How to get your dog used to baths
Does your dog get anxious when the time comes to have a bath? If so, they’re not alone. Lots of dogs dislike bath time, often becoming stressed and making it difficult for their owners to get them as clean as they’d like. If you’re wondering how to get your dog used to baths, read on.
6 tips for bathing your dog
Whilst bathing your dog can be challenging, it’s certainly not impossible. Even though you might be struggling to believe that you could ever get your dog to tolerate let alone enjoy a bath, there are ways in which you can achieve this goal. Keep reading to learn how to get your dog used to baths.
Start at an early age
Don’t wait too long to bathe your dog for the first time. Ideally, you should give them their first bath when they’re a puppy to get them used to the bathing process as early as possible. We recommend starting when they’re around eight weeks old. At this age, they’re able to self-regulate their temperature, helping to prevent them become too cold. For younger puppies, it’s best to wipe them over with a damp cloth if necessary.
Tire them out
Tiring out your dog before you bathe them can make the process go more smoothly. Take them for a long walk or play fetch before it’s time to get them in the tub and hopefully they will be too tired to resist your attempts to wash them. As professional groomers, we can tell you that a dog that’s bursting with energy is harder to bathe than a sleepy one!
Brush them before bathing
We always recommend brushing a dog’s coat to get all the tangles out before they get in the tub. Getting tangles wet will make them bigger, tighter and more difficult to comb out. In some cases, this can lead to matting, which can be very uncomfortable for dogs. Brushing your dog before bathing will also get rid of any loose fur and debris from your dog’s coat.
Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement can work wonders when bathing a dog. Giving praise and treats can help your pup to create positive associations around getting bathed, making them more likely to respond positively in the future. If they know they can expect applause and their favourite biscuits next time they get into the tub, they may not kick up such a fuss.
You might assume that bathing your dog as quickly as possible is the best idea. However, patience is key when bathing your dog. Rushing it will simply stress your dog out, making the process much harder than it needs to be. Set aside a time when you know you won’t need to rush. This will allow you to relax and truly take the time to focus on your dog whilst bathing him, helping to keep him calm too.
Make it fun
If you want to change your dog’s attitude to bath time, we recommend making it fun. Encouraging them to think about it as playtime can help them to respond much more positively the next time they get in the tub. Bringing toys into the bath can help them to feel less stressed and anxious, making it easier for you to get them clean. Rubber toys that squeak are ideal for doggie bath time.
How often should I bathe my dog?
Once you’ve got your dog used to baths, you might be wondering how often you should bathe them. Usually, bathing them every few months will be sufficient, although you can of course wash them more frequently if they get particularly dirty. How often your dog needs bathing depends on its breed, activity levels and the environment.
For example, a less adventurous breed like a Basset Hound or English Bulldog is likely to get less muddy than a Spaniel or Beagle, whilst a city dog will probably need fewer baths than one that lives in the countryside. A professional dog groomer will be able to advise you on how often your dog needs bathing.
Bathing is important for dogs, however, try not to overdo it, even if your pup loves getting in the tub. This is because washing them too often can strip away the natural oils that your dog secretes from their coat. These oils help to keep their coat healthy. Stripping them away too often can lead to dryness and irritation, leaving them feeling uncomfortable.
Dog grooming in Dinnington
Now you know how to get your dog used to baths, you may be looking to enhance their grooming routine with a trip to a dog grooming salon. At Jaycliffe Pets, we provide professional dog grooming in Dinnington. Our experienced dog groomers are on hand to primp and preen your pet to perfection, providing a range of grooming services for dogs of all breeds and sizes. We can brush, bathe and trim your pooch, as well as clip their nails if required.
Our groomers have expertise in grooming anxious pets. We use a variety of methods to keep dogs as calm and relaxed as possible, helping the process to go as smoothly as possible from start to finish. If you’re struggling to bathe your dog at home and need expert assistance, we’re on hand to help. Keeping your pup looking and feeling its best is easier than ever when you hire our grooming services.
To book your dog in for professional dog grooming in Dinnington, or for further information about the treatments we offer, call us on 01709 645 046. Alternatively, you can always send us a message via the contact form on the website and we will get back to you as soon as we can.