Top tips on bathing your dog, and how to protect your bathroom from the mess

To celebrate International Dog Day on Friday 26th August, bathroom specialist, Sanctuary Bathrooms are on the hunt for the UK’s cutest, cheekiest, or funniest bath time pooch.

As a nation of dog lovers, Sanctuary Bathrooms want to shine a light on the UK’s cutest pooches – in the bathroom! With an estimated 13 million dogs kept as pets in the UK and over 283 million hashtags for #dogsofinstagram on Instagram, it’s clear – dog owners love sharing pictures of their cute canines.

Whether they love splashing around in the water, or actively try to avoid it, bathing your dog can be an eventful experience which is why Sanctuary wants to see all of your comical snaps, including those that are cute, cheeky, and downright funny.

The experts at Sanctuary Bathrooms have also teamed up with Companion Animal Veterinarian, Dr Heather Venkat, to share top tips on how to wash your dog, as well as how to protect your bathroom during messy bath times!

Dr. Heather Venkat’s expert tips on how to wash your dog:

  • How often to wash your dog

Once every three months – dependent on your dog’s coat type and their level of activity. For example, a long-haired dog such as a collie may need bathing every month to keep their coats detangled and free of grime. If possible, try to simply rinse your dog with warm water if they are dirty to avoid the need to strip their natural oils with shampoo.

  • What to do if your dog is anxious about bath time or water

Bathe your dog indoors using warm water. If using the bathtub, place a comfortable mat down to stop their paws from slipping and ease the sensory experience. You can also create positive associations with bath time to ease any anxiety – try spreading peanut butter on one end of the bath for them to lick while you clean them.

  • What to use if you don’t have dog shampoo

While dog shampoo is recommended for use, you can use baby shampoo, or shampoo made for sensitive skin. It will be both gentle and cleansing and will ensure your pooch has a soft and shiny coat.

  • To dry or not to dry?

The best thing to do is to dry them as soon as you’re done. If you leave a dog wet for too long, you leave them vulnerable to fungal infections in their paws and you could also end up with a long-lasting wet dog smell in your home. Towel dry them first with a microfibre towel as they’re more absorbent and then focus on gently squeezing water out of their hair. You can also use a hairdryer and blow-dry your pet’s hair in the direction it’s growing but do so with caution and don’t blow air into your dog’s ears or face. You should also brush with ease.

  • What to do if your dog has skin issues, such as eczema

Start by brushing the hair gently, avoiding the use of any brushes with sharp bristles. Wet your dog’s fur using tepid water, and leave it to sit for five minutes – this will loosen any scaly skin and make it easier to wash away. When shampooing, it’s best to use prescription products to maximise the chances of an easy, irritation-free cleanse. Gently massage the product in, and rinse thoroughly when done – leaving any soapy residue will be even more irritating on the skin. Towel dry and avoid blow-drying as this could be too harsh on sensitive skin.

Mark Fullilove, Digital Marketing Manager at Sanctuary Bathrooms, shares advice on the ideal bathroom space for dogs and how to protect it during bath times:

  • A bathtub is an ideal asset to have in a pet-friendly bathroom, particularly for dogs. Firstly, it provides a big enough space to wash your dog for comfort, as well as ensuring water is kept in one location, and that everything you need can be kept within easy reach.
  • Dog fur can be nightmare for drains and plug holes so make sure you regularly groom your dog before washing to remove stray hair. There are also plenty of waste and plug covers, or home hacks you can do, to help restrict fur going down the drain.
  • Invest in a bath-mounted shower handset or a shower riser rail kit, where you can easily remove it and move it around to rinse, wash and clean your dog.
  • Add storage and hooks for doggy bath-toys to reduce any nervousness and anxiety, for bottles & shampoos required, and also to keep a towel to rub them down with close by.
  • Make sure to have a closed bathroom door to avoid any water, grime or dirt being spread around the rest of the house.
  • Cover the floor in towels to protect it from any dripping water from your dog you may have missed, while also laying a towel over your dog between shampooing and rinsing to capture any water that it may decide to try and shake off.
  • Clean the bathroom and shower immediately after washing to avoid stains, dirt build up and to make it human-friendly again!


To enter Sanctuary Bathrooms’ competition and potentially have your dog crowned as the cutest bath time pooch, whilst also winning a bath time hamper for your dog and a £500 Sanctuary Bathrooms voucher, simply upload a photo of your dog in the bathtub, shower, or basin to Sanctuary Bathroom’s competition page.

The top 10 will then be shortlisted and it will be up to the British public to decide who they think is the cutest bath time pooch.

Participants need to share their pictures by 23:59 on 31st July 2022. The British public will then be able to vote for the pooch they believe is the cutest, with voting opening on 5th August 2022 and closing at 23:59 on 15th August 2022. Sanctuary Bathrooms will announce the winner on 22nd August 2022 and contact them via email.

So, which pooch will be crowned as the country’s official cutest bath time pooch?

Commenting on the competition, Mark Fullilove, Digital Marketing Manager at Sanctuary Bathrooms explains: “Searches for ‘how to bathe a puppy at home’ are up by +200% over the 12 last months, showing that more and more of us are learning how to wash and clean our canine friends. Bath time for our dogs can often be a hilarious experience, with ample opportunity to capture snaps of them looking very cute. We want to shine a light on all the bath time dogs out there, to find the UK’s cutest bath time pooch. We can’t wait to see the entries.”

Full competition details can be found here.