If most dogs could talk, they’d tell you that baths aren’t for them. In fact, they probably hate bath time so much that they’ve made you hate their bath time too. But, baths are essential for you and your pet’s health.

Use the following tips to make bathing your dog easier.

Brush Your Dog Before You Shower Them

A thick coat, matted coat will hold onto excess water. And, the more hair your dog has before their bath, the more hair they’re likely to lose in the bath — hair which can clog your drain. Rather than deal with a wet dog for hours on end and have a massive hairball get stuck in your drain, thoroughly brush your dog before you bathe them.

Use the Walk-In Shower

Small dogs are substantially easier to bathe because they can just be plopped into a sink. But bigger dogs can be hard to lift into a sink or bathtub. A walk-in shower can make it substantially easier to get your dog into the water.

Keep the Water Lukewarm

You might love extra-steamy showers. Your dog doesn’t. You never want to run a really hot bath for your dog. Keep the water lukewarm to not only keep them happier, but protect their skin.

Use Dog Shampoo

Dogs have very different skin needs than you do. In fact, their skin is much more prone to getting dry and irritated from bathing. This means you want to use an ultra-gentle shampoo — preferably something with oatmeal in it that will clean them while also helping to rehydrate their skin.

Scrub Gently

Remember, your dog has lots of hair follicles all over their body. Very intense scrubbing pulls at these hair follicles and can be uncomfortable and even painful. Don’t just start going to down scrubbing your dog. Treat them gently so as not to startle or upset them.

Rinse Well

Any soap left after a bath can irritate your dog’s skin once it’s dry. Make sure to always rinse them thoroughly.