How To Help Your Dog Love Baths

How To Help Your Dog Love Baths

Every dog owner knows the struggle of taking their dog out to play and walking back inside with muddy paws, smelly fur, and an overall attitude of, “I don’t need a bath, I’m squeaky clean!”. However, giving your dog a bath is important, but for some dogs, this is a terrifying experience. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help your dog learn to love baths!

Table of Contents

  1. Start young
  2. Don’t underestimate a good treat
  3. Don’t rush
  4. Bring a positive attitude
  5. Make it Fun
  6. Make the water comfortable
  7. Keep it short
  8. Conclusion

1.Start young

If possible, start bathing your dog at home from a young age. This gives them ample time to adjust to the process and puppies are notoriously easier to train to enjoy baths than older dogs are! Puppies also often enjoy baths from the beginning, so this will make your life and theirs easier as they age.

 

2.Don’t underestimate a good treat

Treats are going to be your best friend when trying to get your fearful dog to enjoy (or at least tolerate) bath time. Use treats as motivation and builds your dog’s tolerance slowly. The best way to do this is by working in stages: use dog treats to get your dog to tolerate being in the bathroom then work your way up the ladder (tolerate hearing/seeing the running water, tolerate feeling the water, tolerate standing in the tub, tolerate having water poured on them, etc.)

3. Don’t rush

Baths are hectic enough for dogs with the noise of the bathroom, bathtub water, feeling a little trapped in the bath, feeling the water on their body, having water dumped on them, etc. Take your time when helping your dog enjoy baths. The slower you go and the more praise you provide, the calmer your dog will feel.

 

4. Bring a positive attitude

Dogs often feed off of the emotions of their owners. If you are showing fear, they will show fear (or they will get aggressive). By using an excited tone of voice, you’re more likely to notice your pup’s excitement level and trust level increase during bath times. Some pets also respond well to a positive attitude, but calm demeanor versus an overexcited one. You’ll have to do some trial and error to determine which one your pet responds best to. 

5. Make it Fun 

Don’t make bath time all about getting in and out. Provide your pup with some bath time toys like squeakers they only get when they are in the bath. This will increase their motivation. Also, using an excited tone of voice here and getting a little wet and messy with them will help lower their anxiety and make bath time seem more like playtime.

 

6. Make the water comfortable

Dog’s skin is much more sensitive to heat/cold than humans. You want the bath to be warm, but not hot. It should be easy for you to keep your hand in the water for an extended amount of time. If you notice your hand is getting too hot or you’re wanting to pull out, make the water cooler. The same concept applies to water that is too cold.

7. Keep it short

Bath time should not be rushed, but it should also not drag on for pups who have a fear of this time. For first-timers or pups with bath time anxiety, try keeping bath time under 10 minutes and then build it up.

7.
Conclusion

Bath time can be scary for new pups, rescue pups, or pups who have a fear of bath time. It’s absolutely possible to help reduce your pup’s anxiety with the help of a few tips and tricks. Remember to make bath time fun, simple, and provide lots of praise and treats/toys that will reassure your dog. You want them to enjoy bath time, not want to dive out of the tub every 10 seconds!

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