dirty-dog-copyWhen the dog starts to smell like Eau de Garbage, his breath is bad enough to peel paint off the walls, and people think he is a brown dog when really he is white, I know it’s time to give him a bath.

Since I am the one who feeds, walks and cleans up after him, it has fallen to me to be the official dog bather as well. Naturally, there are many different books written on this subject, and many people who think they know the best way to bathe a dog, but I like to think that over the years, I have really perfected this particular duty of pet ownership. Having a vast amount of expertise in this area, I will share with you the procedure for the absolute best way to bathe a dog:

1) Fill tub with warm water up to your dog’s elbows.

2) Carefully lift dog into tub.

3) Chase dripping dog through house after he jumps out of the tub, out the bathroom, up the stairs, and onto your bed.

4) Drag dog back downstairs and bring him back into the bathroom.

5) THIS TIME, remember to close bathroom door behind you.

6) Lift dog back into tub.

7) Turn on water and shriek helplessly as hose attachment whips around spraying water everywhere.

8) Clean up water that sprayed everywhere.

9) THIS TIME, remember to switch off hose attachment before you run water.

10) When the water is lukewarm, switch faucet back to hose, hold dog firmly with one hand and spray dog until fur is soaked through.

11) Release dog to get shampoo that you left under the sink and shriek helplessly as dog shakes repeatedly and sprays water everywhere.

12) Clean up water that sprayed everywhere.

13) THIS TIME, remember to keep firm hold on dog as you apply dime-sized amount of dog shampoo to fur and work into a lather all over dog.

14) Scream, “NO, DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!!!” when child opens bathroom door and comes in to see what you are doing.

15) Chase very soapy dog through house after he jumps out of the tub, out the bathroom, up the stairs, and back onto your bed.

16) Make mental note to put “DO NOT OPEN!!!” sign on bathroom door next time you wash dog.

17) Drag soapy dog back downstairs and lift him back into tub.

18) Remember that floor is now quite slippery and take caution lifting dog.

19) Abandon dog to get ice pack from freezer. Apply to forehead where you slipped and banged head on side of tub.

20) Return to bathroom to find child, covered in dog hair and soap, in bathtub with dog.

21) Abandon dog to go wash child.

22) Realize you left bathroom door open when you went to wash child.

23) Go get dog off wet and soapy bed.

24) Drag dog back downstairs

25) Put leash on dog and drive him to professional groomers.

©2014, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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  • Susan Williams

    Life is filled with learning experiences, and learning one’s limitations in regard to dog bathing is a valuable one. 😀
    As we say in the South, bless your heart.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      I’ve learned a lot about my limitations since we got a dog. Most of them have to do with my tolerance for exceptionally disgusting things.

  • Norine of Science of Parenthood.com

    I’m with you re the groomers! We have cats … have you ever had the pleasure of trying to bathe a cat? Well … my husband had this very good habit of grilling salmon on the BBQ … and a very bad habit of taking off the skin and instead of throwing it into the garbage, throwing it outside the screen door into the yard. My very long-haired cat got out of the patio screen one afternoon and made a beeline for the salmon skin my husband had tossed into the yard days before. She rolled in it. Rancid salmon smell is not a smell I ever want to smell again. I put on sweat pants and a long-sleeved shirt and got into the shower with the cat to soap her up with baby shampoo. Trying to soap and rinse a squirmy cat that’s suddenly all claws is not an experience we ever wanted to repeat. Now we periodically take HER to the groomers. Know what: They say she’s a dream to wash. Figures.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      Our dog routinely rolls in dead things he finds in the far reaches of the backyard. But at least when we wash him he doesn’t try to claw my eyes out. He just does the doggie shake that turns my entire bathroom (and me) into a soapy, hairy mess. Groomers are the way to go!

  • Carol Cassara (@ccassara)

    And THAT is why we have a groomer!

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      I’m a convert!

  • Harvey Baron

    Or…don’t have dog and just enjoy other people’s pets. Then go home.

    Sent from my iPad

    On Feb 17, 2014, at 10:47 AM, Lost in Suburbia wrote:

    WordPress.com lostinsuburbiablog posted: “When the dog starts to smell like Eau de Garbage, his breath is bad enough to peel paint off the walls, and people think he is a brown dog when really he is white, I know it’s time to give him a bath. Since I am the one who feeds, walks and cleans up aft”

  • energywriter

    Great instructions, Tracy. Keep up the good work. Soon you’ll be able to open your own dog grooming business. I could never figure out why anyone would voluntarily bathe dogs for a business. This was my routine for German Shepherd/Husky mix. 1. Tie dog to deck railing with short leash. 2. Put on boots, rubber gloves and old clothes that could be thrown away if necessary. 3. Spray dog (he was usually already wet from jumping into the creek). 4. Lather dog 5. Spray dog 6. Stand in the deck’s far corner while dog shakes out the excess water. 7. Towel dry dog 8. Let him in the house to warm up 9. Spray all over with No More Tears hair conditioner. 10. Brush fur 11.Throw “washing” clothes in washer. 12. Jump in shower to remove doggy smell and other mess. sd

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      It is a great plan except when I try to do it in the winter he tends to freeze over.

  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered)

    Once upon a time I was a new cat owner and my roommates and I tried to bathe our cat. Ehem. It sort of went A LOT like this. 😉 Only we were three grown adults and didn’t have kids. But we still made our own mess. Love that Monty!

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      I would NEVER try to bathe a cat. You’d end up looking like you were in a slasher movie!!

  • Justin Knight

    You can also use that ice pack on your back that you threw out with all of that lifting and carrying. Wow! Our 3 dogs go to the groomers every 2 weeks like clockwork. My wife jokes that they get more pampering than she does!

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      My latest column is about taking the dog to a fancy groomer! I’ll share that with you as soon as it is posted (spoiler alert… it costs more than my hair salon!).

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