Dogs don’t care if they are dirty and stinky. In fact, most of them seem to like it! But for humans, one whiff and they are reaching for the dog shampoo.
While some dogs seem to enjoy being bathed, others put up a real fuss and even run away if they get a hint a bath is coming.
So the first thing to do is to make bathtime associated with something positive, namely toys, treats and affection. You do this by gradually getting your dog used to getting into the empty tub and just hanging out while you give him a treat or a toy. Then, after your dog is comfortable in the tub, then you can add some warm water.
Go as slowly as you need to until your dog is totally comfortable in the tub standing in the warm water.
If your dog is very wary, you might need to work on getting your dog to come to the room where the tub is and reward him simply for coming into the room. Do this until he will come into the room when you call even if you don’t give him a treat.
If you have a puppy, then start bathing him while he is young. You’ll be happy you did as he won’t have any negative associations with the experience.
Before you soap up your dog, choose the right shampoo. You want a shampoo especially formulated for dogs and one that won’t strip out the natural oils in your dog’s coat. Ideally you should get your vet’s recommendation or, if you purchased your dog from a breeder, ask her to recommend a shampoo that works well for your particular dog’s coat.
Use a damp washcloth to wash your dog’s face, as you want to protect his eyes, nose and ears from the shampoo and water. Then bathe your dog from the neck down, wetting his coat with a container filled with water or use a sprayer.
Rinse him well to remove all traces of soap before drying. Some dog owners like to use a blow dryer but many dogs are wary of the noise and you must be very careful not to burn the dog’s skin.
You can simply use a towel to dry your dog. Most pet supply stores sell super absorbent towels that can make the job easier. Remaining positive, calm and assertive throughout the bath can go a long way to make bath time easier and more pleasurable for you and your dog.
Don’t forget to get out of the way for the inevitable shake!!