Our Top 12 Dog Washing Tips for Safely Washing Your Dog at Home with our Organic Dog Shampoo

January 11, 2017 4 min read 2 Comments

4-Legger Top 12 Tips for Bathing Your Dog

At least once a week we get the question, "How often should I bathe my dog?"

The answer is more specific to your dog and your dog's situation than you may think. Of course you are going to bathe your dog if they get dirty. A dog that rarely goes outside may get a bath once a month or less while a dog with allergies or naturally oily skin may need more frequent baths.

One of our own dogs has allergies and is bathed once a week. Longer than a week and she suffers from itchy skin. Washing her once a week in our lemongrass and aloe dog shampoo and she's good to go! 

Using a Safe and Non-Toxic Dog Shampoo

The most important factor to consider when bathing your dog is of course the shampoo. At 4-Legger we talk a lot about ingredients because they truly do matter.

Your dog's skin is their biggest organ - covering their entire body. Bathing your dog with shampoo containing toxic ingredients may cause long term health issues that range from allergies and itchy skin to hormone imbalances, and cancer.

You can learn a lot more about the ingredients used in traditional dog shampoos in our blog

Here are a few reasons why 4-Legger is better and safer than traditional dog shampoo:

  • 4-Legger organic dog shampoos contain no synthetic chemicals (nothing artificial - no sulfates, parabens, artificial colors/fragrance, etc.)
  • The pH of 4-Legger shampoos very closely match your dog's skin at about 7.5
  • 4-Legger shampoos are safe and non-toxic
  • 4-Legger shampoos gently clean and deodorize your dog with essential oils
  • The Castile base of 4-Legger's shampoos is the healthiest gentle cleaner available 
  • Many of our formulations are hypoallergenic

Top 12 Tips for Safely Washing Your Dog at Home

We teamed up with Tonya Wilhelm at Raising Your Pets Naturally to talk about how to safely bathe your dog at home and we've talked to the professional groomers that use 4-Legger to develop our top 12 tips and tricks for safely washing your dog at home

1. As a professional dog trainer Tonya recommends working with your dog to ensure they don't have "handling issues". If your dog does have issues being touched and groomed, first reach out to your dog's veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions. Once you have the green light form your veterinarian, work with a qualified dog behavior counselor to desensitize your dog to being touched, groomed, and bathed. 

2. Using a hair catcher for your tub will save you from having to unclog a drain!

3. A non-skid bath mat will make your dog feel more secure and will (hopefully) keep them in one place during the bath! 

4. Using a hand-held shower with a long hose will save you from having to fill a container and pour it over your dog. Look for one with an off switch at the head, it is really handy!

5. Before giving your dog a bath, you should run a brush through their hair to loosen the hair and remove any tangles. 

6. You want to avoid getting water in your dog's ears. If you are concerned, you can add an organic cotton ball just inside their ear and remove them when you are done. Your dog may conveniently help you remove the cotton ball by shaking and conveniently flinging the cotton ball across the bathroom!

7. Warm up the water to make it comfortable. Test the water temperature before you start to wet your dog by running it over the inside of your own forearm.  Avoid extremes - no hot or cold, just warm.

8. Lift your dog with one hand under the chest and the other under the belly and into the tub. Just before we lift our dogs into the wash, we tell them "You are earning a treat." Keeping the prize in their mind! 

9. Wet your dog down from the top of the head to the base of the tail and save washing their face until the end so you can do it very carefully. Use your hand to go through your dog's coat and make sure they are completely wet. 

10. Shake the shampoo bottle and pour some in your hand. Starting at the top, work the shampoo into your dog's coat. Work the shampoo all over their body (avoiding their face) and massage it into their coat thoroughly. To wash the legs, gently pick them up straight - not bending them off to the side.  A thoroughly wet dog will create a great lather.

Note: If you want more lather, add more water, not more soap. 

11.Carefully wash your dog's ears by wetting, lathering, and rinsing. Put your hand over the ear canal so no water gets into your dog's ears (or you can use the organic cotton ball trick)! Finally, using a wet washcloth to help you control the wash and not get shampoo in your dog's eyes, wet their face, apply a small amount of shampoo to the washcloth and add water, build up a lather with the washcloth and then carefully clean your dog's face (avoiding the eyes). Rinse the washcloth of shampoo and use it to carefully rinse the shampoo off your dog's face. 

12. Rinse off really well, until the water is completely clear to get all of the shampoo off your dog. As a side note, if you are going to trim your dog's nails, right after the bath is a good time because they will be softer!

Once clean, you can bundle your dog up in towels to get them dry! Depending on the dog, you may want to blow them dry with a hair dryer (set to warm - not hot or cold). Some dogs are very sensitive to hair dryers so you'll want to work with them to get them comfortable. 
It goes without saying that at this point, your dog must be given praise and likely a treat! 

Pick up some additional tips and see a live demonstration by Tonya and Dexter in the video below!

2 Responses


July 07, 2018

Does this shampoo require a leave in conditioner or conditioner to be used afterwards? It appears not but I wanted to check


June 10, 2017

Love, love, love your products!
Thanks for caring!

Leave a comment

Also in Fetch the 4-Legger Blog

4-Legger says goodbye to Tobie the iconic brand mascot
The Blog Post We Never Wanted to Write

January 18, 2020 2 min read 8 Comments

Read More
Our Unexpected Christmas Stroke. Learn About Dog Stroke Symptoms, Types of Canine Strokes and  Causes, and How to Help Your Dog Recover
Our Unexpected Christmas Stroke. Learn About Dog Stroke Symptoms, Types of Canine Strokes and Causes, and How to Help Your Dog Recover

December 28, 2019 5 min read 2 Comments

Learn about strokes in dogs, symptoms of dog stroke activity, the causes of strokes in dogs and recovery options.
Read More
pet safe essential oil holiday diffusion blend gingerbread doghouse by animaleo
Nothing Says Holiday Like Great Smelling Pet Safe Essential Oil Diffusion Blend Gingerbread Doghouse

December 15, 2019 3 min read 1 Comment

Looking for a pet safe, great smelling holiday scent to diffuse in your home? Look no further! Gingerbread Doghouse is safe for dogs, cats, and other animal species in your home and it smells just like the holidays!
Read More