How to Wash a Miniature Schnauzer in 8 Simple Steps


Originating from Germany, the Miniature Schnauzer is a dog of a small build. Ideal even for tighter apartments today, these handsome pups make for a good companion thanks to their intelligent minds, playful but gentle habits, and their loyal nature. If there is one small setback with Miniature Schnauzers however, it’s that they’re prone to run up a stink if they’re not cared for properly. 

To avoid smelly episodes with a Miniature Schnauzer, it’s recommended that you wash them weekly where possible. This can be easily done with a tub of warm water, a little dog shampoo, and the right grooming equipment. Remember to also dry your pup thoroughly after its wash. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to wash a Miniature Schnauzer so you can keep your companion smelling fresh and looking good always.

A Step-By-Step Guide on Bathing Your Miniature Schnauzer

If you’re a first-time Miniature Schnauzer owner, it may be good to remember that your furry friend will need a wash once every week to stay fresh, particularly if they’re active outside.

In case you’re pressed for time, you may try skipping the bath routine for a week for no longer than 6 weeks. For fur parents who are ready to wash your Miniature Schnauzer, here’s how you can do it.

Prepare Your Wash Station For Your Miniature Schnauzer

Before bringing in your pup, you’ll want to prepare the wash station. This is an easy 2-step process and will help you breeze through wash time with your pup.

  • Step 1:Prepare all your pup shower equipment. This includes old towels that you can lay in the tub for your pup to stand in, some dog shampoo, grooming brushes, a washcloth, and some towels to dry off your pup after. If you’d like, you could also keep some dog treats within reach to reward your pup throughout its wash. 
  • Step 2:Run some warm water into the tub and lay down any old towels or an anti-slip mat to the bottom of the tub. This allows your pup to stand firmly in the tub, reducing the possibilities of them panicking during their shower. Be sure that the water level does not go above your Miniature Schnauzer’s knees.

Prepare Your Pup For Its Wash

When your wash station is ready, it’s time to bring your Miniature Schnauzer in. Do note that if it’s their first shower, you may need to spend some extra time and be patient as they familiarize themselves with bath times. Be sure to also keep your door closed so your Miniature Schnauzer doesn’t run out mid-shower.

  • Step 1: Brush out your Miniature Schnauzer’s coat to remove any matted or tangled fur and debris. This also makes wash time for your pup more comfortable as you can work through its coat easier. 
  • Step 2: Bring your Miniature Schnauzer toward the tub, and gently lower it into the water. You can use affirming words to calm your pup or offer some treats, so they feel more comfortable when standing in the tub. 
  • Step 3: Using a cup or a small pitcher, scoop some water from the tub and run it down your pup’s coat. Be sure to avoid the head areas so you won’t get water in your Miniature Schnauzer’s nose, eyes, or ears.
  • Step 4: Work toward your pup’s face with a damp washcloth. At this point, you may rub in between its eyes to remove any gunk away and slowly scrub at its beard with a little soap to remove any dried drool or food. Be sure to keep the shampoo away from your dog’s nose or eyes to avoid irritating them. 
  • Step 5: Apply some dog shampoo on your Miniature Schnauzer’s body. You can use a washcloth or simply massage the soap into your pup’s body with your hands. You should always do this gently and try to comb the shampoo through to its skin.
  • Step 6: Once you’re sure that your pup has been evenly shampooed, you can then rinse it off with some warm water using a cup or pitcher. You may have to repeat this step several times until all the shampoo has been rinsed out of your dog’s coat.
  • Step 7: When your Miniature Schnauzer is ready to be dried, lift it out of the tub and onto a dry towel. Rub down on your pup’s coat repeatedly, and if needed, you can also use a hairdryer to gently blow at your dog’s fur. It’s important to keep the heat and fan setting to the lowest to not scare or hurt your pup. 
  • Step 8: Finally, comb your Miniature Schnauzer’s coat. This should keep your pup’s coat tangle-free and comfortable up until its next wash period. If you’d like, you could also reward your pup with some treats to remind them that baths aren’t that bad after all. 

To celebrate the end of this list, here’s a video of a pet owner with several schnauzers giving one of them a bath:

The Best Shampoos For Miniature Schnauzers

When washing your Miniature Schnauzers, one of the most important things to prepare ahead is a bottle of dog-friendly shampoo. Much like the human skin, your dog’s skin may require special attention for various needs. This is especially true for Miniature Schnauzers as their skin can be extra sensitive to irritants and allergies. Hence, we’ve picked out 5 of the top shampoos you consider for your Miniature Schnauzer below.

  • The best all-round shampoo: Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Hypoallergenic Shampoo
    We must admit, this shampoo almost has it all. Nature’s Miracle Supreme Odor Control Shampoo is ideal for pups with skin allergies and is perfume-free so your pup wouldn’t feel irritated after its wash. Subsequently, the shampoo is also soap-free so you can continue to use it even while your pup is being treated with topical flea treatments. You can find it here on Chewy.com or on Amazon here.
  • The best shampoo for your pup’s skin issue: Thomas Labs MicoChlor Plus Antibacterial ; Antifungal Dog Shampoo
    As a Miniature Schnauzer owner, it’s important to remember that your pup may often be susceptible to skin issues. This shampoo helps soothe, clean, and moisturize your dog’s skin all at once, making it a convenient all-in-one solution for your pup’s bath time; see it at Chewy here.
  • The best shampoo for dogs with dry and sensitive skin: Paws and Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter, and Aloe Vera Dog Shampoo
    If your pup is suffering from dry and sensitive skin, they may be prone to scratching and hurting themselves. This Paws and Pals shampoo found on Chewy helps relieve your pup from these skin irritations, making them feel more comfortable after a wash. Do note however that the shampoo contains a mild fragrance so it may not be suitable for every pup.
  • The best organic dog shampoo: 4-Legger Organic Hypo-Allergenic Lemongrass and Aloe Dog Shampoo
    Made of coconut, jojoba, and olive oils, this 4-Legger Organic Dog Shampoo on Chewy is an ideal pick for anyone looking to procure a hypoallergenic shampoo for their pups. It also contains lemongrass essential oils to deter pests such as fleas but doesn’t irritate your pup the way regular perfumes would.

  • The best human and pup-suitable shampoo: Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
    To avoid irritating your pup’s skin, you should never share a human shampoo with your dog. This however, will be a thing of the past with the Buddy Wash shampoo. Made to be safe for humans and dogs, the Buddy Wash shampoo on Chewy helps to soothe your pup’s skin and neutralizes odors to prevent further stinky episodes with your Miniature Schnauzer.

Why Is My Miniature Schnauzer So Smelly? 

The good news is that you’re not alone with a stinky Miniature Schnauzer. Most pup owners have noticed that their Miniature Schnauzer could work up a stench quickly as well, and this is commonly tied to the dog’s naturally oily skin. If your pup is still smelly even after frequent showers, it may be a sign of a medical condition that you should pay attention to. Here are some other reasons why your Miniature Schnauzer could be smelly: 

  • Yeast infection: A yeast infection often affects your pup’s skin, feet, or inside the ears. This can be combated with frequent showers or you could consult your vet for medicines to relieve your pup’s discomfort.
  • Hidden food or debris in its beard: While the beard gives the Miniature Schnauzer its distinctively handsome good looks, it’s also a common area for food or debris to get stuck in. This causes unpleasant smells around your pup’s face and can be easily resolved by cleaning your pup up after every meal.
  • Gunk around its eyes: Miniature Schnauzers are prone to get gunk (or gook as my grandpa would say) around their eyes often. If left unattended, this gunk would turn stinky and gross, causing your pup’s face to smell as time passes. 
  • Excessive wax in its ears: If you’re noticing that the smell comes particularly from your pup’s ears, you may want to check if it’s due to excessive wax. This would also cause your pup discomfort and should be attended to immediately to avoid any serious ear infections from happening. 
  • Bad breath: Some dogs may be prone to bad breath due to their diets. If your pup has particularly unpleasant breath, it could be a sign of rotten teeth or other underlying gum issues. This is best discussed with your vet so you can ensure that your Miniature Schnauzer is healthy.
  • Flatulence: Just like humans, your Miniature Schnauzer could be suffering from a case of bad flatulence. This may be caused by their diets or intestinal parasites leading to an upset stomach. If you’re seeing that your pup is having bladder issues, you may want to consult your vet immediately.

What Can I Do To Stop My Miniature Schnauzer From Stinking?

Thankfully, there are some easy steps to help manage your Miniature Schnauzer from stinking. One of the easiest things you can do is to wash them as often as you can. In an ideal situation, Miniature Schnauzers should be washed once a week to keep them from smelling unpleasant. If the coat on your pup is too tangled or matted, you could also consider snipping it away to relieve them of the discomfort. 

Separately, consider brushing your pup’s teeth more often. This helps curb bad breath from their diets and prevent plaque and tartar. Where needed, you can even provide your pup with a dental stick to help keep them occupied while freshening their breath and training their jaws.

Finally, it may also be a good practice to clean your dog’s beard daily. This will remove any trapped food or debris that cause unpleasant odors, keeping your pup comfortable and clean. Consider using a damp washcloth to do this every night at bedtime, and before long, you’ll notice that your Miniature Schnauzer is likely to stink a little less.

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