Does your dog freak out when you try to bathe him? Many dogs are scared of a bath, but here are some tips to help ease your dog’s anxiety about a bath.
Reduce Your Dog’s Anxiety
First of all, a dog’s fear is a very tough thing to handle. There’s not a quick fix that will have your dog leaping into the bathtub with excitement. It’s not that simple and much of it depends on just how scared your dog is of the bath.
If your dog is older and has been afraid of taking a bath for years, then it will be tougher than working with a young dog who doesn’t have years of fear to overcome.
Regardless of your dog’s age, follow the steps and one thing is certain, over time you will see a change in how your dog reacts to a bath
You should be prepared before you start. Get all your supplies together that you will need for the bath. This includes; shampoo, towel, a cup for rinsing, toys, any treats you may want to use to help out and their dog leash to help keep them closeby.
You won’t want to leave your dog unattended in the tub to run and get supplies. If they’re already scared, being alone in the tub is not a good option.
Fill The Tub First
Filling up the tub with warm water before they get in will help reduce the stress of a bath. Dogs who are not a fan of a bath can be uneasy around the sound of running water. What sounds normal to you may bring on added stress for your pet.
No Slip Zone
Slipping around in a bathtub can be frightening and it’s no different for your pet. Before you put your pet in the tub, put something in the bottom to make it non-slip. You can use a bath mat or even a thick towel for your dog to stand on. This will make the tub safer for your pet and will make it easier to hold onto them.
Rinse And Repeat
I like to use a plastic cup to rinse soap off of my dog. Sometimes the faucet won’t reach all areas and a cup allows you to rinse just where you need it. Rinsing with a cup also helps to keep soap out of your dog’s eyes and ears.
Easy Does It
Be sure not to splash water around your dog’s face. Your dog is not going to like it if you get water in his eyes,ears or nose. I like to use a washcloth to gently wash the face. This allows better control of the water and is a more gentle way to get your dog’s face clean.
Toys And Treats
Most dog’s love a good toy or treat. Bath time is a great time to use toys and treats to help ease the stress of your dog. Reward good behavior with a treat and offer a favorite toy to keep them distracted.
A high value treat may be in order if your dog is really stressed. Also consider a special bath time toy, such as a glow ball, to be used in the bath. Your dog may start to associate a fun toy with the bath and this will help ease anxiety.
A good workout with your dog before the bath will burn energy and help to relax your dog. Exercise won’t make your dog love bath time but it can help calm your dog and make it easier to give a bath.
Bath Time For Two
This may sound crazy but if your dog is terrified of the tub, consider getting in with them. Put on your bathing suit or swim trunks and sit down next to them This will most likely ease their stress by showing them you are right there with them.
Your dog may not eagerly approach the bath next time but I’m willing to bet, it will be a little easier.
If you get stressed out at the thought of giving your dog a bath, recruit someone to help out. Asking a family member or friend to help will ease your stress and allow you to work on the bath while remaining calm.
Use these tips to reduce anxiety for you and your dog. Over time, bath time will get easier and more enjoyable for both of