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Handy Tips and Bathing Tricks for Dogs that Hate Taking a Bath

Bath Time

It’s common knowledge that some dogs absolutely hate taking baths, and unfortunately, my dog is one of them. My little Shi-Tzu puts up such a fight that it sounds like I’m trying to drown him during his bath. I usually end up needing a bath myself by the time I’m finished washing him! I’ve often thought that washing my cat would be an easier task – until I learned a few tips and tricks.

After giving dozens of baths to my difficult dog who hates taking baths, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for washing dogs that are afraid of water. If your dog hates taking baths and would rather smell like a sweaty old shoe than take a monthly bath, give these tips a try. These helpful tips and handy tricks will make bath time easier for all concerned, and in time your dog that hates baths may even begin to cooperate once he realizes you’re not trying to drown him!

Don’t Make Bath Time a Big Ordeal

Announcing that it’s bath time is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if your dog hates taking a bath. Using the word bath will warn him of the impending activity. It’s best to get the shampoo, towels, and any other supplies you need before taking your dog into the bathroom or to the laundry tub, and it’s best not to mention a bath. After getting everything together, remove the dog’s collar, and carry him or guide him into the room without making a big production. If you act the least bit excited or agitated, he’ll think he should be worried, and he’ll try to escape before you even turn on the water.

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Find a Helper

If your dog hates taking a bath, by all means don’t try to bathe him alone. Find a volunteer who will hold the dog still while you shampoo and rinse his coat. A small dog that hates taking a bath can be kept in the tub by holding his two front paws while he stands on his two back legs, and a larger dogs can be held with one hand on the shoulder area and one hand on the rump. If necessary, keep a collar on the dog during bath time. This will give you or your helper something to hold onto should the dog try to jump out of the tub.

Don’t Fill the Tub

Many dogs that hate taking baths are simply afraid of the ever rising water. When the water is running, your dog doesn’t know you plan on eventually shutting it off. For all he knows the water will keep rising, and he’ll have to fight to stay afloat. Worse yet, he may think you plan on holding him under the water.

Instead of filling the tub, even with just a few inches of water, keep the drain open. With the water running, wet the dog’s coat with a cup, or invest in a hose that attaches to the faucet. The bath will be less frightening, and your dog that hates baths will eventually realize there’s really nothing to fear, especially if you constantly praise him and reward him with a treat.