I think I speak for all dog owners when I say that bath time for our pups can sometimes also mean “massive flooding throughout my house” time. Dogs either love or hate water- there’s no in between- and either way they find themselves causing four kinds of disasters per bath.
If you’ve got a dog that either loves his baths way too much or hates even the mere mention of taking a bath you’ve probably struggled keeping your puppy clean.
Fear not though, because I have complied a list of 7 tips to help you, your dog, and your house survive bath time.
1.) Make The Water Comfortable
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like taking baths in water that’s too hot or too cold … and neither does your dog. Dogs tend to respond the best to water that is just a little warmer than room temperature. Keeping the water temperature lukewarm is said to not only help the shampoo you used remain effective, but it’s good for your dog’s skin and hair growth.
2.) Don’t Soak Your Dog With Water
People who want to get the job done fast tend to start with taking a bucket of water to wash down their dogs, but pet experts have stated that this is a big no-no. Dousing your dog with a lot of water is likely to startle and/or make your dog nervous. It’s more likely to cause him to bolt or try to escape the dreaded bath. The better option is to use a wash cloth to wash your dog’s face first. As Vetstreet instructs, “Hold your dog’s nose and chin up at an angle when running water over his neck and the top of his head; his nose should be the highest point. This prevents the water from running down into his nose or eyes.”
3.) Use A Pet Shower Sprayer
This tends to only work if you have a replaceable shower head but is definitely something to keep in mind. These are typically used in doggie salons, but have become a must-have house hold item for pet owners in recent years. These sprayers are great for your dog’s coat and help to alleviate build up on your pup’s skin. Most shower sprayers come with different pressure settings, so you can pick what’s the most comfortable for your pet. Dogvills has a list of shower sprayers that are awesome!
4.) Take a Nice Long Walk Before A Bath
The easiest way to calm down your dog during bath time is to walk out some of that excess energy beforehand. Taking your dog for long walks before you get them in the tub is an easy way to assure that your dog will have a calmer resting heart rate before, during, and after bath time.
5.) Bring Food To The Tub
Associating the bathroom with food is another way many pet experts have said can work in the long run. You can choose between either feeding your dog in the bathroom at meal time, or offering food during the bath … either will reduce the anxiety that comes with taking a bath.
6.) Consider Bathing Your Dog In A Closeable Shower or Outside
If your shower has a door that can close, you might find it easier to keep your dog from freaking out. Although this includes having to get wet as well … so find a bathing suit and prepare. The other option is to use an outdoor kiddie pool. Many people have found success in keeping their dog calmer outside because it’s so open, although it may be in your best interest to keep your dog tied to a post during this process, because if you’re outside anything can happen to make your pup want to run free.
7.) Seek Professional Grooming
If you’re still having trouble bathing your dog, and nothing seems to be keeping him from having a full on freakout, the best option may be to take him or her to a professional groomer. These people are trained in the best ways to keep your dog cool, calm, and collected during grooming, and sometimes will offer discounts for repeat business.