How to Wash Your Dog at Home with Natural Dog Grooming Products?

Happiness dog taking a bath

The organic pet products category in the pet industry is always growing, making it so much easier for pet parents to find natural grooming products for their dogs. This is because pet parents are looking for products like shampoos and conditioners that will wash their dogs gently, make them smell good, and also treat problems like fleas, ticks and hot spots naturally.

How to Wash Your Dog at home shows you how to save time, money, and use the best, natural pet products!

How to Groom Your Furry Best Friend?

You’ll notice that your dog’s coat needs to be brushed regularly, most especially if he has a long coat or if he’s shedding. Grooming your dog is one of the most important things a pet parent can do for their dogs. Dogs that have long shaggy coats or thick undercoats do well with extra grooming.

If your dog tends to get mats or tangles in his coat, it may be a good idea to visit a professional groomer, and get your dog clipped. This will save time in the future. Your dog will also feel more comfortable with a short clip during the summer months, most especially if he’s an active dog breed.

Additionally, dogs that get tangles and mats in their coat may be prone to skin infections. This is because there may be moist skin under the coat that could easily get infected by parasites or bacteria.

You should consult with your veterinarian if your dog has a skin condition that will need to be treated. At the same time, you can get your dog washed with a medical shampoo, groomed, and clipped.

Your dog will always need to have regular baths throughout his lifetime to keep him healthy. Keep in mind though, that too many baths can leave his skin feeling irritated. Consult with your veterinarian as to what products are best for your dog’s coat if he has a skin condition that needs to be treated.

Why Wash Your Dog?

Golden Retriever dog down in a mud puddle

All dogs need to be washed! If your dog has an active lifestyle, and participates in lots of activities like agility, trips to the dog beach or dog park, you’re going to need to wash him more often. Double-coated breeds will need to be washed less often, otherwise their coats become dry. Washing your furry best friend plays an important role in your dog’s life. It helps to gets rid of the following:

  • Plant debris
  • Dirt build up
  • Dust
  • Sometimes toxic and unhealthful ingredients as in flakes of paint, lead, dirt from cars or buildings.
  • Lint in synthetic fibers
  • Accumulated toxins
  • Germs
  • Parasites
  • Old skin and excess hair

How to Get Organized?

  • A non-slip bathmat for both you and your dog
  • All-natural and organic dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Towel and hair-dryer
  • Sponge, nail clippers, and some dog treats
  • Relaxing music in the background to calm your dog if he’s nervous during bath time.
  • Dog bath toys
  • Essential oils mixed in bath water or combined with the dog shampoo to help relax your dog.
  • Hair dryer
  • Plenty of towels

Dog bath towels like the Absorber work well on dogs because they absorb lots of water faster.

Trending Natural Dog Shampoos, Conditioners & Grooming Products for Dogs

Chow chow in the bath

Products that are chemical-free and natural are good for your dog. Consult with your holistic veterinarian for more information about natural products. Tea tree oil is an antibacterial that helps fight infection. Ask your veterinarian how best to use this. You can also use lavender and peppermint oils. Additionally, all pet products that have aloe in them are soothing, and can help your dog with hot spots.

Oatmeal shampoos work well for itchy skin and hot spots too. When choosing shampoos, look out for those that contain sweet almond, shea butter and coconut oils. These will be beneficial in moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat. They also make it easier to detangle mats when combing through them. That said, when choosing dog products, opt for products that are eco-friendly and that have no animal-by-products.

Read the ingredients list carefully, and choose a brand that is reputable. Tearless shampoo formulas are a must for all dogs.

Earth bath is another great example of totally natural pet care. Dog shampoos should be cruelty-free, made of human-grade ingredients, and non-toxic. Because washing your dog is an important part of keeping him healthy, it’s important to opt for USDA certified organic products made with natural ingredients. That said, you’ll be maintaining your dog’s good health when only using healthy products.

How to Clean a Dog Completely

Happiness dog taking a bath

You’re probably wondering “How often should I bathe my dog? That said, this depends on how much time your dog spends running around outside, and also on how many dog activities he participates in every week.

If your dog has been playing around in mud or sand outdoors, it will also be necessary to wash him as soon as possible to avoid skin irritations, mites, itch, and a build-up of dirt. Maintaining a healthy and clean coat, as well skin that is free of fungus or bacteria is important.

By washing your dog frequently, you’ll also be avoiding nasty “doggie” odors resulting from a collection of oils and dirt. If your furry best friend is suffering from skin allergies, your veterinarian may prescribe medical baths.

Additionally, bathing your dog too often can result in the following conditions:

  • Damage to hair follicles
  • Skin irritations
  • Increase in bacterial or fungal infections
  • Increase in ear infections if water keeps getting in to the ear.

When deciding how often to wash your dog, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Medical conditions
  • Activity level
  • Coat and skin health
  • Allergies
  • Veterinary recommendations


  1. Brush your pooch gently to remove all excess hair. Have a few towels, your favorite, natural dog shampoo and conditioner, ear wipes, and treats.
  2. Hosing outdoors is easiest, yet when indoors use the bathtub if your pooch does not mind. Dogs enjoy being bathed indoors and outdoors. If using a regular bathtub, line the bath with a bath mat or towel to prevent your dog from slipping. Check the water to make sure that the water temperature is lukewarm, and not hot.
  3. During the summer it’s easiest and more convenient to bathe your dog outside with the spray hose. With all outdoor hoses, you will need to most importantly check the water temperature to make sure that the water is not ice cold or very hot.
  4. Begin by washing Fido’s front end thoroughly, and then proceed to his front legs. It is necessary that the shampoo penetrates the dog’s skin. With dogs that have a double coat this may take longer.
  5. After washing your dog’s front half, start with his head, but avoid getting shampoo in his eyes and ears. You will benefit from the ear wipes later on.
  6. Next, start washing your dog’s back end and hindquarters, praising him all the while if he is nervous. Do not forget to wash his tail, and to rinse this part of the body very well. Some long-haired dog breeds like Shepherds, English Sheepdog and Retrievers have thicker coats, and the washing and rinsing process will take longer. Always have patience and lots of time to allow for delays in case your dog acts up or needs a break in-between grooming.


  1. This is easy-to-do, and needs to start from front to back using lukewarm water.
  2. Rinse thoroughly, all the while checking that no shampoo is left on your dog. You can run your hands on the coat to check for sudsy residue. Keep rinsing until you’re 100% sure that all the shampoo has been rinsed off your pooch.
  3. Check that all the shampoo is completely rinsed off, most especially from his head, underneath his tail and between his legs. Using a shower hose makes this an easy process because you have control over where the water goes. Repeat the rinsing process twice and go over your dog’s entire body to make sure that all the shampoo and conditioner has been rinsed off. Keep in mind that any slippery or gooey patches indicate patches of dog shampoo are still on your pooch.
  4. After your dog has been rinsed, he’ll want to have a good shake. Allow him to do so, and then continue towel drying him, checking his ears and under his chin for excess water. If he is a long haired breed, do not rub the towel on his fur, but squeeze his body lightly with a few towels. This prevents all those unwanted tangles. You can even teach him the command ‘Shake It’ when drying him and reward each time after he “shakes” it off.
  5. You can use the hair dryer set on cool to lightly dry long fur. Never set the dryer on high!
  6. Brush your dog’s coat to remove all excess hair, and to prevent hair from matting and tangling.
  7. Wet dog hair that has matted or is badly tangled needs to be trimmed off because it will not untangle, no matter which dog grooming products you use.

After bath time your dog will want to race around, and have plenty of fun! This is a natural part of bath time that helps him get rid of bath time stress, and shake off any lingering drops of water.

Drying time

Zip N Dri

It’s always recommended to place an old towel under your dog when you will be drying him. This prevents your dog from slipping off. Today pet parents can purchase grooming table toppers that fit on to a table. These also work by absorbing excess water from your dog’s paws while he sits.

Dryers should be dog safe, Traditional hair dryers need to be set on a low volume, so as not to burn your dog. If you’re not into drying your dog with a dryer, opt for products like Zip N Dri that zip onto a dog’s body and remove excess water.

Wipes for Eyes

Dogs have sensitive eyes, and when washing your furry best friend, you will have to be especially careful not to let shampoo run. Opt for gentle shampoos with no harsh chemicals.

Some dog breeds like Poodles are more apt to developing “sleep” near the corners of their eyes.

When cleaning around your dog’s eyes, use cotton balls moistened with water. There are also numerous tear stain products for dogs that help with these unsightly tear stains, especially in light-colored dogs such as Poodles, Shih Tzu’s, Lhasa Apso’s and Yorkshire Terriers.

Protect Your Dog’s Ears

If you’re just starting off and are trying to get your dog used to having baths, it may be hard not to get water in his ears. That said, it’s necessary not to wet the insides of your dog’s ears. Moisture in ears allow for frequent ear infections. You can try adding cotton balls inside the ear while bathing, and removing them afterwards. When rinsing off your dog, work from the neck downwards, and avoid the ear area. You can use a wipe or wash cloth to clean the facial area.

Ears should be inspected once a week to make sure that your dog has no ear infections. If there is any sensitivity, consult with your veterinarian.

How to Make Your Dog Feel Comfortable When Grooming Him?

Bath time

We all want our dogs to be happy and at ease during bath time. If a puppy or adult dog really dislikes having a bath, it’s best to try hosing him down outside near his favorite play area. Keep in mind that your goal is for him to feel relaxed, and to bond with you. Praise him often, and reward with treats throughout the entire grooming session.

If you adopt or purchase a puppy at 8 weeks or older, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to get him used to being washed and groomed. When doing this throughout puppyhood, you’re allowing for your puppy to associate bathing with a positive experience that he enjoys and gets rewarded for.

Both puppies and dogs gets bored easily, so when beginning with bathing, it’s best not to take too long. You can then increase both the bath time sessions, as well as the grooming sessions when your dog gets used to the water, and to being handled for grooming. By always being gentle and using plenty of praise and rewards, you’ll soon have a dog that looks forward to bath time.

Home Grooming Kit

We all want our dogs to look well-groomed and healthy. That said, there are some dog breeds that may need extensive grooming. Dog breeds with long coats will need longer grooming times. These breeds may include:

There are also some dog breeds that have very fine, silky hair like the Yorkshire Terrier or curly coats like the Poodle or Bichon Frise. Dog breeds like the Komondor with a corded coat will do best with a professional groomer.

Naturally hairless dog breeds like the Chinese Crested and American Hairless Terrier are the easiest to groom, and will have minimal grooming requirements when it comes to coats. That said, hairless dog breeds need extra moisturizing, and lots of protection from the sun and cold. There are special shampoos for hairless dogs to prevent acne.

Hairless dog breeds do well with weekly baths, and plenty of skin moisturizer that is oil-free. Always remember to apply sunscreen or lightweight clothing to your hairless dog breed for added protection.

With patience being most important in grooming your dogs at home, don’t get frustrated if at first your puppy or dog does not enjoy being bathed.

Brushes and Combs for Dogs

Woman using a comb brush

So you’re probably thinking about all the wonderful dog brushes out there, but not sure as to which one works best for your dog breed. Here are some tips:

  • Gentle Slicker with super soft wire bristles that are either curved or straight are great for pups and tiny dog breeds.
  • Large slicker brushes are good for removing undercoats and thick fur.
  • Metal combs help with removing tangled hair, and are good for long-haired breeds like the Maltese.
  • Mat slickers work well for dog breeds with thick coat and mats.
  • Shedding rake should be used when dogs shed.

The Folee Click and Brush by Eazee makes grooming easy because it has a smooth plastic comb with smooth and rounded teeth, that’s gentle on delicate skin. The de-shedding comb makes de-shedding simple. It’s easily adjustable, and can be used on both long or short coats.

So What’s New About Dog Conditioners?

Purchasing dog grooming products is always fun! When deciding on which dog conditioners to purchase, opt for natural and organic products. Products like HyLyt Crème Rinse with added essential fatty acids are both hypoallergenic and soap-free. Conditioners help to reduce static electricity in a dog’s coat. Earthbath Shed Control Conditioner is made from green tea and Awapuhi, and can be used on both dogs and cats. Here’s what to stay away from when choosing grooming products for your dogs:

  • Parabens
  • Gluten
  • Synthetic dyes
  • Perfumes
  • Sulfate
  • Petrochemicals
  • Phthalates

Look for natural products that contain chamomile and lavender for relaxation, and buttermilk for moisturizing purposes. Burt’s Bees Natural Pet Care Line is 95% natural, and contains no toxic ingredients that may be harmful to dogs.


Most pet parents don’t enjoy trimming their dog’s nails. Yet this is an important part of dog grooming, since overgrown nails cause a lot of pain. They can also curl upwards into your dog’s paws, and prevent him from walking properly. All groomers offer pawdicures, and will even show you how to trim your dog’s nails safely.

Medicated Bathing Products

You can shop for these online or visit your veterinarian. Products like Vetericyn Foam Care is an easy-to-use spray on shampoo that was made for dogs with super thick coats. It works by foaming up, and provides a deep clean that also moisturizes your dog’s skin and coat. It is formulated for spot cleaning or quick bath times, and rinses off very easily.

Medicated dog shampoos need to be diluted in water. This also helps to make it easy-to-rinse off all shampoo residue, and to avoid future skin infections. Follow your veterinarian’s advice on how to use these shampoos. They can be drying to the skin.

Today there are also dog shampoos that promote faster drying times, and help your dog’s coat dry faster. Dry shampoos, and dog shampoos and conditioners that contain silicone and silk proteins help remove water faster. There are also after–bath sprays for dogs like Quick-Dry that promote speedy drying times.

Before washing your dog, make sure that you have everything you need, as well as plenty of time. If you’re feeling rushed, it’s best to leave bathing for another day. Using natural bathing products that are earth-friendly, and that are free of chemicals allows for your dog to live a healthier life. Combining regular daily exercise with good veterinary care and a high-quality diet keeps your dog healthy throughout his life. That said, if your dog has a skin infection or hot spot visit your veterinarian.


  • Christine Reply

    Thank you for this terrific website! I have learnt a lot from it! How often should I wash my dog?

    • Sarah Robert Reply

      Hi Christine

      Some pet parents prefer weekly bathing to prevent germs, sweat, and itchiness in their dogs. That said, if your furry best friend has just spent the day out on the farm chasing horses and rolling around in horse manure, bath time is obviously needed. The same applies to working dogs that sweat, or get covered in mud and vegetation.

      The most important part of bathing a dog is the type of dog shampoo you use. You do not want to use a harsh shampoo that will strip away your dog’s natural oils, and leave his coat and skin dry and flaky. Additionally, pet parents should opt for natural shampoos that are free of harsh chemicals. Keep in mind that grooming and good health go hand-in hand.

      All dogs enjoy being massaged when they’re being washed. This helps them to relax. Water needs to be kept lukewarm, and the area draft-free, so that your dog does not catch a cold. You can towel dry or use a hand held dryer at a low setting to dry your dog’s coat.

  • Hester Reply

    This might sound stupid, but my dog tries to bite me when I wash him. What should I do?

    • Sarah Robert Reply

      In this case, you can use a muzzle, and then opt for a friend or family member to try to help you bathing your dog. Remember to reward him with treats after you’ve finished bathing him. You also have the option of bringing your dog to the veterinarian for a full-grooming session.

      That said, it’s important to start bathing your puppy during puppyhood, so that he gets to relax and enjoy being bathed while he’s still a puppy. This enjoyment will continue throughout his life. Bathing during puppyhood has to be a pleasant experience with lots of treats.

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