No one likes a stinky dog. But some dog parents avoid bathing their dogs because their dogs hate water, making bath time a real chore. With some simple training, as well as in-between help from alternatives like dry shampoo for dogs and dog wipes, your dog will be clean in no time.
How to get your dog to like baths
Janet Rabbie, professional groomer and owner of Wow Grooming and Groomingdales, has a few tips to help your dog like baths:
- Have everything ready and within arms reach so you can focus on your dog.
- Help your dog feel secure by using a nonslip mat in the tub. Tether your dog on a leash or have someone hold him.
- Make sure the water is not too hot or too cold; warm to the touch is ideal.
- Use treats to reward calm/good behavior. Smearing peanut butter on the tub wall works great. For example, this enrichment mat from Soda Pup has suction cups that stick to the sink or bath wall to distract and calm your dog during the bath.
- Be careful to not get soap in his eyes or water in his ears.
- Don’t pour water directly over his head.
Dry shampoo and dog bath wipes
You may find that your dog needs more time to get used to a bath before he can have a full one. These products are not substitutes for a bath, but they are good options for a quick refresh. Janet suggests the following products to bathe a dog who hates water:
- A damp cloth works on dogs with very short hair
- Dog bath wipes work on dogs with a bit longer coat. Some have scent to freshen up your dog. Janet recommends using Animology Clean Sheet Wipes as they are jumbo-sized and robust. Another grooming wipe to try is Earthbath grooming wipes or Jax & Cali Paw and Body Wipes
- Dry dog shampoos work on all lengths of coat. Janet recommends Hownd dry shampoo.
- Swap the liquid shampoo, which requires a lot of time to rinse out, and try a waterless shampoo like Rinseless Shampoo spray by Wild One.
Or a fast acting foaming shampoo like this Vetericyn Foamcare Pet Shampoo.
Keeping it positive, going slow and using alternative products for dog bathing for quick clean ups will help turn your dog who hates baths into a true water dog.