I think just about every dog owner has been here. Staring blankly at their bathroom, covered in hair, dirty paw prints and the abject horror your dog has in their eye when they realize what’s going on. Bath time.
Luckily, my dog doesn’t hate the bath. While it might not be her favourite thing to do, she takes it in stride standing relatively calmly and drinking the bath water. I guess I’m pretty lucky, in that regard. My secret? I started bathing her as a puppy.
I brought her home, just 8 weeks old, this wee little nugget. She smelled like a donkey. First order after cuddling her was a bath. A really important trick is to let your pup be in the bathroom while the water is running. Get them used to the sound of running water so they’re not terrified the moment it turns on and I’ll admit, it can be quite loud at times.
Like warming a baby’s bottle, make sure the temperature isn’t too hot (obviously). To avoid a hot mess and a scared pup, I never fill the tub. In fact, I usually just put enough water in so her feet are submerged. The next important step is to get a cup. I find this better than hoses of any kind; the cup is far less intimidating and very quiet (dogs seem to appreciate that). On the slight chance you’re wondering why I am mentioning a cup like it’s the hand of god, scoop, rinse and repeat.
Next order of business is choosing a pup-friendly shampoo. Literally anything at a veterinary clinic or pet store will do. If your wee one has sensitive skin, opt for something all natural or something with oatmeal! I always run a little coconut oil through my dog’s hair to keep it looking shiny. It also prevents a lot of dryness if you live unfortunately, in icier climates.
After your pup is all rinsed off, drain and get them out of the tub. You’re on your own for this. I have nearly broken my back every time. If your dog is tiny enough to pick up, count yourself lucky. For us less fortunate people, with higher tubs, try to carefully aid their back legs. But even this is a trick that normally ends with my dog looking like a flattened frog about to dive off a cliff.
To blow dry or not to blow dry? I always blow dry my pup. I have traumatized her on early enough with the blow dryer she has accepted this part of her life. If your dog gets really scared, it’s best not to stress them out any further and simply gate them off in a non-carpeted area of the house. If you live in a condo, best of luck.
There is this peanut butter gadget out there for dogs. It sticks to the wall and you put peanut butter in it in an attempt to distract them with food…. Sounds pretty legit to me. Has anyone tried it?
Happy Bath Time with your pup :)