As a Doodle owner, you know just how important baths are for maintaining their beautiful coats. A Doodle’s coat is its trademark, after all! Now, you might think you know how to bathe a dog, but do you know how to bathe a Doodle? In this ultimate guide, we will discuss the special bathing requirements that Doodles have, thanks to their long, luscious locks. We’ll also cover what you’ll need and how to go about it, step-by-step. Let’s get into it!
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog: FAQs
In relation to the question of how to bathe a Doodle, one of the most common questions asked about Doodle coat maintenance is “how often should you wash your dog?” There can be a variety of answers to this question, so consider the following factors to determine your pup’s bathing frequency:
- Hair Length: Does your Doodle have long hair? Long hair can trap dirt, debris, and dander (which can cause allergies in humans).
- Activity Level: Does your Doodle go haywire when they’re outside? If they like to dig holes, play at the park, roll in dirt, or go swimming, they probably need baths more frequently than a dog who doesn’t get into mischief when they’re outside.
- Allergies and Skin Conditions: Some dogs have skin conditions or allergies that will dictate how often they should be getting a bath.
Can I Wash My Dog Once a Week?
“Mine only gets a bath every time he goes to the Groomers which is like every 8 weeks. Unless he gets really dirty then we will bath him. Is it ok to give your Doodle a bath every week, or is that not good for their skin? Wondering if I should be bathing my Doodle more?”Missy J., Doodle Doods reader
To answer Missy’s question, it truly depends on the aforementioned factors. See how other Doodle parents weighed in:
As you can see, people can’t seem to agree on a standard Doodle bathing frequency, but the frequency tends to be based on personal preference.
What Happens if You Bathe Your Doodle Too Much?
Now, many people said they bathe their Doodle weekly with no resulting skin issues. However, be mindful that your dog produces natural skin oils that promote hair growth. Over-bathing can cause irritation and dryness for both the skin and the coat.
If you are committed to bathing your Doodle on a weekly basis, be sure to use a high-quality shampoo and conditioner. These will help to retain moisture and overall health of the skin and coat. Also, you will need to blow dry your pup’s hair fully after each bath to ensure no mats start to form.
At the very least, though, you should wash your dog at least once every three months. This tends to be right on par with visits to the groomer. In the meantime, if your dog starts to smell bad, it’s probably time for a bath at home.
I personally only bath my F1 Doodle Chloe once every two months or so, and it’s typically only because she got more dirty than usual. However, her hair is kept relatively short for convenience and she doesn’t seem to get too dirty on a day-to-day basis. She doesn’t stink, and her skin and coat look great despite going longer stints between baths.-Whitney, Doodle Doods founder
Bath time is a great time to check for scratches, bumps, fleas, ticks, and other abnormalities. These things are easier to see when their hair is wet and flat against their body. If you have an active or adventurous dog, bathing more frequently can help to catch and manage these things early on.
Do Dogs Really Need Baths?
I mean, have you ever seen a wolf taking a shower? HA!
Jokes aside, this heavily depends on the breed of the dog. The more “natural”, or wolf-like, their hair is, the less likely it is to need extra attention. Since this site is about Doodles, we’ll address whether Doodle really need baths.
The short answer is: yes, Doodles really need baths. Doodle coats have almost no resemblance to a wolf’s coat. In fact, they almost resemble human hair more than anything. And depending on a Doodle’s coat type, most Doodles have significant issues with trapped dirt, debris, and matting – more than a German Shepard or Siberian Husky would, for example. This is why knowing how to bathe a Doodle properly is very important, and we’ll cover why below.
At What Age Can You Bathe a Puppy?
You can bathe a puppy starting the day you bring them home! Bathing is a wonderful introductory activity to the greater experience of grooming. The sooner you get a Doodle puppy familiar with the process, the better off they will be at handling a long life of frequent grooming.
How to Bathe a Doodle: Things You’ll Need to Wash Your Dog
Sure, you can get away with just a shower sprayer and whatever dog shampoo. But if you really want to give yourself and your Doodle a good bath time experience, consider adding a few more items to your pup’s bath time arsenal.
Dog Bath Tub
Step up your Doodle bathing game by adding a dedicated, elevated dog bath tub to your home. These dog washing stations come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all have one overarching goal: to save your back. Here are a few highly-rated dog bath tub products:
Dog Bath Tubs
Tub Alternative: Pet Shower Sprayer
If you simply want an easy, affordable method for bathing your Doodle, pet shower sprayer attachments are great for using in regular bathtubs. You simply attach it to your shower head or faucet so you can bathe your pup in the comfort of your bathroom (with great water pressure!). Some highly-rated pet shower sprayer products include:
Pet Shower Sprayer
Tub Alternative: Portable Dog Shower
If you’d rather know how to bathe a Doodle without a big dog bath tub, perhaps a portable dog shower might be better suited for you. These are perfect for families who move a lot or go bring their Doodle with them on outdoor adventures. There are a variety of devices that are either electric powered, or not. Some highly-rated portable dog shower products include:
Portable Dog Shower
Best Dog Shampoo and Conditioner for Doodles
If you end up with none of the other items on this list, make sure you at least grab some high-quality dog shampoo. There are plenty of them on the market, so be sure to choose the best dog shampoo for your Doodle with our ultimate list.
Dog Bathing Brush
A dog bathing brush is used to increase lathering of shampoo, allowing less product to go further. The tips are also meant to achieve a deeper cleanse, while quickly scrubbing away dirt, dander, and loose hair. A few highly-rated dog bathing brush products include:
Dog Bathing Brush
How to Bathe a Doodle that Hates Water: Slow Feeder Dog Mat
A slow feeder dog mat can help to keep you and your Doodle happy during bathing. These are especially great for bathing a Doodle that hates water. Simply spread some peanut butter on the mat and then stick it to the wall of your bathtub or shower. It will certainly get your dog’s attention and make them feel at ease. Some highly-rated slow feeder dog mat products include:
Aquapaw Slow Treater Treat Dispensing Mat
Wait…what? A condiment bottle? Yes!
Here’s a wonderful hack for washing your Doodle. Oftentimes shampoo and conditioner can be very thick, or needs to be diluted according to the instructions.
This hack prevents wasted product, helps to control where you want it to go, and provides a much more even distribution of product.
Simply put two inches of shampoo or conditioner into the bottle and fill the rest with warm water. Shake gently to mix.
How To Dry A Doodle After a Bath + FAQs
A dog towel is going to be your first step in drying your Doodle after a bath. You can use regular bath towels (you might need a few), however using a dedicated dog towel will be way more effective at drying a Doodle with a longer coat.
Specialized dog towels are super absorbent and can hold up to many times their own weight in water. Quickly dry off your Doodle after bath time, or after a rompin’ outside in the rain with a dog towel that is made for tackling a muddy and soaked pet. Some highly-rated dog towel products include:
Super Absorbent Dog Towels
Dog Hair Dryer
After using a dog towel to get most of the water off your Doodle’s coat, you will want to use a dog hair dryer in order to keep mats at bay. Dog hair dryers are different from regular hair dryers in that they are higher in velocity. This means that they can forcibly blow out and dry dog hair quickly and efficiently. A dog hair dryer will dry a Doodle’s “undercoat” and eliminate after-bath “wet dog smell”. A few highly-rated dog hair dryer products include:
Dog Hair Dryers
Can You Let Your Dog Air Dry?
You can let your Doodle air dry. But beware: put them outside and they’ll probably end up rolling around in the grass or dirt, ruining all your hard work!
Alas, air drying is not recommended for Doodles due to their thick – and oftentimes curly – coats.
“Usually air drying is not recommended because it can cause fungus growth in between the paw pads or under the armpit, and can also cause more serious problems like an ear infection. If a dog with long hair or an undercoat is left to air dry, it may cause matting of the fur and other skin problems like hot spots.” (Source)
It may seem like an annoying extra step, but blow drying your Doodle’s hair is an important one. Using a dog hair dryer will help to prevent matting by making it much easier to brush through.
Drying Before Grooming
If you are bathing in preparation for a home grooming session, you have some options when it comes to drying the hair.
Depending on how long (or short) you will be clipping your Doodle’s coat, it may not make much sense to spend a ton of time blow drying your Doodle, only to clip all their hair off in the end. For instance, if you’re going to be using a bare clipper blade (rather than clipper combs), you don’t need to blow dry beforehand. You can if you want to, but air-drying is acceptable in this case.
However, if you will be using clipper combs, you really, really need to blow dry your Doodle with a force dryer before clipping them. If you don’t, you won’t get a good finish, your blades will yell at you, and hair is going to get snagged and not go through the coat easily.
How to Bathe a Doodle: Step-By-Step
Here’s a speed-through video on how to bathe a Doodle. In the video, we demo a pet shower sprayer, dog towel, and force dryer.
Step 1) Brush Your Doodle
We all know how prone to matting Doodles are. For Doodles, brushing out the coat entirely before bath time is extremely important. This is because matted dog hair will get worse when wet. Be sure to brush all the way down to the skin and clear out every single knot and mat before the bath.
And if you’ve ever wondered if you should brush your dog before or after a bath, the answer is: YES – at both times! Likewise, it is better to brush a Doodle when they’re totally dry.
Step 2) Rinse, Soap Up/Condition, and Rinse
Surely you already know the standard bathing process. First, rinse your Doodle with warm water all over the body to get the coat thoroughly wet, except for the head and face.
Apply a generous amount of product – whether it’s dog shampoo or conditioner – to your Doodle’s coat. Using your hands or a dog bathing brush, lather the product deep into the coat. Get it around their entire body, including the belly, sanitary area, and tail – but not the head and face just yet.
Rinse the product off your Doodle with warm water. Feel with your hands to ensure that all the product washes away. Be extra diligent about rinsing under the arm pits and around the groin, as residual shampoo and conditioner left in the coat or on your dog’s skin may cause skin irritation.
Step 3) Repeat on the Head and Face
Let’s work on your Doodle’s head and face now. Rinse with warm water until all areas are wet, ensuring that water does not get into the ears or run directly into their eyes and nose.
Before starting the bath, lift your Doodle’s ears up – you can put cotton balls right at the opening of the ear canals to prevent water from entering them.
Apply dog shampoo to your Doodle’s head, neck, and face. A tearless dog shampoo is nice to have on hand, specifically for the face. Lather the shampoo deep into the hair on the face and muzzle, paying extra attention to tear stains or beard stains. Be extra careful not to get the shampoo in the eyes, ears, or mouth.
Conditioner is optional on the head and face, but recommended for Doodles with a curly coat.
Rinse the product off your Doodle’s head and face with warm water. Use your hands to rinse and to ensure that all the product washes away. Again, be extra careful not to get the shampoo in the eyes, ears, or mouth. Use one hand to cover the eyes or pull back the ears while rinsing those areas.
Step 4) Dry Your Doodle
First, take a step back and encourage your Doodle to shake themself off a few times. They’ll probably even do it without you asking…and without notice (so get your towel ready!). This will help eliminate excess water before you proceed with the next drying methods.
You can also gently squeeze/press excess water out of areas with longer hair. I like to “ring out” Chloe’s ears, beard, paws, and tail.
Using whatever towel you’ve chosen, dry your Doodle off thoroughly.
Most likely, the towel won’t have dried your Doodle off completely. This is when you’ll need your dog hair dryer.
Start off with a low power setting and a low temperature. Blow the air all over while using your fingers to comb through and separate the wet hairs. Gradually turn up the power, and temperature if necessary.
Once your Doodle is completely dry, move on to the next step.
Step 5) Brush Your Doodle…Again
Since your Doodle’s hair was just wet, it was especially prone to tangles and matting. This is why brushing your Doodle after their bath, when they’re completely dry, is very important. You don’t want bath-induced tangles to turn into full-blown mats that can lead to unwanted consequences.
Step 6) Apply Leave-In Conditioner
Spray and brush in a small amount of leave-in dog conditioner into your Doodle’s coat to prevent tangles, and to add an extra beautiful oomph.
And that’s it! Now you know how to bathe a Doodle! Yes, it’s a lot more work than bathing a short-haired dog, but alas, it is the price we pay for a dog with a trademark coat.
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