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Getting Your Dog Comfortable in the Tub

Posted by Awesome Doggies

dog-pet-grooming-san-diegoAlthough most dogs love taking a swim in the lake or running through sprinklers on a hot summer day, these same dogs sometimes cower in fear at the thought of taking a bath.  Managing to consistently get your dog in the tub is a real challenge for many pet owners.  As tricky as this is, your fur child should never go without a regular bath schedule.

Washing your dog has many benefits beyond just keeping them clean.  Baths also ensure your dog's skin and coat stay healthy and free of insects and parasites. Many skin issues can be avoided by implementing a proper bath schedule. However, how do you get your dog clean when they seem to hate it? These top bath tips have helped dog owners around the country.

Pick a Regular Spot

Establishing familiar habits will simplify matters for both your and your dog. This is true when planning your dog's bath time.  By picking a familiar spot and using it every time, your allow your dog the security of a good habit.  They will be familiar with the spot and know what to expect.  Pick your spot based on your dog's size.  Smaller pooches can use a sink or laundry tub.  Larger dogs do well either in a bathtub, shower, or outside.  Some pet stores and vet offices offer specially designed dog bathtubs. These are a good option if you can't decide on a specific place. 

Be Prepared

Bathtime becomes a nightmare for both you and your dog when supplies are missing or unprepared.  Once you start the bath, the goal is to finish as efficiently as possible.  This is only possible when all your supplies are ready and in easy reach. Before beginning the bath, lay out all the towels, shampoo, and extra supplies you know you will need.  This eliminates the hassle and frustration of leaving your dog sopping wet and restless while you search for supplies.  

Make it Fun!

As people, we are far more likely to do something again if we feel it was an enjoyable experience.  Our fur children are no different.  By making baths as fun and enjoyable as possible, we increase the likelihood that they will enjoy it the next time.  Before getting started, offer rewards like treats and praise to put them at ease. This will help them form good memories and associations with the bathing process. Keep the fun going by adding a bath toy to keep things fun and relaxed.    Toys may be the key to showing your dog that bathtime isn't scary.  

Keep it Comfortable

Details such as water temperature, bath location, and time all play an important part in how comfortable your dog is during their bath.  Always check the water and ensure that it's a comfortable lukewarm temperature.  Cold water from garden hoses or scalding showers ensure your dog will hate the bath.  Their comfort is your priority! If your dog feels comfortable and at ease during the bath, you greatly simplify the process for the future.  Also, keep the bath as quick and efficient as possible.  Most dogs feel restless and impatient during bathtime.  Keep it brief and to the point.  This reduces the chance that your dog will try a messy escape plan.

Be Loving

Baths should never feel like a punishment or give your dog the impression that you are angry with them.  When performed properly, bathtime is a special bonding opportunity for you and your dog.  During the bath, frequently offer praise and rewards for good behavior. Talk to your dog and offer praise.  They easily sense your tone of voice and body language. If you are at easy and comfortable, they will be as well. Even if your dog behaves badly at first, stay patient.  Their behavior will improve with practice.

dog-pet-grooming-san-diegoBe Realistic

If even after practice and patience, your dog still avoids bathtime and becomes obviously distressed, seek professional assistance.  Professional dog groomers are specially trained to put nervous dogs at ease.  A Professional groomer is especially helpful if your dog has high-maintenance hygiene needs that are beyond your time and skills.  Extremely thick or shaggy coats can be tricky to keep clean and free of snarls.  For breeds such as Poodles, Maltese, and Yorkies, professional grooming is often the best route.  Other services are often available such as nail care, eye and ear cleaning, and expressing the anal glands.  These are valuable hygiene aspects to keep your dog healthy and clean.  


Although your dog may struggle with baths, practice and routine are extremely helpful in eliminating their anxiety and discomfort.  Dogs who once dreaded bath time can become calm and happy when applying these helpful tips. For more information on your dog's grooming needs or to schedule a special first-time appointment, please contact us.  Ask about our "Happiness Guarantee;" We promise your dog will not only leave clean but happy as well.

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As San Diego mobile groomers for over 10 years, we know how to pamper and groom dogs & cats of all breeds... from a simple bath to a total makeover. Our mobile pet grooming salon is a calm, soothing environment your furry baby will love. Have a grubby pet? What are you waiting for?

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