Even though a lot of dogs love going for a swim, trying to convince your hound that a bath is not the worst thing in the world can take some doing. Even so, dogs require regular bathing to keep their skin and coat healthy as well as keeping them from stinking up the house. Here’s a few tips to get you through the preparation, actual bathtime, and what to do afterwards.
Make sure there is a mat on the bottom of the tub, or at least a towel your dog can stand on to avoid losing their balance. If they are already nervous, they may be more prone to slipping. That will only make things worse.
Brush your dog before the bath. This will keep the fur from clumping and help get a better cleaning.
Have your supplies ready to go and close at hand. Shampoo, a bowl to pour water over your dog, and multiple towels need to be within easy reach or else you’ll have a wet dog running around the bathroom as you try to pull things together.
Fill the tub with warm water. Then turn the faucet off. If your dog is already scared of baths, keeping the water running throughout will stress them even more.
When it comes time to get your hound in the tub, lead them there with treats and encouragement. Use a leash if you have to, but it can be better to help your dog decide that the bath is a good idea, rather than forcing them.
Wet the dog completely, shampoo them from neck to toe (avoid their face - soap in the eyes or ears is not good), then start pouring water over them to rinse the shampoo off. You may need to drain the tub to get the dirty water out and refill it. Make sure to block the drain with something like steel wool to catch fur.
When it is time to dry off, completely wrap your dog in a towel and get as much water off as you can. Use a different towel for their legs, face, and tail if needed. It may help to use a blowdryer (on the cool setting) or a fan, if your dog will tolerate it.
Give plenty of treats and encouragement afterwards. Make sure your dog is totally dry before letting them back outside - you’d hate for your hard work to go to waste!
Bathing a dog isn’t quite the ordeal that kitty bath time can be, but it can still be a stressful experience. Follow these tips to keep your dog (and house) clean and smelling good. Even with regular bathtime, that “dog smell” can still sink into carpet and furniture. Keep a supply of a heavy duty cleaner and odor eliminator, like Bio-nihilator, on hand to help out when needed.