pets
The Beginner’s Guide to Giving Your Dog a Bath
Shannon Vestal Robson
By Shannon Vestal Robson
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Clean beauty is so important to Brandless that when we launched a pet collection, we applied the same standards to pet care as we did for personal care for ourselves. That means we ban over 400 questionable ingredients, making it clean and cruelty-free. That means you can feel great about using our 2-in-1 Clean Dog Shampoo & Conditioner, 2-in-1 Tear-Free Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner, and Plant-Based Pet Wipes, which are both formulated with gentle cleansers and oatmeal, shea butter, and aloe vera.

We realize you may also have a totally functional question for these shampoos & conditioners if you’ve never given your dog a bath — or if you have, but, well, it didn’t go so well. We tapped one of our most devoted dog moms on staff, senior product designer Alice Yang, to give us a primer on giving your dog a bath for the beginner. After all, her pup Toki gets a weekly bath and loves it. So what’s her secret? Making it a positive experience.

“For any grooming things (nail clipping, giving them a bath, wiping their ears), you really need to train them early on to associate it with a positive — [make it] a positive thing that they’re getting groomed,” Alice says. “It’s really about reinforcing that it’s a good thing.”Oh, and don’t forget the treats. “Treats are important to them liking — or tolerating — being groomed.”

“Start by slowly introducing them to what shampoo is,” Alice advises, like letting your dog sniff the bottle, then giving them a treat so they associate it with a positive thing. She notes that it’s “the same with ear cleaning and nail clipping — doing it in small steps. Let them sniff the nail clippers, lightly touch the clippers to their paw, not actually cutting, “and then “Give them treats along the way when they don’t react negatively.”

“Eventually they understand that it’s a positive thing,” she says.

So how often should you give your dog a bath? With a gentle formula, once a month (or as needed) should be fine. After all, it’ll be a lot more pleasant with these tips and our gentle shampoo & conditioner.

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