How to Give a Dog a Waterless Bath

Doggie in need of a bath? Water is not always the answer!

Doggie in need of a bath? Water is not always the answer!

Some dogs will do whatever it takes to stay away from water, making bath time a challenge. If that's the case, you can get back the fresh smell of clean dog with a waterless bath -- as long as your doggie cooperates throughout the process.

Try a waterless shampoo from your local pet store. These products are especially designed to clean your doggie's fur, so you can't go wrong with them. Even better, these products come in different forms, such as powder, foam or spray, so you can choose whatever you think Rufus will be more comfortable with. For example, some dogs hate being sprayed with anything, in which case a powder might be better. Follow the directions on the packaging -- most will require you to apply, rub in and then either brush the excess or use a towel to remove it.

Sprinkle baking soda all over your doggie just as you would powdered shampoo. Try to get the baking soda to actually touch the skin, so it can absorb any oily residue. You might need to massage the powder to get it to touch the skin. This might work better with short-haired dogs -- otherwise, you'll end up spending quite a bit of time working the powder in. After a couple of minutes, brush vigorously to get rid of as much baking soda as you can.

Use a wet cloth. Technically, that does include water, but since you don't need to actually throw or spray water on your pooch, even the ASPCA recommends it as an alternative to a standard water bath. Baby wipes -- or pet wipes, if you can find them at your local pet store -- are another option. Both the cloth and the wipes are good for superficial cleaning, such as removing dust and loose hair.

Tip

  • Waterless baths are not meant to be a permanent replacement for a good water and shampoo mix. Instead, it's something you can use in between regular baths or when the weather -- or Rufus -- is not cooperating.
 

About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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