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How to give your dog a bath

Updated on April 2, 2015

Bath tub and showers for dogs

Bath time is what you make out of it


Bath time: it could turn out to be a looked forward to event or a dreaded one for your dogs. It all depends of what you make out of it.

Ideally, dogs should get accustomed to bath time when thery are puppies. It is much easier to get them used to being submerged in water and even enjoy it if started at a tender age. However, there are some basic guidelines to follow to ensure that the puppy or dog does not get a negative impression of being put in a tub. Follow these guidelines carefully and very likely you will get a dog that loves water and turn bath-time into a hassle free event. Disregard these guidelines instead, and you will get a dog that needs to be carried into the bathtub and turn bath time into a struggle leaving a messy wet bathroom and a frustrated owner behind.

Bath time secrets revealed


1) Do not make a big deal out of bath time. Do not announce it or give any clues that it is approaching. Just act normally so he/she is relaxed when time comes. Dogs can easily sense cues from us that suggest something not pleasurable is coming. It is vital as well to keep calm and not get disappointed with him if he turns out to be not the best bather.

2) Make sure the water is at an ideal temperature. Test it yourself, put your hand in the water for a minute or two and ask yourself if you would be comfortable in it. It takes just a bath with water too hot or too cold to turn bath time into an undesirable event.

3)Add Rubber ducky. Toss in the tub a couple of your canine's favorite waterproof toys. Familiar toys in an unfamiliar surrounding may help the dog feel more comfortable.

4) Canine eau de toilette. Use only pet approved shampoo that is delicate enough and preferably that will not burn if it accidentally goes into your dogs eyes. Dogs dislike having shampoo and water get into their eyes and ears and on their face as well.

5) Slip proof. Make the tub unslippery. Dogs do not like the sensation of feeling unsteady on their feet. This is mostly true if slipping could mean ending under the water. Try to use a slip free math or slip free bath adhesives. After all, a slip proof bath tub is good safety measure for humans as well.

6) Close the faucet. Many dogs are bothered by the faucet running. It is loud and it seems like a large scary amount of water to them. Rather, use a pitcher to pour water evenly and gently over your dog and avoid the poured water to make too much noise.

7)Massage. Massage your dog's favorite spots, it will make you bond more and turn the bath into a pleasurable event. Talk to your dog with a calm, soothing voice, and let him/her now how proud you are of him/her standing so stoically in the water.

8)Give a favorite treat. You want him/her to associate bathing with something really good. Praise him/her and give the treat.

9) Use towels. Hair drying can be too scary for most dogs. Not only, many have also suffered burns from it. Towels are safer, less traumatic and dogs seem to enjoy the rubbing part.

10)Find out if your dog is a bath tub or shower fan. Many times dogs like showers more as it mimics rain and they feel less confined than in a bath tub. Find out whichever your dog prefers and stick with that method.

Oddly enough, there are dogs that seem to just love water but they hate baths or showers. If we think of it carefully though, it could be that something not pleasurable took place at some time during a bath. If we try hard to make bath time a fun time very likely our dog will not only love water but bath and showers as well.


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    • Stories Inc. profile image

      Stories Inc. 

      7 years ago

      This was a very useful hub. My dog hated bath time, and he was a big-ass German Shepard, so picking him up and actually putting him in the tub wasn't exactly easy... Unfortunately, he died last year so I can't try your tips out. I can only write about bathing him now.

      If I ever have another, I'll be sure to look over this hub again though. It's quite helpful. Thanks for posting.


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