On television and in the movies, giving a dog a bath looks like a lot of fun. People are always laughing and smiling as their adorable dog sprays suds everywhere and splashes around. In the real world, however, bathing a dog is usually a lot more complicated.
Despite their excellent sense of smell, dogs are completely fine with the idea of roaming around smelling bad, covered in dirt and grime. Most dogs balk at the idea of bathing, doing their best to wriggle away. Even though bath time is usually funny in the movies, it isn’t quite as much fun when you are the one trying to pin down a wet, sudsy dog that is struggling to get away.
Fortunately, there are some ways that you can make bath time a little less stressful – not just for your dog but also for yourself.
Find A Way to Make Bath Time a Positive Experience
Associating something positive with bathing can change the way that your dog views bath time. Most dogs love toys and treats. Make sure you are armed with plenty of treats from Dog Product Picker. A good scratch behind the ears doesn’t hurt anything, either. When dogs learn that good things happen during bath time, they are a lot less likely to put up a fight when you try to give them a bath.
To start helping your dog develop positive feelings about bathing, leave the water out of the equation. Instead, have them get into an empty bathtub. While they are there, give them tasty treats and find some fun toys that they can play with. As they start to adapt to the idea of being in the tub, you can begin to add a small amount of warm water.
It may take a lot of repetition before your dog starts to behave the way that you want them to. For instance, if there is a particular area where you give your dog baths, call them to that area, providing them with a treat whenever they come. Eventually, they will learn to come on command, even if you don’t give them a treat.
Avoid Getting Soap or Water in Their Ears
One of the most important things to avoid when bathing your dog is getting water or soap in their ears. The water can not only annoy your dog but it also can wind up harming their health.
Some dogs will allow you to tuck cotton balls gently under their ears. If your dog won’t tolerate that, however, you will just need to use caution to keep from getting water where it shouldn’t be.
Train Your Dog from An Early Age
The best time to start giving your dog baths is while they are still young. Puppies are a lot more open to the idea of bathing. The sooner you start getting on a regular bathing routine, the more likely your dog is to do well with baths later in life.
Choose A Shampoo That Is Formulated for Dogs
Using the wrong shampoo can leave your dog feeling itchy and uncomfortable. Harsh shampoos can strip the moisture from their skin, leaving it dry and flaky. Choose a mild shampoo that is formulated for dogs. That way, you can get your dog clean without washing away their skin’s natural oil. Ask your vet for recommendations when it comes to choosing a shampoo.
Start at The Neck
To avoid getting soap or water in your dog’s mouth, eyes, or nose, start washing at their neck and work your way down. This can be done with a cup filled with water or with a spray nozzle. They even make special sprayers that are made expressly for giving dogs baths. When it comes to cleaning their head, stick with a damp cloth rather than a bucket or sprayer.
Use the Correct Drying Method
Some people opt for drying their dog out with a hairdryer. However, most dogs balk at the loud noise and strange sensation of having their fur dried. If you do use a hairdryer, set the heat low so that you don’t accidentally burn your dog.
Towel drying your dog is usually a lot less stressful, even though it doesn’t get them quite as dry. Stores that sell pet products usually carry special dog drying towels that are designed to be extremely absorbent. Remember, as well, that your dog will most likely shake when they get out of the tub. Try to protect the area from flying water droplets ahead of time.
Turning bath time into a positive experience can benefit both you and your dog. When giving your dog a bath, maintain a relaxed demeanor while still letting your dog know that you are in control. Over time, bath time can become a ritual that you both enjoy.