Not all dogs love taking a bath. While your hound may have a natural tendency to simply jump into your bathtub, making it super-easy for you to give it a thorough wash, not all pet parents are gifted with such dogs. If you happen to have a pooch that constantly makes every bathtime like an episode on WWE, then heed these 5 bathtime tips when washing your dog to make their time in the tub more fun, easier, neater, and faster.
- Use the right dog-bathing materials.
Some pet parents use shampoos and other bath essentials that are not really formulated for dogs. While these can work wonders on your hair, they may be too harsh on your dog’s fur and skin. These shampoos can sting your pet’s skin, leading to irritation and possibly even cuts as your hound starts scratching the area. This becomes a very negative experience on your dog’s part such that it will no longer want to go to the bathtub the next time you want to give it a good wash. It is, thus crucial to invest in a quality shampoo that is especially formulated for dogs. This is your best bet of helping your dog associate bathtime to something that is not threatening.
- Make its bath area a fun and safe area.
In line with what we have discussed above, it is always a good idea to associate bathtime with fun time. This essentially means you will need to turn its bath area, whether it’s a bathtub or a small section in your backyard, into a miniature playground. Many pet parents always bring their dog’s favorite toys with them to the bath area so that their pooch will have its mind focused on the toy. Of course, you will also have to make sure that you go gentle when washing your pet so that it will not really get distracted by the splash of water and the foamy texture of dog shampoo. What you want to achieve here is for your pet to associate bathtime with playtime.
Now if you will be bathing your pet in a bathtub, it is important to buy a non-slip mat which you can place on the floor of the bathtub. One of the reasons why dogs are quite skittish in the bathtub is that they know it is not safe. This makes them anxious. Placing the non-slip mat should help them feel more secure as you give them a bath.
- Invest in some good quality pheromones to calm your dog.
A number of homeopathic veterinarians actually recommend using commercially-available canine pheromones to help relax and calm your dog. These technically work like aromatherapy essential oils except that they are more designed for dogs. The idea is to let your hound inhale these pheromones just before taking a bath. This will surely relax them and make it a lot easier for you to give them a bath. It is also more pleasant for them.
Alternatively, you can engage your dog in a 30-minute jog or even intensive playtime just before giving it a wash. Again, what you want is for your dog’s excess energy to be used up in these activities so it will no longer have the energy to resist you during bathtime. It may sound mean, but it really helps if you can keep your dog calm and relaxed while bathing.
- Be confident in your dog-bathing skills.
This is quite tricky since we’re talking about your confidence as a pet parent and as a bath-giver. The thing is that you should not be anxious yourself. If you’re worried sick about how to make the bathing experience for your dog more worry-free, then you’re only rubbing this negative psychical energy on your pet. While canine experts cannot really explain the exact mechanism, it is a general observation that dogs can somehow sense whatever it is we are feeling. They are sad when we are sad; happy when we’re happy. In like manner, they become anxious, too if they feel that we are also very anxious about giving them a bath.
- Check the right temperature of the water.
It is true that some dogs can jump right into freezing water, but these are exceptions rather than the norm. Unfortunately, getting the right temperature of water for bathing dogs can be tricky. Too cold and you risk contracting their muscles and they’ll start to shiver. Too hot and you might burn their rather thin skin. The recommendation is to use lukewarm water for which, sadly, there are no set standards. Some say it’s between 80oF and 90oF while others say it’s between 100oF and 110oF. Here’s what you can do. Put the back of your hand under running water. The feeling of lukewarm is that you can barely feel the coldness and the warmth of the water.
Bathing our dogs should not be a battle of wits. With these 5 bathtime tips when washing your dog, you can make each bath more fun, neater, faster, and a lot easier, too.