Spring is finally here! But, with the ever-changing weather in Colorado, it may be dry one day, only to get snowy and muddy the next. Dirty paws and fur mean that bath time is probably in your dog’s near future.
When your dog hears you say “It’s time for a bath!”, how does he react? Does he run excitedly into the bathroom with a waggy tail or head the opposite direction as fast as possible? If your dog is the latter type who thinks bath time is highly overrated and a frightening experience, we’ve assembled tips from our trainers on how to make bath time more enjoyable and relaxing, for both you and your dog.
If your dog is full of energy, exercising him before the bath can help relieve some nervous energy. A good walk around the park might just do the trick.
Water and Shampoo
One of the best ways to make the bath time an enjoyable time for you and your dog is to use the right water temperature. The water should not be too hot as it can burn their skin, nor too cold, but kept lukewarm.
If you have been using your regular shampoo on your dog, then it is high time you stop as this can cause severe skin irritation for your dog. A dog shampoo will dry their skin less than regular people shampoo. Work it into a lather and gently massage it all over your dog’s body. Make sure you do not get it in your dog’s eyes.
There is specialized equipment that can make the bathing process more enjoyable too.
Some owners use their regular shower heads to bathe their dog without realizing that forceful water pressure from the shower head can cause irritation to your dog. Instead, if you use a pet shower sprayer that attaches to your regular shower hose, you can regulate the water pressure. Some attachments even allow you to control pressure by using just one hand, leaving your other free to massage the shampoo through your dog’s coat.
The floors of most bathtubs or showers do tend to get slippery when wet. Four wet paws that keep moving on such surfaces can make for a most disrupting experience. A nonslip bathmat on the floor makes all the difference in giving your dog solid footing during the bath.
One of our favorite tricks for a fuss-free and enjoyable bath time involves positive distraction with the help of treats. The treats will engage your dog, keep him focused and also act as a reward as you work your way around the dog’s coat.
But what happens if your hand is full and you are unable to give the treat when it is needed? You can use waterproof treat dispensers for this.
We love using the kind of a treat dispenser that you can stick to the wall of the bathtub or shower. You add wet food, peanut butter or other treats your dog likes and let your dog lick the dispenser to get the treat out of it. This gives you ample time to clean your dog.
Before you start
Before you call “bath time”, one last word of advice: do have all items ready before you start bathing your dog. It will not work out too well if you must leave halfway through the process to collect the shampoo, giving your dog a chance to escape and leave puddles of water on the floor.
We hope these tips will help both you and your dog have a more enjoyable bath next time! What other things have you found works well with your dog when it comes to taking a bath? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.