The 8 keys to make bath time less stressful

Apr 20, 2021

Bath time is not always easy for many dogs. In fact, there are dogs who like water, however, they hate the shower. There are other dogs that neither like water nor do they like showers because they are afraid because of past experiences.

Whatever the case, if our dog cannot calm down in the shower, you won’t have a good time either.

Here are some tips to make bath time easier and make a traumatic experience relaxing and enjoyable.

  1. A good walk. Going for a long walk to tire your dog is a very good way for him to face bath time in a calm way, less stressed and relaxed. If he is tired, he will show less resistance, which will be easier for you too.

  2. It is important that the area is prepared for bathing. If we are going to shower him in the bathtub, it is important that all bottles or soaps that may fall are removed. It is important to have the soap you will use prepared as well as the towel with which you are going to dry your dog later, so we will not have to interrupt bath time to get things we forgot.

  3. When everything is ready and we are ready to start the bath, it is important that our best friend is calm and associates it with something positive. To do this, we can bring his favorite toys, give him a treat when he is calm, or if he likes it, grooming to help him relax. Having a mat on the floor of the bathtub will help the dog feel more stable and not slip.

  4. When we are already in the bathtub or shower, we will wait for him to calm down before starting with the bath. For this it is very important that we transmit calmness since we are their reference. At no time are we going to force them to do anything, we will always to our dog with love and positive reinforcement, so that they feel better. If we see that he is relaxed, we are going to give him a treat, but pay attention! It is important not to confuse a moment of stress with calm, because we could be reinforcing his attempts of escaping. The most important thing is to be always patient and keep calm.

  5. We are going to use warm water to start the shower. We will always do it progressively as long as the dog is comfortable with it. We can slightly adapt the water temperature to what makes our pet feel best.

  6. The soap that we will use must be especially made for dogs. This is very important, because otherwise it could cause allergic reactions or irritations to the animal and could end up being counterproductive. Soaping will be light at first. The most important thing is that the dog feels comfortable, and we will prioritize it before being perfectly clean. As our dog starts to gain confidence, we can then apply soap twice and wash more thoroughly.

  7. It is important to wash his legs and paws, tail, and all parts of the body. The head and ears, however, are the most delicate parts and to avoid infections in the ears and eyes, we better save that area for last. We will wash the head and ears once out of the shower with a damp towel to prevent water or soap from entering this delicate area.

  8. When we finish, we will let the dog shake himself in the bathtub or shower, then we will dry him with a towel and we will reward him. If he tolerates it, we can use a hairdryer as well. It is important to brush the dog while we dry him up, to end up removing the remaining dead hair that may remain after the shower.