Let’s be honest, dogs are not a fan of baths. Trying to give them one can pose a challenge, and be extremely daunting. For all you dog owners out there who have a hard timing bathing your dog, here’s some advice on how you can make the process a bit easier.
A LITTLE CONVINCING
You want your dog to to enjoy going in the bathtub. Each day, drop your dog’s favorite toy or a treat in the tub, and have them find it. You may have to lead them to it a couple times until they know to look there on their own.
Additionally, you can make a game of jumping in and out of the tub. Have your dog watch you throw a treat into the tub, then let them go in after it. While your dog is in the tub, give them another treat, then encourage them to get out of the tub and do it again. Do about five reps a couple times a week. As you continue to do this, begin lightly running the water each time. If your dog sticks around in the tub instead of getting out right away, then you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction.
Leave a rubber mat in place so that your dog has secure footing when they jump in and out. Dogs will be turned off by a slippery tub. Another option is to put a towel down on the bottom of the tub.
It’s recommended to trim your dogs nails prior to bath time. Not only will it give them better footing, but it will also save you from some bad scratches if they try and make a run for it.
Brush them first. Other than keeping loose dog hair from clogging your drain, it helps the shampoo get into the coat and works out mats before they’re set in by the water.
Make sure you have everything you need ready to go and by your side before you begin. This includes a brush, dog shampoo, conditioner (if needed), mineral oil for eyes, cotton balls for ears, towels, and treats (a must have!).
Close the bathroom door behind you. If they try and make a break for it, chasing your soapy dog around the house to get them back into the tub will not be easy.
Use mineral oil or a bland eye ointment to keep the shampoo from irritating their eyes. Also, put a small piece of cotton in each ear to prevent water from getting inside. Give your dog treats before trying to get them in the tub.
Make sure the water temperature is just right — not too hot and not too cold. Before going full speed ahead, allow your dog to hear and gently feel the water. Begin with shampooing your dog’s shoulders, then move out from there. Make sure you get down to the undercoat, but be gentle around the face and any sensitive areas.
Rinse out all the shampoo, and use your fingers to make sure you get through the undercoat. A detachable shower head or bowl is ideal in this situation to make sure everything is rinsed thoroughly, especially when bathing bigger dogs.
TIME TO DRY
Throw a large towel over your dog. Towel dry as much as you can in the bathroom. For dogs with longer coats, or to speed up the drying process, you can use a blow dryer. Set the blow dryer to cool in order to avoid accidentally injuring the skin.
To keep your dog from soaking you after he comes out of the tub, gently hold his muzzle with your thumb and forefinger. A dog starts to shake from the head back, and by not being able to shake their head, they aren’t able to shake their body either.
If you have any of your own tips & tricks for bathing a dog, feel free to leave them in the comments section!