5 Dog Bathing Tips That Make Everyone's Life Easier (Your Dog's Life Included)

Debra Soth
September 12, 2021

They either hate it or love it. But most of the time they hate it. If you don't know how to handle your dog when bathing him or her, here are a few tips and tricks that might come in handy.

#1 Brush beforehand

Brushing your dog's hair first will help detangle any knots in his fur as well as get rid of excess fur that will otherwise end up in your drain. It can also reduce the bathing time which your dog will be very grateful for.

#2 Use a bathtub (and a non-slip mat)

If possible put your dog in a bathtub to hinder water splashes. If you don't have a bathtub an alternative would be a big plastic tub that you can get at your local hardware store. Additionally, make sure your bathtub has a non-slip mat to prevent any injuries caused by slipping when your dog is trying to escape the tub.

#3 Use the right shampoo

Dogs have a different pH level than humans so DO NOT use human shampoo on your dog. This can lead to damage to your dog's skin and fur. If your dog has current skin issues, a medicated shampoo might be best. Otherwise, use an organic dog shampoo without any unnecessary harsh chemicals.

#4 Protect eyes and ears

If possible try not to wet your dog's head during bathing time. A dog's eyes and ears should not come in contact with water as these body parts are very sensitive and could be painful for your dog. To prevent water from entering your dog's ear, gently put cotton balls in the entryway to his ear canals but DO NOT shove them in! This could cause more harm than the water you're trying to block.

#5 Always keep one hand on your dog

This will vary with each dog but the majority dislikes baths and some will always sneak in a little escape attempt here and there. If you want to prevent your dog from leaving the bathtub (and drowning your bathroom in dirty water) always keep one hand on your dog to stop any attempts to leave the bathtub. For a larger dog, two people would be ideal.

#6 REWARDS!

This tip should be a no-brainer. During the bathing process shower your dog with praises, pets, rubs, and love. Try to remain calm and use a reassuring voice to make sure your dog has nothing to worry about. Once you are done, reinforce good bathing behavior by rewarding them with a new toy, treat, or bone.

Bonus tip: If your dog is scared of water, make him familiar with the environment by letting the water run first while having him in the bathroom with treats and his favourite toys. This will create a friendly atmosphere and might calm your dog down.

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