Dogs can be bathed in a sink, walk-in shower, or bathtub; they can even be bathed outside using a garden hose, provided that the water is sufficiently warm enough to prevent hypothermia. Dogs should be bathed with warm water, as hot water can scald the skin. Dogs with a heavy or matted coat should never be bathed without first being completely brushed out or clipped of any mats.
Many types of shampoos and conditioners formulated for dogs are available. For dense and double-coated dogs, pre-mixing the shampoo with water will help ensure a more even distribution of the shampoo. Do not lather the head, as grooming products can be irritating if they come in contact with the eyes. Additionally, excess water may become trapped in the ear canal, leading to secondary ear infections. Fully rinse the dog after shampooing, as residual chemicals may become irritating to the skin. Most dogs do not require frequent bathing; shampooing a coat too often can strip the coat of its natural oils, causing it to dry out.
Dental care is very important and can be addressed while grooming. The dental kits available on the market include everything from special toothpaste to toothbrushes. Many models of toothbrushes include a flexible three-head design, which maintains the proper pressure on all surfaces of the tooth with every stroke. These brushes have side bristles set at 45-degree angles to reduce arm twisting and soft outer bristles for massaging the gums. Toothpaste designed to be used on dogs is usually sugar-free toothpaste with different flavoring. Foaming or rinsing is not necessary.