Tips On Bathing Your Dog – A Guest Post

Rub-A-Dub Dub
Get that pup in the tub!


Of course we all love our fluffy, four-legged, friends, and want nothing but the best for them. However, even some of the most perfectly behaved pooches can be a bit of trouble around bath time. Don’t let a little whimpering deter you from getting that dog in the tub. These few tips may turn your water fearing whiner into a clean coat canine in no time!

The best opportunity to start is when your dog is younger. As time goes on your dog will feel more adjusted with each subsequent bath.

Let your dog get comfortable around the bathroom and water. Bathtubs and showers are closed off areas. Naturally, a dog will feel as if they are being punished or trapped when suddenly placed inside a small inclosure. Introduce large amounts of rising water and the experience can be frightening for a dog of any age.

Allow your dog to roam around the bathroom for a while. Let them in while you take showers or bath by yourself. Let younger dogs splash around in a few inches of warm water with the facet off. Getting them acclimated to water over time is a great strategy that will pay off at the next bath time.

A regular bath schedule works well too. Many dogs respond well to routines and are more willing to cooperate when they are expecting the bath time.

Try to refrain from reprimanding or punishing your dog in the tub or bathing area. Your dog needs to know that bath times are safe. The added stress will only cause them to misbehave even more than they already are. Treats are a great way to positively reenforce good behavior.

If you have more than one dog try bathing them together. Usually if one is more reserved and well behaved the other will try to follow suite. Careful though, two dogs who really hate baths are much harder to handle than just the one.

With our more difficult friends a bathing tether or a leash may be needed to help keep the dog (and water) in the tub or bathing area. Some dogs will find comfort in their leash but if your dog already has an aversion to his or her leash, this will only make bath time harder for them.

A rubber bath mat works perfect in the tub with little paws that may slip or slide on the slick tub lining.

Cotton balls gently placed in your dogs ears may help refuse noise and will help keep soap and water out.

When washing your dog shampoo back to front with the head shampooed last. When it comes time to rinse use a plastic cup or pitcher to rinse the head first.

Hand dry with a towel first then use a commercial pet dryer or hair dryer on a low setting to finish drying. Be careful, some dogs like to run around and roll on the carpet to get dry. This will often result is bad a matted coat with bad tangles.

A few additional tips to remember are:

  • Dogs prefer lukewarm water.
  • Only use shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. Human soaps and shampoos have different pH levels and often use harsher chemicals.
  • Rinse your dog thoroughly to ensure no shampoo lingers on their skin. This can irritate the skin badly.
  • Brushing you dog at least once a week will do wonders for their coat. Regular attention to your dogs hair will keep it clean and table free. Additionally, regular brushing stimulates blood flow and distribute healthy oils found in your dogs hair.
  •  A regiment of fatty acid supplements will also help your dog maintain a healthy coat. Ask you veterinarian for more details.

Keep those bubbles bubbling,


Susan Travellin is a world class dog trainer in Virginia. Her expertise in breeding and training dogs has served the northeast for over 25 years. Susan has extensive knowledge and experience with all breeds of dogs as well as various training programs. Whether your pooch is an apartment dwelling city slicker, your next hunting partner, or your family’s lovable backyard buddy, Susan and Woodside Farms will provide your dog with valuable skills they’ll keep for a lifetime. Susan and Woodside Farms now offer dog training in Virginia. Visit her website for more information.

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