Bathing a Dog Without Water

You mean I have a choice? It's water-free for me.
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Dogs need baths. Most need bathing only every two to four months; any more often will strip their coats of important oils. Between baths, choose from three fast and effective water-free alternatives for spot-cleaning and freshening.


Wipes work well as spot cleaners or for on-the-go cleanup. If you have time, brush your dog thoroughly before wiping him down. Scrub dirty or smelly spots on your dog in a gentle circular motion. Options on the market vary. Some sanitize, some are scented; multiple formulations exist, but be sure the wipes you choose are made specifically for dogs.

Waterless Shampoo

Waterless shampoos come in several forms: dry, foam, spritz, spray. With each product, you simply apply it all over your dog's coat, massage it into his skin then rub the product off with a clean towel. In dogs with thick coats, it's important to massage it all the way through his fur and down to his skin. If your dog has dry or sensitive skin, be sure to choose a product formulated for his special needs.

Baking Soda

Baking soda absorbs oil and eliminates odor from your dog's fur. Sprinkle baking soda on your dog from his neck to the base of his tail. Use your fingertips to rub it gently through his fur and into his skin. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then brush.


While each of these options is quick and easy, it's important to be diligent whether you're using wipes, waterless shampoo or baking soda. Keep these products away from your dog's eyes and mouth because they can cause irritation. If the product gets into your dog's eyes, rinse thoroughly with water. Further, waterless bathing serves spot-cleaning, not full body washing. To keep his skin and coat healthy, your dog will need a traditional scrubbing up to a few times a year. Work with your vet to determine how often is appropriate for your dog's breed.

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