Get your pet bathing routine down


A bath with the right shampoo might be just the thing to soothe your pet’s skin. If that’s what the doctor ordered, check out our expert advice to make bath time a breeze.

  • Make the experience as positive as possible. Lots of treats and rewards, like a toy filled with peanut butter or even peanut butter spread on the bathroom wall, can keep your dog happy and occupied while you bathe them. Cats may be trickier to please, requiring their absolute favorite reward, like tuna or turkey baby food (make sure there is no onion powder in it!).
  • Pick the right location. The bathtub works great for bathing dogs and the sink works for cats–just consider covering the drain to collect all the loose hair that will come off your pet. If it is a nice day, you can also bathe your dog in the yard by filling a plastic tub with warm water.
  • Pour it, don’t spray it! Spraying water directly at your pet with a hose or showerhead can be scary for them. Instead, use a container to gently pour water over them.
  • Choose the right product. Be sure to use only pet shampoos and conditioners, since human products can be irritating to your pet's skin. Your veterinarian can recommend the best product for your pet.
  • Get sudsy! Work the shampoo into your pet’s whole body, focusing on areas that are causing the most trouble. Check the bottle to see how long the shampoo should be left on your pet before rinsing thoroughly to remove all residue from their skin. Repeat this same process with the conditioner.
  • Consider alternatives. If your pet is just not the type to hold still for a bath at home, ask your veterinarian about leave-in shampoos and conditioners. These products can be rubbed into the skin to help cleanse and moisturize it without having to be washed out again. 


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