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Bath Time

A Quick Tub Training Guide


Dog Bathing Help

Here’s a little help guide we’ve come up with for both tub-training your dog or puppy and for the actual bathing process itself. Bathing your dog can be a fun and bonding process for both parties concerned and so it’s best not to rush in and jump straight into the deep end! With a little love, patience and nurturing, you will find that a dog may learn to enjoy bath time and, if not, at least cooperate in the routine.


Make Bath Times Good Times!

dog hates bathsSome dogs find bath time to be an arduous affair and this attitude will then, inevitably, go on to be mirrored by their owners. The process of being restrained is bad enough for many dogs, but then to go on and be soaked and lathered can, and often does, cause some canine consternation! The secret in avoiding this, as with many training exercises, is to associate something good with what the dog would normally object to. If a routine can be established where the dog receives a reward of some kind immediately after bathing he will slowly learn to associate bath time with this prize. Food is an obvious example of such a reward: maybe the dog could receive a treat or his dinner soon after bath time. If not food, then maybe he could receive a new toy or be taken for a nice walk afterwards. There are many options available, but so long as the reward is constant and it is something that the dog really enjoys, he will slowly learn to view bath time as a precursor to a good time and should eventually cooperate more during the process.

When first introducing a puppy or dog to a bath, extra small treats can be given to help him through the stages of the process itself. At first try a dry run or two over the course of a few days: Place the dog in the empty bath; reward him with a treat and praise; and then take him out again. Build this routine up slowly to incorporate the faucet or shower being turned on without actually getting the pet wet, but then reward and praise again when this stage has been accomplished without any fuss. Finally, when you feel that your dog is ready, give him a quick, real bath with treats at the ready and the big reward waiting as mentioned in the above paragraph. Remain patient and calm through the stages whether they go well or otherwise. Remember that it might take time for your dog to adjust, but that the time spent at this point will eventually be paid back to you with interest in the form of quicker, quieter and less chaotic baths!

When your dog or puppy becomes used to and comfortable with his bath time then you can take the grooming process to the next level: getting him accustomed to being handled in the tub. This is a good thing to do whether you plan on always bathing him yourself or if, in the future, he will make visits to a professional dog groomer. He will grow to feel more relaxed as various parts of his body are manipulated and not view it as an ordeal. The way to achieve this is, as above, to get small treats and praise at the ready. Briefly check his paws, mouth, and ears, but follow each of these pretend inspections with the aforementioned praise and a treats. Restrain him momentarily from time to time and follow these occasions with more of the same. As he becomes use to these repeated events you can take the time to carry out your own real inspections and washes or, if he eventually visits a professional groomer, these kind of handling procedures will not feel so alien to him.

Dog Bathing Etiquette

Once your faithful friend has become accustomed to his bath it’s time to consider the cleaning process itself. The first thing to mention is that, obviously, all dogs are different, and some will need to get into the tub more often than others: some breeds develop oily coats quicker than others; some dogs spend more time outdoors than others; and some individuals are just naturally messier than others! It’s important not to bathe any dog too frequently, however, as this can lead to conditions such as itchy and/or flaking skin. Only bathe him when you feel he really needs it, and if you’re unsure as to how often your canine could do with cleansing, consult your vet.

Another important thing not to do is use a human shampoo or conditioner. Even if they are designed to be soft and gentle to a person’s skin it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will be similarly kind to a dog’s and might lead to itching and scratching. Instead, pick mild dog-specific shampoos and conditioners that will be less likely to wash away natural nutrients present in your dog’s coat and skin. Once again, ask your vet (or professional groomer) for recommendations if you are not sure what to use.

Whichever products you end up selecting have them close at hand, near the bath, with any other accoutrements you will need during the bathing period such as towels or bathing mitt etc. If your dog tub doesn’t already have a non-slip base place a rubber mat or an old towel down to prevent slipping. Now there are just two more things to consider before leading your dog to the tub and turning on the water – your dog’s ears! If possible insert cotton balls into them (not too far) in order to help soak up any excess moisture that might come their way. If your furry friend doesn’t approve of this then don’t force him, but do try and avoid getting any amount of water down into his ear canals during the bathing process.

After brushing your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove as much loose and potentially clogging hair as possible, it’s time to take the plunge! Make sure you test the water first for temperature – nothing hotter than lukewarm – and then begin by thoroughly wetting your dog with a sprayer, or by pouring water over him via a small container (watch those ears!). When your dog is suitably drenched apply the shampoo from his neck down and massage it into his coat. Try to avoid splashing the dog’s eyes and mouth. To wash around his head it is better to use a separate damp cloth than risking any stinging, soapy intrusions!dog treat after bath

After working hard at massaging the shampoo deep into your dog’s coat it’s time to rinse. This operation should be carried out with equal care to make sure that no possibly itchy shampoo residue is left behind. If you plan to use a conditioner then simply repeat the above as with the shampoo. If not, now it’s time to dry that dog! Whether you use absorbent towels or a blow dryer (always check its heat setting!) make sure your now clean four-legged friend is completely dry. Once satisfied, it’s time for praise and that big doggy treat he always receives for being so well behaved during bath time!

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