How Do You Wash Your Dog?

How Do You Wash Your Dog?

How Do You Wash Your Dog?

In celebration of our five year blovagersary, I’m having flashbacks to our first year of posting. Today’s, How Do You Wash Your Dog?, is something I still struggle with, but for different reasons now. Flash and Patches are much older now, with very thin skin and lumpy places, so we no longer launder them at home, or even brush them. They go to a groomer we trust. Chewy and Gadget go to the groomer’s about four times a year, so their nails get clipped, their glands are expressed, and their ears are cleaned. I bathe them in the kitchen sink every three or four weeks otherwise.

Today I’m asking questions, to prove I don’t know everything. Oh, alright – there’s very little I actually KNOW. But this is more of a preference issue. How do you wash your dog?

Take Me to the River

To take your dog to a dog wash? To a groomer? Or to launder your dog at home?

Wet Dog
This is Flash’s preferred method of bathing. In a river. Fetching rocks.

I’ll tell you what we do, what we’ve done, what I’d LOVE to do, and what I’ll probably never do again. But I’m genuinely interested in hearing from you. Since, y’know, I don’t know much. 🙂

Flash shakes
This is Flash’s favorite part of swimming in the river – making sure everyone gets clean. We struggle with personal hygiene, so Flash takes it upon himself to get us clean.

Different dogs have different grooming needs. Smaller dogs seem to need more … attention. Fussy primping. Am I wrong? Please tell me I’m wrong. But so many small dogs seem to have hair instead of fur, meaning they need it washed, cut, styled. Maybe it’s just the small dogs that I know. Chewy and Gadget do need more grooming, more attention. Mostly because they are small and need their anal glands expressed regularly. But they’re also much easier to bathe.


We took Flash and Patches to the groomer once. Once. The cost about killed me. Being Aussie mixes, they have a long double coat of fur and shed all year long. A friend recommended we try defurmination, so we did. It was WONDERFUL. And probably worth every penny. But I went hunting for an undercoat brush after that and have been quite pleased with the ten bucks I spent on a brush. Defurmination is a special washing, then a fancy undercoat brush, then another brushing. Or something. It’s mysterious. It must be a magical secret. Our dogs each probably lost a  third of their size in volume at the groomer’s. I kid you not. I don’t give them the same attention to detail, but I do try to brush them weekly.  The results aren’t pretty.

Where is the Hair? Here!
This is one dog worth of hair. That we captured after it flew all over the yard.

I would do the groomer’s again in a heartbeat if I could afford it. But a little extra elbow grease doesn’t kill me, so I brush at home.

The Dog Wash – They’re Everywhere, and Just Like a Car Wash

We’ve done the dog wash thing a handful of times, usually before a trip when we don’t have time to wrestle with them in the backyard or we’re on our way out of town.

A great idea, the dog wash
My babies are so patient with bath time, even though they hate it.

They don’t really care for the process. It’s a great idea, and it’s not too expensive, but for a 55 pound dog with a ton of fur, the dog wash just doesn’t work. We never get enough time, water, soap, rinse, to finish cleaning our dogs. Similar to a car wash, but not suited to every dog. Not to ours, anyway. Anyone have a different, better experience you’d like to share? If I did this again, I’d bring my own bar soap for the dogs. Especially since it rinses out so quickly.

Do You Wash Your Dog at Home?

Laundering the dog at home is probably my least favorite of all, but the one we do every month or so. More frequently in summer, since the dogs get stinky then. Closest we can tell, the doggy stink is bacterial, something like athlete’s foot. Bathing more frequently, with a white vinegar and water rinse, to kill bacteria, helps a lot. And their coats are softer after the vinegar. They don’t smell like pickles AT ALL.

Amended to say that I’ve since discovered the most marvelous soap for dogs. Chubbs Bars are a bar shampoo designed for grooming dogs and I SWEAR by them. They make it easy to get straight to the skin, soap right up with very little time and aggravation, it rinses quickly and cleanly, and there’s no lingering chemical smell. Also? I use it on my own hair. The whole rinsing quickly is probably the best part. And not using gobs of shampoo.

Get ready for a bath!
Sh! Don’t tell them, but they’re about to get a bath on the back porch.

And of COURSE, we give them a treat afterward. Their favorite is the JNC pig ear. Mmmm.

So that’s what we do, what we’ve done. I’m always open to alternatives. Please share with me what works for you? PLEASE? This is probably me least favorite part of being a dog mom. Thanks.


Don’t forget to enter our TWO Jones Natural Chews giveaways! We’re holding our secret giveaway for our five year blogging anniversary (click here to enter that one), as well as our usual giveaway which happens every two weeks (click here to enter that one). And don’t hesitate to tweet about both, since that gets you closer to winning!

Spreading the good chews …


9 thoughts on “How Do You Wash Your Dog?

  1. I’ve been to the groomer’s for a bath occasionally, but usually I get bathed outside when it’s warm enough. We’ve never seen a dog wash – it sounded like a great idea, until you said that you don’t get enough time with your dog. I’m a lot heavier and a lot hairier, it takes ages to rinse me.
    Clowie recently posted..Creating the Perfect Water FeatureMy Profile

    • Unless there’s a different and better dog wash near you, it’s probably not a good idea, Clowie. It really does work like a car wash, with each cycle timed. Very cool. Unless you’re a doggie limousine.
      Flea recently posted..New To Dog Blogging. Hi.My Profile

  2. Love the pile of dog hair! Your doggies are beautiful in the “results” picture. Try using Apple Cider Vinegar for the rinse. Dog exhibitors tell me it is less harsh. When we had our 85-pound Airedale, we relied on a professional groomer. We now have 2 Yorkshire Terriers in full coat and do all of our own grooming at home. It’s really not that bad, but I do spend more time on their hair than my own. They have a full bath every week and body washes in between depending on our activities (off-roading in mud and leaves). To make grooming time desirable, I incorporate a lot of massage into bathing and combing. They love the attention.
    Kristin recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: BlizzardMy Profile

  3. Layla gets bathed twice a month at a Dog Wash that is organized by PAWS – Pets are Wonderful Support where she is a client so it saves me flooding my studio with bathing her

  4. Lil’ Miss Izzie, my yorkie gets groomed at home by me…. I have the small grooming table and all the combs, clippers, brushes needed. She gets bathed every other week and I either do her in the sink. I have just purchased the Bissell Bark Bath to give that a try.

Comments are closed.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
%d bloggers like this: