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Washing dog in bathtub

My Dog Hates Taking Baths, What Can I Do?

Dogs don’t clean themselves like cats do, so it’s up to their pet parents to give them regular baths to keep them looking and feeling their best. However, your dog may not be eager to cooperate with you on this matter. If the word ‘bath’ sends your dog running in the other direction, there are a few things you can do to improve his tolerance and make bathtime easier on you both.

1. Use the Bathtub, not the Hose

Some dogs panic at the sight of a garden hose being pointed at them but don’t fuss nearly as much when they are led to a bathtub. Bathing your dog indoors does take a little more prep work and cleanup than doing it outdoors, which is why many pet parents are reluctant to try it. Trust us on this one, though – it may be the only way to get the job done.

2. Keep Him Comfortable

If your dog feels comfortable in your bathroom, he may be more willing to tolerate a bath. Feed him some meals and treats in there for a few days before you intend to bathe him, and let him play in there for a while if space allows. The more your dog associates your bathing area with good things, the less likely he is to panic when you add soap and water into the mix.

During the actual bath, try placing a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub. This improves your dog’s grip, making him calmer and less likely to slip and hurt himself. It may also be possible to distract him with a plastic toy while you bathe him.

3. Wash Him by Hand

Having a steady stream of water pouring over him from a showerhead or handheld nozzle might be too much for your dog. Instead, try washing him with some soapy water and a wet cloth. Massage the shampoo into his fur just as you would if you were washing your own hair, then gently squeeze some water from the cloth onto the fur and rub the suds away.

4. Use a Grooming Service

If all else fails, it’s time to turn to a dog grooming service to get your dog clean. These professionals know how to handle skittish dogs and will ensure that your furry friend gets the thorough bath he needs without stressing him out. You can also get your dog’s fur and nails trimmed at the same if he needs it, making it easy to keep up with his overall grooming routine.

Bathtime Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Your dog may never come to enjoy his baths, but you can and should take steps to make him less fearful of them. For Your Fur Kids offers toys, combs, shampoos, and other bathing essentials to help you make bathtime a better experience for your dog. We also offer professional dog grooming services at both of our location and also have a self-serve dog wash at our South Windsor location. All breeds and sizes of dog are welcome, so visit us today and let us help you get your dog looking his best.

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