Dog bathing can prove to be quite the challenge for many dog owners, and is often postponed for as long as possible – with neither human or pet particularly enjoying the process.
But it’s a job that needs done, particularly if your pooch has rolled in something smelly, and online searches have doubled recently on how to do it properly.
And for those who find their dog hates the idea of hopping into the bathtub Martin Smith, owner of Showerstoyou.co.uk, has some specific advice, explaining: “For those dogs that hate being bathed, it is important to normalise the bathtub. Many of us wash dogs very infrequently to the point that dogs feel nervous about being bathed. However, you can attempt to use the bathroom and tub when it's dry as a feeding location - creating a positive association with being in or near the bathtub. Another tip that works well is to place a Licki mat in the bathtub so that the dogs can have a treat, and are distracted while in the bath.”
So, here’s how to correctly bathe a dog.
1. Clip your dog’s nails before bath time
Many dog owners forget that before bathing, it is important to check if nails need to be clipped. Long nails make it harder for dogs to have a good grip in the bath, and will often fall over, especially if they are a small breed such as a Yorkshire Terrier. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Brush your dog's hair before and after bathing
Remember to brush your dog’s hair before and after bathing. All dog breeds shed their hair, and it’s best to get rid of any excess dead hair before shampooing. Brushing your pet’s hair will also get rid of any matting and tangles before washing, making it a much easier and more pleasant experience for you and your dog. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Gently place cotton balls inside the ears before bathing
One of the things that dogs hate the most is getting water in their ears - hence shaking off mid-bath in an attempt to remove trapped water. This can be controlled by placing a small cotton ball inside your pet’s ears while bathing, providing your dog with a more pleasant bathing experience. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Wash your dog in lukewarm water - no more than 98.6°F
Always check the water temperature before wetting your dog. What feels warm enough on our skin tends to be over 100.4°F, and this is in fact too warm for your dog’s skin. Water temperature over 98.6°F can increase your pet’s heart rate too much, causing a strain, especially for puppies and older dogs. Photo: Canva/Getty Images