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Bathing Your Dog

Does your dog dread bath time? We have run into some aquaphobic pups in the past, and we thought we would gather some of our most helpful tips to make bath time easier and less stressful for both you and your pet.


The first step begins before your dog even knows that a bath is on the way. First, you will need to gather the supplies you will need for his bath: 

  • Leash and Collar
  • Dog Treats
  • Peanut Butter
  • All Natural Shampoo
  • Towel and blow dryer
  • A bucket and sponge

Once you have gathered everything, lay down a non-slip bathmat inside the tub to help your dog feel more secure and prevent unnecessary splashing if  your dog attempts to stabilize himself. For water, you may either fill your tub to ankle high with warm water or you may grab a bucket and sponge if your dog is freaked out by any body of water at all.

Bath Time

When you are set up, it is now time to get started. For ease, we have broken down bath time into 4 steps:

Step 1: Call your Dog

It is now time to bring your dog to the bathing area. Use treats if necessary. If your dog senses what is coming, the treats may help, but putting on his leash will also let him know it is time to listen. Lift or guide your dog into the tub and secure his leash to prevent him from bolting. If he is acting anxious at this point, you can put peanut butter on the edge of the tub to keep him distracted and help soothe his nerves.

Step 2: Get Him Wet

Check the temperature of the water to ensure that it is not to hot or too cold. Then, using a cup or sponge, wet your dog from the base of his skull down to the tip of his tail. Most coats will repel the first douse of water so you may need to repeat this a few times to get him truly wet.

Step 3: Shampoo

When selecting your shampoo, ensure that you use a product that is both alcohol-free and formulated for dogs. Human shampoos and most dish soaps may irritate your pet’s skin.

Follow the instructions on the particular shampoo bottle of your choice. Most will instruct you to avoid your dog’s eyes by massaging the shampoo from the base of your dog’s skull throughout his coat. Just as you did with the water before, work your way back through his coat using long, gentle strokes. Refer to your shampoo bottle for how long to keep the shampoo in his coat before rinsing. Most of this time, this will take a few minutes, so keep him distracted by massaging the shampoo into his coat and praising him.

When the shampoo has had time to do its job, you may now begin to rinse him off. Repeat this step until the water runs completely clear. This may take several repetitions, but it is important to get the shampoo completely out of his coat so that it does not settle in and cause irritation later.

Step 4: Dry Him Off

To dry him off, you may either use a blow-dryer or a towel. If you know him to be scared of loud noises, use the towel to ensure that this experience ends on a positive note.

When he is relatively dry, you may notice that he will want to run around and expend a large amount of energy. This is known as doing “zoomies.” Zoomies are a completely normal part of dog behavior that usually serves as a way of relieving stress and pent up energy after engaging in a boring or stressful activity. If the weather permits, let your dog outside for a while into your back yard to give him room to run.

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