Whether you own a small dog or a big dog one thing can be agreed upon by dog owners whose pets hate baths. Nothing is more difficult than washing a dog that does not want to be cleaned.
I remember when I was in elementary school I was staying the weekend with my older sister who owned two dogs. One was a medium sized dog and the other was a small puppy. She brought me to the local pet store that had big bath tubs where people could come and wash their dogs or cats. When my sister put the first dog into the bath washing him was not easy, he was crying, squirming, and trying to jump out.
Once we got through washing him my sister was ready to wash the smaller puppy. Since he was small she figured he would be easier to hold and quicker to wash. She was wrong. I watched her struggle to get a hold of this puppy who was now slippery enough to escape the grip of her hands. As he raced around this large bathtub I remember her saying, “Oh my god he’s worse than Max! It is like trying to wash a rat!” It was in this experience that I discovered no matter the size of the dog, if he or she doesn’t want to be washed then they will do everything they can to get out of that bath.
If you have seen AirBud I am sure we all enjoy that scene of Josh Framm trying to wash Buddy in the bathtub while “Splish Splash” is playing as bubbles fly everywhere as the dog escapes the tub and rampages through the house. It was arguably the cutest and funniest scene of the whole movie. But, when you are experiencing it in real life it is a wet and tiresome battle. I am a lover of big dogs and have owned my share of dogs who don’t like baths and those who do so I understand the struggle of washing a dog who hates water.
So, to help my fellow dog washers I have compiled a helpful list of 6 tips to make washing your pup that much easier.
- To tub or not to tub? – If you have a smaller dog then washing them in the bathtub is probably the easiest choice. You can just pick them up and plop them in the tub. However, if you have a medium to large dog this choice might not always be the easiest. Try shoving an 80 pound Pitbull into a bathtub, it is not fun. But, if your dog likes baths this probably won’t be a big issue and they might be happy to jump right in. on the other hand, if your dog hates baths you might consider washing the dog in the backyard or front yard. I usually tie my dog’s leash to the tree out front my house when I wash him. Doing this could save you from a lot of sweat and scratches.
- This is an easy one, make sure you get the right shampoo. What is the right shampoo? I’ve included a list of the 7 best dog shampoos for any situation from PetCareRx’s website.
All Natural Shampoo
1. Ark Naturals Neem Protect Shampoo
2. Richards Organics Deodorizing Shampoo
Heavy Duty Shampoo
3. Triple Strength Dirty Dog Concentrated Shampoo
4. VF Clinical Care Oatmeal And Tea Tree Oil Infuser Shampoo
5. Vets Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo
White Hair Shampoo
6. Bayer ExpertCare Healthy Coat Brightening Shampoo
7. Groomer’s Blend Ultra White Shampoo
- Stock your station! – There’s nothing more frustrating than realizing you left the towels in the other room. As you’re forced to leave to fetch them you hear the sound of your dog jumping out of the tub and landing right on your clean bed. If you’re washing your dog outside this should be less of an issue.
- Use a three-towel trick. – Use one towel on the bottom on the tub to be used for traction to prevent slipping. The second is to be draped over your dog between washes or before rinsing to prevent him from shaking and soaking you and the walls. The third is the drying towel. A big dog might need more than one.
- Go warm on the water.
- Fill the tub before you bring in the dog. The sound of the water running adds stress to a dog who already doesn’t want to be bathed. If you’re washing your dog outside, what I always do is fill up two buckets of warm water to wash my dog.
I hope this has helped made bath time a little easier on you and your dog. Make sure to reward your dog with plenty of BarkBox treats after their bath and check out our other posts on grooming.