How to get your dog used to baths

UK Home Improvement

How To Get Your Dog Used To Baths

Many dogs feel stress and anxiety when the time comes to have a bath. There can be a number of reasons for this, such as they don’t like to get wet, the loud noise coming from the running taps scares them, or even a past traumatic experience that has left them fearing the tub. If you’re wondering how to get your dog used to baths, read on. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you change your pup’s mind about getting bathed. 

Top tips for getting your dog used to the bath 

You might be currently feeling like your dog will never enjoy bath time. Perhaps you’ve already tried to bathe your furry friend but it didn’t go quite as planned. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help them learn to love the experience. Keep reading for top tips on bathing your dog. 

Start bathing them young 

Although you might assume that waiting until your dog is more mature is best, this isn’t usually the case. By giving your pet their first bath when they’re still a puppy, they’ll become familiar with the process early on. This can help make them less anxious when they’re older. We recommend bathing them when they’re eight weeks old. This is when they become able to regulate their body temperature, 

ensuring they don’t get too chilly. For puppies younger than this, a wipe down with a damp cloth should suffice. 

Burn off their energy 

Any professional groomer will tell you that an energetic dog is more difficult to bathe than a tired one. Therefore, it makes sense to allow them to burn off their excess energy before you get them in the tub. We recommend taking them for a long walk or playing a game such as fetch with them beforehand. A sleepy pup will be much less willing to resist when you’re attempting to wash them! 

Brush them beforehand 

We recommend brushing your dog to remove any knots and tangles before bathing them. This is because wet tangles are much more difficult to brush out than dry ones. If tangles get wet, they tend to become larger and tighter and in some cases, matting can occur. Matted hair can be extremely uncomfortable for dogs, often causing skin irritation and infected sores. It can even cut off air circulation to their skin. Brushing your dog before bathing them can help to avoid these issues whilst also removing debris and loose fur beforehand. 

Use positive reinforcement 

Don’t forget to use plenty of positive reinforcement when bathing your dog. Giving your pup praise and their favourite treats throughout the process can help them to think of bathing as a good experience rather than a scary one. If they know something nice happens when you’re getting them in the tub, they’ll be much more likely to react in a positive manner in the future. 

Be patient 

Some people think that bathing their dog quickly will do them a favour. However, rushing the process is only likely to stress them out and doesn’t give them chance to enjoy the experience. Have patience when bathing your dog, and take the time to really focus on them. We recommend setting aside a period of time when you know you’ll be free and won’t need to rush. 

Inject some fun into bath time

If you want to get your dog used to baths, we recommend adding some fun to proceedings. You can do this by bringing some of their favourite toys into the tub and playing little games with them. Encouraging your pup to view having a bath as playtime can help them to feel less anxious and even look forward to it next time around. Toys can also help to distract them whilst you’re getting them clean, helping the process to go more smoothly. The best toys for a dog’s bath time are rubber toys, including those that squeak. 

How often do dogs need bathing? 

Now you know how to get your dog used to baths, you may be wondering how often you need to get them in the tub. The good news is that you don’t need to do it all that frequently. Most dogs only need a wash every few months or so. If you feel you need to bathe them more regularly than this due to them getting particularly dirty, there’s no reason why you can’t. How often your pup will need bathing will depend on a number of factors, including their breed, activity levels, and what kind of environment they spend time in. 

For example, if your dog is a more adventurous breed such as a cocker spaniel, they are likely to need more frequent bathing than some other breeds such as a Bassett Hound. Similarly, a dog that resides in the countryside and goes on long, muddy walks will also need washing more often than a city dog that 

usually walks on pavements. If you’re not sure how often to bathe your dog, speak to a professional groomer. 

Keep in mind that even though bathing is important for dogs of all breeds, you shouldn’t overdo it. Washing them too regularly can remove those natural oils that they secrete from their skin and help to keep their coat healthy. This can lead to skin irritation and can make them feel uncomfortable. Be careful that you’re not bathing them frequently for your benefit rather than your dog’s. 

If you’ve anymore questions or in need of specific advice always contact a specialist. Whether you’re looking for dog grooming in Dinnington, Dagenham or Dalgety Bay you’re be able to find a local expert like Jaycliffe Kennels & Cattery to help you with your pet.


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