep on your bed, as I do, you do not want debris in your bed either.

Washing your dog’s feet daily can also help you monitor the length of their claws so you can take them for nail trimming or trim them yourself.   The more you work with and gently handle your dog’s feet, the better they will be at trusting nail trimming and fur grooming.



Total body bathing once per week (or more often if your dogs love to roll in puddles or mud) is also very important.  Dogs feel so good and smell fantastic after a good dog bath.   The act of bathing is similar to giving a massage, especially as the shampoo is lathered in.   I like leaving the shampoo in contact with the skin lathering for 5 minutes.  Giving your dog a 5-minute massage is very beneficial and can be done while you lather the shampoo in.  

Plus, bathing your dogs helps you monitor for skin irritations, lumps, and cuts.  You can detect these issues earlier and then report them to your veterinarian.  Early detection is vital.

Letting our dogs swim in a pond, lake, or river is not the equivalent of dog bathing them.  It is also inaccurate that weekly bathing is too frequent and will strip out your dog’s natural skin oils.  Those are myths.  Weekly dog bathing with a good quality shampoo from your veterinarian will never harm your dog.  

For dogs that grow long fur, bathing at home can be done in-between visits with their professional groomer.   You can also take classes and courses to learn how to groom your dog.   Many dog owners have known to groom and bathe their dogs in the comfort of their own homes.   You have to prevent shampoo and water from going into your dog’s eyes and ears.  You can place cotton balls in their ears for protection.  And avoid shampooing their head vigorously.  Instead, use a warm wet facecloth to spot bathe their head and muzzles.   Lukewarm water is best – not too hot and not too cold.  Use warmer water in the wintertime and cooler water in the summer to help the dogs feel best.  Toweling dry is also excellent and comfortable for the dog rather than a loud blow-dryer.  I also let my dogs shake off the water- dogs are very good at removing the water with a complete body shake, then towel dry again with another fresh towel.

Dogs are routine-oriented.  Thus, making a habit of bathing your dog on the same day and same time of the week is helpful.  

It is possible to train dogs to accept bathing and feet washing.  Gentle practice and positive reinforcement help so very much.  

As part of the routine maintenance regime for your pup, you should regularly wash your furry friend. But as a pet owner, how do you know the specifics of a good wash regime? Here are some dog-washing tips to help keep your pup healthy and pleasant on the nose.


How many times do I need to wash my dog?



This is a tough one, as it’s somewhat dependent upon your dog’s age, breed, behavioral habits, inclination towards the water, and so on. For example, certain breeds, such as long-haired dogs and breeds with excessive skin folds, e.g., Shar Peis, will be predisposed to trap moisture and develop infections and need a different dog bathing regime for short-haired indoor pooches.

And, if you’re like every other pet owner, you’ve probably come to the apparent conclusion that dogs are always going to get offensive no matter what you do!

So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. As a guide, try to wash your dog whenever they become noticeable dirty and smelly. However, take care not to overdo it. If washed too frequently, some dogs can quickly lose those natural oils that make the hair silky and smooth. So try to strike that balance between keeping your dog smelling fresh yet retaining a healthy coat.


What should I use to wash my dog?


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There is a whole swag of products out there for washing your dog, including a variety of natural, medicated, and organic shampoos and conditioners. As a rule of thumb, always do your research when purchasing your dog’s products, but try to use a natural product when you can. Oatmeal shampoos and conditioners are great options.


How do I wash my dog?


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Every pet owner will have their tips on the best technique to adopt, so instead of recommending a specific approach to follow, here are 

some helpful hints:

Start young. The sooner your dog gets used to baths, the better for everyone. Note – a tasty treat offered during the bath will reinforce the benefits of dog bathing.

Designate an area to wash your dog. Try to do it in a place that can get a little messy. Spare bathrooms or the backyard are great options.


dog bathing


Water preferences. Avoid dog bathing with cold water over winter. And always have a few crisp, dry towels on hand.

Make it a ritual. Make a routine of washing your dog. Take care of your pup is daily maintenance, especially if your dog has a longer coat. So invest in a slicker brush and metal tooth comb and set up a daily ritual to brush your dog. Think of it as extra bonding time to spend with your favorite friend!”

Prepare the Space. Be sure you have towels close by so that you don’t have a wet pup wandering around while you’re clamoring for a towel. It’s also helpful to have a non-stick mat for your tub, another towel down over your bath mat, and something to block the drain from incoming fur.

Rubber mats are a great way of giving dogs traction to avoid slipping

Where possible, avoid getting soapy water near your dog’s eyes and ears. This is a sure-fire way to make your dog hate bathing.

Reward them. Part of the reward is simply being gentle and using positive reinforcement. You want to encourage them to like the bath, so praise them while they’re in there is calm, and offer them something delicious and nutritious, like our freeze-dried chicken dog treats, during and after their grooming session. Always praise and reward your dog throughout the process. Hopefully, now you can set up a bathing regime for your pup, which will be a stress-free experience for everyone involved. 

Try Hemp Oil. If bathing your dog is far from relaxing for both of you, you may want to try hemp oil or CBD oil to help them with grooming-related anxiety. Read up on how to give hemp oil to a dog here.

Be Flexible. Grooming doesn’t just include bathing. The more grooming you do in between baths, especially for long-haired dogs, the longer you can space out bath times. It’s OK to be flexible with your dog washing schedule and adjust as needed.

You’re Now a Dog Washing Pro


dog bathing


With these tips, you’re about to have the best-groomed pup on the block. Moreover, you may explore iclean dog wash units to make your dog washing experience even better.

Wendy Hendriks

Wendy Hendriks

This is Wendy Hendriks From iClean Internationals Ltd. Life-long learner, committed to working hard at self directed learning environment.

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iClean Carwash Technologies has 50 years of experience in car wash technology and dealing with water and waste water in particular. iClean Carwash Technologies is the marketleader in full biological water reclaim systems. We have been offering our famous stainless steel products for export for several decades. Thirteen years ago, we expanded our product range with the iClean Dog Wash, which became the global Dog Wash standard.