Does your dog hate baths

Does your dog hate baths

Does your dog hate baths

This is a very oft repeated question we get to hear from one dog parent to another. Most dog parents feel that it is just their pooch that whines at the mention of a bath and that is why they seek answers to their queries from another parent. The fact is that most dog breeds including water loving ones like Labrador retrievers balk at being bathed. They might love to splash in puddles and won’t stay out of the pool, but when it comes to bathing they tuck their tails and hide. Let us explore the reasons that might be causing this reluctance to bathe in your dog and how you can help them overcome this issue.

Probable reasons of your dog hating baths


The not so good past experiences- Dogs have a good memory and they relate to every activity as done in the past. If they have had a bad experience in the past related to their bathing time, they may resist this always. It could be getting scalded by hot water or getting stinging shampoo in the eyes. Sometimes due to negligence while bathing, your dog might have slipped and fallen in the tub which might have scarred his experience of bathing. Generally pet parents go for their grooming activities like clipping their nails or cleaning their ears as a bath time activity. If the nails get clipped too short, the dogs associate this pain with bathing and as a result hate bathing. If due to their not sitting still during bathing, the water might get up their nose and gives them the feeling of discomfort which they remember and hence detest bathing there after.

Forcibly bathing by the dog parents- Bathing can involve dogs being handled and having their bodies moved around in ways they might not like. More often than not, baths are forced on them because pet parents want them clean and hygienic. So they are bathed not by their choice, which they obviously do not like. This loss of choice and control over what happens to them can be very upsetting and distressing to the dogs.

The bath givers make it stressful- In this busy and hectic time schedule of pet parents, they might want to hurry over the process of giving their dogs a bath. If the dogs are not being cooperative during bathing process, the bath givers may shout at the dog or handle them roughly in order to complete their job of bath giving as soon as possible. Hurrying through the process and venting out frustration on the canines can make them fear bath in the future too. Dogs take emotional cues from their pet parents and if they sense stress and strain, they follow suit.

Unfamiliarity of bathing- Some pet parents choose to give their dogs a bath after long intervals of time. The newness of the process may freak out the dogs because they are unfamiliar with this grooming process. Being plunged into a tub of water and soaped up with shampoo and scrubbed all over might be an emotionally daunting task for them. This in turn may create negative associations with bathing which they might connect with in their future bath processes as well.

How to bathe a dog that hates bath

The question remains on how to make the dogs enjoy bathing and look forward to their coats and fur being soaped and cleaned properly. This involves making them replace their past negative experiences with happy and joyous ones. Depending on the level of your dog’s dislike for bathing, this could take a few to more than that bathing sessions to make them outgrow the dislike for it. Here are a few ways you can try to make bathing a normal exercise for them.

Make bath time fun- Try not to force your dog into the tub or bathing regimen. Stay calm yourself and do not rush into the process. Instead try to play with your dog in the tub by splashing water and making it a fun activity. Bathe your dog when you are relaxed and not hard pressed for time, otherwise your stress may be evident to your fur pal and make him agitated.

Safety and precautions during bathing- Ensure that your dog feels safe during bathing time. Pour water on them so as to not let it go over their nose or eyes. Place a non- skid mat at the bottom of the tub to prevent them from slipping. Use shampoo massagers to relax and massage their coat while cleaning them too. Be gentle to your dog and very careful while trimming their nails or brushing their teeth as part of their bathing process. Be sure to test the temperature of the water so that it is neither too hot nor too cold.

Treats and toys- Place some toys in the tub or bathroom to make your dog interested in going in. Let them play with the toys awhile before running the tap on. Give them treats before and after bath and praise or soothe them with your words and pat while giving them a bath. This will encourage them to take bath and not fear them thereafter.

Keeping these simple tips in mind can help alter the mind-set of your canine about bathing. Your love and care says it all, so let it flow in abundance while bathing your dog. If they still happen to fear it, try a professional groomer and let your dog wither their fears of bathing. For pet toys and pet grooming supplies, try Waggfluence for an amazing experience.

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