While the idea of a warm, bubble filled bath sounds like something we all wish we had more time for, our dogs do not often share the same sentiment. The need for a bath is usually known when they begin to stink and their coat begins to feel dirty, and appear dull. As owners we like our pets to smell and feel fresh and clean, but many dogs have no problem with being stinky and would rather do anything other than taking a bath.
Los Angeles Dog Daycare has come up with 5 tips to help you with your dog’s bath.
- Start young, and make it fun!
As with all aspects of dog training, you will have the most success if you start the process when your dog is young. While you may never convince your dog that a bath is fun, you can, through positive reinforcement allow them to realize that it’s not terrible, either.
To make bath time a rewarding experience, have a stash of treats handy, and reward constantly and consistently. Reward for getting into the tub, for staying in, for allowing you to shampoo and rinse.
Another idea to make bath time fun is to have a collection of toys that your dog only gets to play with at bath time. At the beginning of bath time, put the toys in the tub and allow your dog to get excited at the prospect of playing.
- Prepare your tub
Dogs often are scared if they feel out of control, and a slippery bath tub surface will not help a dog feel confident that he is not going to fall. Consider investing in a bath mat that will help keep your dog from slipping. This will also help prevent the chances of injury if your dog does thrash around or try to get away from you. If you do not have a bath mat, a towel should work as well. If you do not have a detachable shower head, you will want to have a cup or small bucket available. Larger dogs are hard to maneuver directly under the water, and the cup will help you to get all of the soap off of your dogs coat.
- Prepare your Dog
Before you get to the tub, make sure you have removed anything from the dog you do not want getting wet. While you may need his collar as a way to hold on to him, you may want to remove any tags or accessories. It is also a good idea to do a quick brushing to remove extra hair.
- Work from neck down
It is important to protect your dog’s ears, mouth and eyes while bathing. The best way to do that is to use a washcloth to gently clean the face area, and then only really wash from the neck down. Getting water in your dogs ears can lead to infections.
- Properly drying
A thorough towel drying is all that is necessary, but if your dog isn’t scared of the noise, blow drying will get them dry and adorably fluffy. Be prepared for your dog to do a huge shake when he first gets out!