How to bathe a dog

When we attend a plumbing job, our clients’ dogs will often give us a wonderful, tail-waggling greeting at the door. But as soon as our furry friends learn that we’re there for a bath installation or repair, they’ll suddenly decide to keep their distance.

Most dogs hate bath time, and we’ve seen our fair share of canine damaged bathrooms, wherein a dog has clawed away at a bathtub’s paint and knocked shower fittings out of place, just because their owner wanted to get some mud of their paws.

However, cleaning your dog doesn’t always have to involve calling out a repairs person. These are our damage-reducing tips on how to bathe a dog.

Create positive associations

Baths are stressful for dogs because they have to be restrained in a slippery space, submerged in water, and manoeuvred in ways that are unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable.

The key to easing this stress is to teach your dog that bathing involves some pretty awesome aspects too! Try rewarding your dog with some culinary treats, a brand new chew toy, or a trip to their favourite park immediately after they’ve had their bath. With repetition, your dog will learn that a bath can also be something to look forward to.

Slowly does it

Remember, making your dog feel comfortable around the bathtub will take time, so it’s worth slowly introducing the concept by taking your dog in the bathroom and running the taps for a few days before you give her or him a bath. Bring in some toys to keep them entertained and encourage them to play with the bubbles so the entire process just feels like playtime.

Also, do pay attention to your own voice and body language. Dogs are emotionally intuitive – so if you’re frustrated, they will be too – which is why it’s always best to maintain a positive mindset whilst bathing your pet.

Start young

The best time to teach a dog that bathing doesn’t have to be chaotic is when they are a puppy, so get your four legged friend accustomed to grooming from a young age.

Tips for an easy grooming session:

  • Put a bath mat or towel in the tub to avoid your dog slipping
  • Comb their hair prior to their bath to prevent loose hair blocking your drain
  • Use a dog shampoo – human shampoos may burn your dog’s skin and create painful conditions
  • Always ensure the bathwater is lukewarm – if it’s too hot or too cold, you could seriously hurt your dog
  • Towel dry your dog and put on the heating so they are not left shivering

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