Preparing a bath for dogs doesn’t always have to be dreadful for either one of you.
While there are some canines that naturally dislike the water, there is still hope for them to enjoy the occasional bath – especially if you put in the effort to make each session a positive and safe experience!
If you prefer to wash your own dog instead of bringing them to a professional groomer, we have 5 tips for bathing a dog safely and properly below:
Tip #1: Brush Your Dog’s Coat
Before getting your canine in the water, brush your dog’s fur to remove all the loose and/ or tangled hair. This ensures you properly clean off any dirt trapped within the fur, and also prevent discomfort on your dog’s end since tangled hair can start to mat when wet.
To make the brushing experience more positive and pain-free for your dog, start at the base of the tail and push the fur against the grain towards your dog’s head. Be careful not to be too aggressive or scratch your dog’s skin.
If you find that there are stubborn mats on your dog, it is best to shave them off for both your dog’s health and comfort.
Tip #2: Pick A Proper Place
Choosing a bathing spot depends on some factors. Smaller dogs for instance can be easily bathed in the sink or laundry room, while bigger dogs may need to be taken to a washtub outside.
A few safety factors to consider when choosing a proper area to wash your own dog are:
- Is the space big enough for your dog?
- Are there no sharp objects or other harmful things that may pose a problem during the bathing process?
- Is it an environment they feel safe in and/ or are familiar with?
- Does it have a hair catcher so no drains will be clogged?
- Is there an area you can tether them to avoid them running off in the middle of the bath?
If your dog is new to bathing, one of the best dog bath tips you can follow is being patient as they grow accustomed to the area first – without turning on the water. Once they feel safe in the environment, you can slowly introduce water and the bathing process. This way, your dog will not feel stressed during the cleansing process.
Tip #3: Test The Waters
An indoor bath for dogs makes it easier to control the temperature of both the environment and water you are using. While outdoor baths are perfectly fine, ensure that it is not too cold or hot out – this also applies to the water temperature you will be using.
Run the bath on lukewarm water and be mindful of the water pressure as well, keep it on low to make sure it does not cause discomfort or pain for your canine.
Cold water does not clean well, so best to stick to lukewarm or warm temperatures (but never hot!).
Bonus Tip: If Your Dog Hates The Water
As briefly mentioned, there are some dogs that just naturally hate the water. There are also some who absolutely LOVE it; in fact some breeds are known to enjoy water (hello, golden retrievers).
If your dog tends to run or cry at the thought of bath time, try practicing positive reinforcement in the form of praises, treats, and lots of cuddles! Surely, the next time you reach out to grab the shampoo, he will associate it with all those good things and have a healthier mental state.