Although baths are essential, it is not uncommon for dogs to hate having one. There are a number of reasons for this ranging from fear of the water to the smell of the shampoo. In this article, we take a look at how to make your dog enjoy baths.
These tips and tricks are quick and easy to implement for anyone. When done correctly, they should help you get your dog enjoying baths in no time. Just remember that this is a process, it can take anything from a day to a month.
How To Make Your Dog Enjoy Baths
One of the most common comments we see dog owners make is that their dog loves to swim in rivers or the sea but hates to be in the bath. They struggle with the concept of their dog-loving water in one instance but hating it in the other. These dog bathing tips will help you get your dog comfortable with taking baths and may even enjoy them.
Get A Cheap Dog Bath
One of the most common reasons dogs don’t enjoy baths is the fact they feel closed in. This feeling of potentially being trapped keeps your dog on edge and prevents it from relaxing. Most baths designed for humans are high sided with walls on multiple sides and this can enhance the feeling of being trapped. A quick, easy and cheap way to avoid this is to get a cheap dog bath.
Most good dog baths will be low sided and not closed in so your dog can quickly and easily get out if it wants. This helps your dog relax and get comfortable with the bathing process. You can also use dog baths in or outdoors giving you multiple options to make the post-bath clean up easier.
Use A Specialist Dog Shampoo
The nose of your dog is extremely sensitive, it has almost 400% more scent receptors than a human. Many human based shampoos are designed to smell nice to us. Unfortunately, some can often overpower your dog’s nose and end up stressing it out.
There are a number of specialist dog shampoos on the market that you can take advantage of. These have been specifically designed to be kind to your dog’s nose helping to make the whole process smoother. In addition, they are designed for the specific needs of your dog’s coat rather than human hair.
We always recommend Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo to our readers. It has an excellent reputation with over 1200 positive reviews on Amazon.
Use Lukewarm Water
The skin of your dog is more sensitive to yours, hot water can burn your dog’s skin pretty easily. Hot water can stress your dog out, cause it pain and make it hate bath time. Unfortunately, many dog owners make this mistake even though it is easy to fix.
We always recommend that you use lukewarm water, it should feel around room temperature to a human. Many people feel that lukewarm water is too cold but try it and see for yourself. You could see a change in behavior in your dog when compared to its regular bath time. If you use a dog bath as we recommend above, your dog can easily leave the bath if it doesn’t enjoy it. If you are giving your dog a sponge bath then prioritize your dogs skin over your own and use a lower water temperature for the comfort of your dog.
How To Get Your Dog In The Bathtub
Another common problem we see reported regarding dog owners and bath time is simply getting the dog in the bath. Although we have already touched on it, we recommend you use a specific dog bathtub for home.
They are much easier to use than a human-based bath and can help your dog feel comfortable. The high sides of the bath can be intimidating for some dogs and most baths will have at least one wall attached to it making it feel even more enclosed. A good dog bath has low sides and your dog can easily get out if it wants.
Although there are some large dog baths for sale on the market, we tend to avoid high sides baths. We feel that they can cause your dog to feel nervous and act negatively during bath time.
How To Bathe A Scared Dog
Another question we are asked a lot is “how to give a dog a bath that is scared of water“? Some dogs may never get used to having baths especially if you have a rescue dog. That said, here are a few tips you can try to get your dog used to having a bath:-
- Get your dog used to its bath without having water in it. Get it used to being in the bath, play with it, give it treats and make it feel comfortable in those surroundings.
- Don’t have your dog in the bath when you add water to it. If your dog is a small breed and it is scared of water, remove it from the bath. The feeling of being trapped in the bath as it feels with water can stress your dog out.
- Use lukewarm water as we have already explained.
- Use doggy bath toys to help keep your dog calm and relaxed.
How To Give A Dog A Bath Without Water
Thankfully, there are a number of relatively new products to the market that let your bath your dog without water. Wahl No-Rinse Dog Shampoo has taken the market by storm. It is quick and easy to use, has a nice lavender scent and helps keep your dog clean without the need for water. To date, it currently has over 550 positive reviews on Amazon and is highly recommended.
We have found that you do need to supplement these dry dog shampoos to help keep your dog from smelling. We published this article on how to make your dog smell good between baths that may help you.
How To Give A Dog A Bath Outside
One of the reasons we like specialist dog baths is that they are easy to move outside when required. This makes the process much easier as you simply repeat the process outside. Again, use a water temperature that feels around room temperature to you for your dog’s bath. The advantage of having a dog bath is that you can use it even if your dog is afraid of a water hose.
Using a hose can be an excellent alternative to bathing a dog. If your dog is not afraid of a water hose then you can use an outdoor hose to clean your dog. Simply get an outdoor shower head for pets, attach it to your hose and wash your dog. One drawback of using a hose to wash your dog is that you are unable to control water temperature. Always check the temperature of the water with your hand first, if it is too cold for you then it’s too cold for your dog.