Tips to bathe your dog at home

While many dogs love swimming and playing in water, for some reason, these same pups may also loathe bath time.

What gives?

Well, it seems dogs don’t mind (and may actually prefer) to be on the stinky side. But, that’s not exactly conducive to a healthy pup and clean home.

The trick is to make bath time as paws-itive as possible, for both of you. And here are some ways to do just that.

Tips to bathe your dog at home

tips to wash your dog Positive Association

Positive reinforcement leads to positive association, which leads to a more positive result. This holds true with pretty much everything when it comes to introducing your dog to new things, including bath time.

There will be many, many rewards during this process, so it’s a good idea to keep treats small!

Start by having your dog stand in an empty tub, shower, or wherever it is you will be bathing them. In the beginning at least, try to keep this place consistent. While they’re in there be sure to give lots of praise, a treat or a toy. Practice this until your dog seems comfortable, then slowly add water.

You may want to try calling your pup to their bathing area on random occasions as well, rewarding them with a treat for coming until the treat is no longer necessary.

Wash with Warm Water

As much as you may love a nice, hot shower, our furry family members do not. At best, hot water is uncomfortable for them, at worst, it can be scalding to their skin. The best bet is to opt for a lukewarm temperature ~ not too hot, not too cold!

Protect their Ears

Getting water in your dog’s ear isn’t just uncomfortable. It can actually lead to ear infections and other health problems as well.

So instead of starting at their head, use the sprayer / cup / bucket to wet from their neck down. Then use a washcloth to cleanse the top of their head, avoiding the eyes, nose and mouth.

Use the Right Shampoo

Like us, our pets can be sensitive to the products we use on them. Also like us, you’ll want to find a gentle shampoo that cleans and deodorizes without stripping away natural oils. However, since our pets have different skin needs than we do, you’ll want to use a shampoo specifically developed for dogs.

Look for a natural, gentle shampoo that won’t dry out or irritate their skin. For even better results, choose a shampoo that meets the need of your pup such as nourishing for dry skin, one formulated specifically for puppies, a deodorizer etc. And if they have extra dry skin or a coat prone to tangles, you won’t go wrong by following up with a conditioner formulated specifically for dogs.

The Drying Process

No matter what, you’ll need to be prepared for the ‘shake off’ that is likely to get you at least a little bit wet. Once your pup has tried to dry themselves, it’s your choice how to proceed. Many pup parents swear by specific dog dryers which tend to be quieter and cooler than people dryers. If you go this route, give extra treats and praise while they get used to the noise and sensation.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with good ol’ fashioned towel drying either!

Tell us, do you have any other tips to bathe your dog at home?

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Filed under: Your Pets