When you own an animal, it’s always important to do everything necessary to keep them healthy and happy. Being a dog owner is excellent, but sometimes getting your dog into their much-needed bath is not a simple task.
While these baths are necessary for your dog’s overall wellbeing, not all dogs enjoy the experience of having one. No one wants to fight with their dog every time you turn the water on. Thankfully, there are ways to help you and your dog enjoy bath time instead of dreading it.
Here are six ways:
The best way to ensure your dog enjoys bath time is to start bathing them when they are young. When you first bring your puppy home, start teaching them to associate the bath area with positive things happening. Try bringing them into the bath area and praise them, add their favorite treat for extra reinforcement and then let them go back to another room. Make sure you do this several times a day until your dog is comfortable and excited about following you into the bath area. This way, they know that area means something good is going to happen.
If you didn’t get your dog as a puppy, don’t worry. It may take a little time, but you can still teach your pet to enjoy its bath. Start by getting your dog accustomed to the bathing area. Use the same process you would if you had a puppy. Don’t forget to use their favorite treats and give them lots of praise.
Now that your dog knows they’ll be praised and rewarded for willingly entering the room, it’s time for step two. You are getting your dog into a dry bathtub. If the dog is small enough, lift it up and carefully place it into the dry tub. For bigger dogs, use their treat bag to convince them to jump in on their own, and once you’ve convinced them to get into the bath, pile on the praise. Make a fuss! Tell them how good they are, give lots of praise, and make sure to provide them with some extra treats. Make sure you continue to do this every day for a few days until they’re comfortable. That way, they’re already used to the tub before you start bathing them.
Teaching your animal proper cues is also going to make bath time more manageable, especially so with a large breed dog. When you’re ready to get your dog into the tub next time, tell them “get in,” and when they do, give them praise and a treat. Repeat this trick 4 or 5 times in a row and continue to work on it anytime you bring your pet into the bathing area. You want them to know that “get in” means something good is going to happen.
Once your pet is used to getting into the bathtub dry, it’s time for you to turn on the water. Get your pet into the bath and turn the water on low. You want the water to be warm but not hot so that your pet is comfortable. If they get startled, tell them to sit and use a calming voice to settle them back down. Start by getting their paws wet and gradually work your way up. Don’t forget to put an anti-skid mat in the bottom of the tub because it will give your dog a more stable footing in a soaking tub and be easier on their paws.
Make it Fun
Making bath time fun is another way to help your dog enjoy their time in the water. If your dog loves toys, try bringing some into the tub for them. Use this to turn bath time into playtime, and makes the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Tire Them Out First
If you have a high energy dog, you may want to consider taking them for a long walk before bathing them. Taking your dog out for a walk before bath time helps burn extra energy, and your dog should be much calmer once they get to the tub, which in turn should make it easier for both of you.
Now that you are feeling more confident about bathing your dog, and your dog is more comfortable in the bathtub, there are bathing needs to consider.
Some dogs require more bathing than others. All dogs should have their bathing products. Your favorite shampoo and dish soap are far from ideal choices when it comes time to bathe your pets. You should always use products that are specifically designed for dogs. Some dogs have sensitive skin and can even have allergies to ingredients in many shampoos, and soaps meant for humans. Having your dog come out of the bath with skin irritation could cause anxiety over bathing them next time.
There are many products made specially to be safe and gentle for your four-legged companions. Ideally, you’re looking for a dog shampoo that is hypoallergenic and sulfate-free. This is because sulfates are known skin irritants, cause allergies, and many sulfate-based products contain a carcinogenic byproduct of manufacturing called “dioxane.” Biodegradable is essential, too; we want to look after our dogs and the planet.
Some of our canine friends may benefit from a lightly scented shampoo. Sometimes we don’t love what our dogs have rolled in nearly as much as they do, especially if that odor is the result of playing with a skunk! If your pet has recently tried to make friends with a skunk, don’t worry. There’s a special product for that too. Tomato juice baths aren’t nearly as effective as you may have heard over the years.
No matter what you’re looking for in a dog shampoo, Alpha Tech Pet has you covered. They have a wide range of vet-approved products that should cover all your dog’s bathing needs. Check out their website to learn more about them and their products.
PetSuds® and SkunkAway® are available both retail and wholesale, shipping directly to you via Alpha Tech Pet.