How to Clean a Dog without Bathing?

Bath time is an activity despised by a lot of dogs. Plus, you don’t enjoy bathing them regularly either, since it’s either a hassle for you or it’s just really hard to bathe your dog because they won’t cooperate around water. However, you still need to keep your dog looking and feeling fresh and clean for their own health and sanitation, as well as yours and your home’s.

Dogs need to be bathed at least two to four times a month, but sometimes they get a lot dirty that they might need cleaning more often. Sometimes, you might also want to skip water if the weather is cold or if you have a lot of things to do. Here are some cleansing options you can use to get your pal squeaky clean and smelling fresh without having to get the tub or the hose:

1. WipesWipes

Wipes are handy and portable, and every dog owner must have one with them when taking their dog out. You know there are times when you take your dog with you as you go out, then after just a while of freeing them to the great outdoors, they get caked with dirt, making you feel unwilling to take them back home riding your newly-washed car. Wipes would help save you from frustration and your car seats from dirt!

Where to Buy
Deodorizing Hypoallergenic Pet Wipes with Fragrance Free Natural Organic and Antibacterial for Cleaning Face Butt Eyes Ears Paws Teeth
PUPMATE Pet Wipes for Dogs & Cats, Extra Moist & Thick Grooming Puppy Wipes with 100 Deodorizing and Hypoallergenic Fresh Counts
Pogi's Grooming Wipes
Nature's Miracle Deodorizing Bath Wipes
Petkin Petwipes – Big 'n Thick Extra Large Pet Wipes for Dogs and Cats – Cleans Face, Ears, Body and Eye Area – Super Convenient, Ideal for Home or Travel


There are dog wipes sold at pet stores, which are specially formulated to be gentle and safe for dogs. Baby wipes aren’t that different and are also mild, so you may also use it for your pet. Wipes are moistened with gentle cleaners, deodorizers, and conditioners to keep your dog fresh, clean and smelling good.

It’s best to wipe any dirt while it is still fresh. When your dog gets some dirt on them, simply rub it off with some wipes. If you have time, brush your dog’s coat thoroughly to loosen the dirt up before wiping them down. Wipes are also great for the occasional wiping of the dog’s muddy paws and smelly bum. And if you don’t have the time to bathe your dog, you can just wipe out their whole body (You must use a lot of sheets for this!). Just brush the dog first, and avoid wiping their eyes and other irritated spots.

2. Waterless shampooWaterless-shampoo

If your dog seems to be afraid of the water, try a waterless shampoo from a pet store near you. It is a specially designed shampoo for dogs that needs no rinsing. It helps to cleanse, freshen up and detangle your dog’s coat and skin. A waterless or no-rinse shampoo comes in several forms: powder, spray, foam or spritz. Just choose a form that your dog would be comfortable with.

Where to Buy
Oatmeal Dry Shampoo No Rinse Foaming Cleaner
Roll over image to zoom in Miracle Coat Dog Shampoo
Wahl Natural Pet No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo Lavender
John Paul Pet Waterless Foam Dog & Cat Shampoo
Vet's Best No-Rinse Clean Waterless Cat Shampoo


With any product, you need to simply apply it all over your dog’s coat, massage it down to the skin, and then rub it off with a towel. It would be best if you brush your dog’s fur first to remove dirt. Apply the waterless shampoo on the top of his head (avoid the eyes, ears and mouth area) down to his tail. You may apply a foam or spray shampoo directly to the coat or into your hands first and work it using your hands or finger brush. If you are using the dry or powdered shampoo, separate your dog’s coat slightly by going against the strands, and then shake the powder onto his coat. Gently massage it to the coat down to the skin while pretending you’re using a regular shampoo. Remove the excess shampoo by using a regular grooming brush. Brush them out while going against your dog’s fur for around five to ten minutes. Finally, rub your dog with a damp towel to remove any remaining residue. A dry towel will work just fine as well.

That was just a general tip on how to use a waterless shampoo. Different forms might require different ways on how to use them like for instance, liquid shampoos would need to be rubbed until it starts to foam. Follow the directions for use on the packaging of the product you would use.

3. Baking soda or cornstarch

If you’re not a fan of dry shampoos, you can use baking soda or cornstarch as an alternative. Both of them work well in removing foul body odors in dogs. Baking soda helps absorb excess oils, while cornstarch can help stop itch associated with dry skin or hot spots.

Just sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch as you would powdered shampoo. Start from the neck to the base of his tail and use your fingers to rub it gently through the fur and into the skin. Or perhaps you can sprinkle it on a towel and gently rub it to your dog’s coat and skin. Don’t forget to rub the powder on their paws, armpits, and butt since these areas are usually where odors come from.

There are DIY dry shampoo mixtures you can find that makes use of baking soda and/or cornstarch as the main ingredient. Some recipes might include salt, and a few drops of essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary to help remove fleas and ticks. Lavender is one natural deodorizer that blends well with baking soda and cornstarch; adding it can make a lightly scented deodorizing powder.

4. Dog sprayDog-spray

Yes, this isn’t really a “cleaning” product, but dog scent sprays or dog colognes really help in making your canine friend smell better. If you can’t give even a quick bath to your dog and someone is coming over, you can spritz a dog spray to improve your pet’s odor.

Just make sure you don’t spray the product near the face and eyes. If you want to apply some to the dog’s face, spray it in a cloth first and then rub it carefully.

Where to Buy
Aromatherapy Freshening & Shining Spray For Pets
New Natural Pet Cologne Cat & Dog Deodorant and Scented Perfume Body Spray
Pawfume Premium Grooming Spray


While these products can be used to cleanse your dog, you have to remember that nothing can permanently replace water and shampoo mix. These are just something you can use when you have no time to fully bathe your dog, or when the weather is not good. You also need the traditional scrubbing to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy.

To add to that, here are some other tips to keep your pet squeaky clean and smelling fresh:

1. Wash your dog’s beddings and crate.

Wondering why your home has this funky doggie smell even if you’re cleansing your pet regularly? It’s most probably because you aren’t washing your dog’s beddings and crates often as you should. If you want your dog and your house to smell fresher and cleaner, wash your dog’s beddings and clean his crate every other week to remove odor-producing dirt to accumulate. You will notice how quickly the smell disappears when you simply wash your dog’s stuff.

2. Regularly brush your dog’s coat.

Brushing the hair is good for you. So, since your dog is filled with hair all over, brushing their hair would be ten times better for them! Brushing is synonymous to grooming for them. It removes loose hair, exfoliates skin, removes everyday dirt and allergens, maintains good blood circulation, and helps keep a shiny and beautiful coat. It also creates a great bonding activity for you and your dog. Make sure you get your dog a wire brush or any metal dog brush to keep them clean and healthy.

3. Keep their mouth clean.

Dogs can get bad breath, too. Sometimes, dogs lick you in the face and leave an unpleasant smell within your nose’s reach. Prevent it by giving them dental chews or by brushing their teeth with doggie toothpaste. If the plaque build-up is too thick already, take them to the vet and get their teeth cleaned.

4. Clean their ears.

A dog’s ears are often forgotten by a lot of dog owners. And sometimes, the dog odor is coming from them. Some dogs have big ears, so who knows how much and what kind of stuff can get trapped in there! Get baby oil and mineral oil and put a few drops in each ear. Then use a cotton ball to cleanse them. Or you can put some oil on the cotton ball and rub them inside your dog’s ears. Just be very careful to avoid hurting their eardrum, as their ears are just as sensitive as ours. Be slow and gentle. Do this cleaning only when your dog is relaxed.

Some of the tips can be easily done by you at home. However, in some cases, you might need to check with the vet what would the right procedure for cleaning your dog’s teeth or ears at home, so it can be safe and healthy for both of you. Online vet chat allows you to be in touch with the certified vet at any time and situation of the day. You will be able to ask everything about your pet’s health and cleaning/washing via chatting with a certified doctor online. Emergency Pet Fund is another subscription-based option to consider if the situation got out of hand and you are facing a health emergency related to your pet.