Dog care

What To Do If Your Dog Hates Baths

You might have seen dogs many times having fun in the water and swimming around joyfully that you just assume that all dogs love water. With that impression, you might be misled that it is going to be a breeze to bathe a dog.

The truth is, there are quite a number of dogs that will not let you near them when it is time to bathe. If you have ever attempted it or seen someone trying to bathe such a dog, you will soon realize how much of a hassle it is.

It is important to bathe your dog every now and then to keep it clean, get rid of loose hair and that doggy smell.

In your mind, you are convinced you are being a caring parent to want to keep your dog neat and tidy. But in the mind of a dog that fears bathing, it is convinced you are probably tired of it and trying to get rid of it by drowning. A number of dogs that are not used to it will resist a bath with all they have.

Since bathing your dog is a process that is inevitable, you are going to have to find a way. This is your lucky day as we present you with some things you can do to make bathing time for your dog a little less of a drama.

Be prepared

First off, it is better to bathe your dog in a bathtub than in the backyard with a hose. Going with the bathtub option, you want to get everything you will need for the process ready before even bringing your dog in.

The main reason dogs resist baths is because of fear. So, to reduce the hassle you will go through it is important to have everything you will need within reach. The shampoo, dog’s brush, washcloth or towel, etc. so the bathing process will not take unnecessarily long. If you don’t have those things you need in place, your dog might peel out once you get your hands off it to reach for the shampoo. Now that’s back to square one, finding the dog.

Wear the dog out

It is advisable to get your dog involved in some exercise or go for a nice long walk before giving it a bath. This will serve two purposes, to get it tired and reduce how hard it will try to resist the bath and to make it feel like a nice little clean up will be a good idea.

Remember how you just want to hit the shower when you round off your session at the gym. Your dog will feel like that too after a nice workout.

Acclimatize your dog to the bathing area

There are several ways you can do this. One is to associate it with something they enjoy. You can have it play with its favorite toy in the bath. If it is confident enough to get into the dry bath, let it play with it in there.

You could also feed it its favorite meals often in the bath. Since you will often brush your dog before bathing it, you can do the brushing in the bathing area. Use cue words too around there such as “bath”.

All these will familiarize your dog with the bathing area and it won’t feel like you are taking it to the slaughterhouse when the real bathing is going to happen.

Non-slip rubber mat

The surface of the bath is smooth and your dog’s paws will often slide across it. You don’t want your already scared dog slipping in the bath or you won’t find it the next time you want to bath it.

A non-slip rubber mat will do the trick and provide the necessary traction for its paws to feel firm. This will ease its fears and allow it stand upright for a nice warm bath.

Warm water is ideal

You know your dog best and you know what temperature it enjoys the most. Don’t bathe your dog with cold water or it will shock it and make it harder to bathe it next time. If the water is too warm too, it might burn its skin.

Find a nice balance between the two and be sure to monitor the temperature throughout the bath. You certainly don’t want your doggy dealing with a sudden change in the water temperature or it might send it into a panic.

It is also best to gently pour water on its body or use one of those hand showers if you have it. Having water flow directly on it from the tap or shower is not a good way to go.

No rushing, please

A lot of us will rather use our time for something else than spend a bulk of it bathing a dog, so we tend to rush the process. If you are observant, you will have noticed that your dog responds to your mood. Rushing through your dog’s bath will only make your dog hyper-reactive. If you couple that with the fact that your dog is still fearful of bathing, we are sure you know how that will end.

If you find a way to make your dog’s bath time fun, you wouldn’t want to rush through it. Making it fun for you and your dog is the best way to go. It won’t be tedious work you have to do anymore and it will become easier with every attempt.

If your dog’s bathing anxiety is a bit on the extreme side, you might want to get it acquainted with another dog that has already found peace with bathing. Make sure they get along well and then following the usual procedure get both dogs to bathe the same time.

It will become easier for your dog as it will become aware that the other dog is having fun and it will try to relax and enjoy the process too.

Try out these approaches we have listed and see if you and your dog will make some headway. These suggestions are not set in stone, so tweak any of them as it suits you and your dog. Remember, the end result is to get your dog bathed the easy way.


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