Tips for improving your dog’s bathing experience

Tips for improving your dog's bathing experience

Does your dog hate to take baths? Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make bath time less stressful for your dog and for you, too. Check out these simple tricks to make dog’s bath time easier and neater:

Brush before and after the bath. This will help to remove any dirt or dead hair them been carrying, and prevent you from pulling on wet, matted tangles while they are in the tub.

Put in a nonslip surface. Few things stress out a dog more than not being able to stand without slipping, and giving them something to sink their toes into will help ease their anxiety about baths.

Get the right shampoo. Shampoo designed for people has a different pH than what’s best for your dog. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a product that works best for your pet. If your dog has skin problems, you’ll likely need a therapeutic shampoo that will address their condition.  

Try to keep shampoo out of your dog’s eyes. If some suds do get into her eyes, flush them with water or saline solution.

Offer treats and praise. Combine your dog’s bath with tasty treats, plenty of praise, and even a toy that’s reserved especially for bath time.

Use the three-towel trick. Have one towel to put in the bottom of the tub to provide traction and prevent slipping. Drape the second towel over the wet dog to prevent him from shaking and soaking you and the walls. The third towel is the drying towel.  

Tips for improving your dog's bathing experience

Rinse thoroughly. It’s easy to miss shampoo residue, especially between your dog’s toes. This may cause your dog to lick and irritate his/her skin, so rinse thoroughly and make sure there are no soapsuds remaining when you’re done.

Dry thoroughly. Dogs love to run and roll after a bath, but if they are still wet, they will pick up all kinds of things from the ground and ruin all the work you just put in!

Bathe your dog less frequently. On average, once a month is plenty for most dogs. However, ask your veterinarian what the correct interval would be for your dog’s coat type and lifestyle since information presented at veterinary conferences suggests that there are benefits for some dogs to weekly bathing including reducing allergies, treating skin infections and reducing the itching and scratching.  

Put your pet in the tub with as little drama as possible. Lead your dog to the water offering good cheer and a treat along the way. Don’t lose your cool if your dog resists — if they already dislike bathing, an association with your angry voice won’t help.

Other useful tips:

  • Check the temperature of the water coming from the tap. It may be too chilly for your dog even on a warm day.
  • If you’re using the tub, fill it with three or four inches of lukewarm water, about the same temperature you would use for a human infant.
  • Gently place a cotton ball inside each ear if your dog will let you. They will help keep water out of their ears, potentially diverting a secondary bacterial ear infection.
  • Use a body bar to scrub theirs directly, or dispense liquid shampoo into your hands and work it into their skin and hair.  
  • Rinse until the water runs clear. This can take some time for a long-haired dog, but it’s important: because soap left to dry on your dog can irritate their skin.
  • Finish your dog’s bath time with a treat. Try to offer the same prize every time so they connect their bath with this trophy.  

Tips for improving your dog's bathing experience

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2 thoughts on “Tips for improving your dog’s bathing experience

  1. Good Tips. I also use indirect warmth of hair dryer to finish up. He loves the warm air..makes him sleepy.


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