Bathing Your Dog: How To Get Started

Some dogs like water, and some do not. If you have one that does not, bath time can be a hassle. It’s important when you get a new dog that you start bath time off on the right foot. Trying to force a scared dog is stressful for everyone involved, and every bath will be a battle. So whether you have an older dog or a puppy, there are ways for you to ensure that your dog enjoys bath time.

Working Up to a Real Bath

Before you give the dog a bath, you want to get it familiar with the tub and the water. Take some time to introduce your dog to the tub and get him used to getting into the tub. Use a lot of treats and praise while you do this. Some people even feed their dogs in the tub over the course of a few days so that the dog associates the tub with something good.

When your dog is comfortable with the tub itself, you can try running the water. Do this with the dog outside of the tub first, and dog baththen, slowly, coax your dog into the tub when there is a little water in it. Once the dog is comfortable standing in a little water, you can try turning the faucet on slowly. If your dog is fairly comfortable with this process, it might only take a day or two for you to accustom him to the bathtub and the water. If your dog is frightened, take it slowly and only work on it for a few minutes at a time.

When your dog is comfortable with the water running, you can start wetting your dog. Start with the legs and leave the head for last. You might not want to use any shampoo the first time you do this, just in case you have to end the bath earlier than you plan. Once your dog is fine getting wet, add shampoo and bathe and rinse your dog.

This whole process might take a while at first, but it is worth it to have a dog that enjoys bath time.