Okay dog moms — are you ready to bathe your dog at home without it ending in disaster? You probably all know how it usually goes. Either your dog has been rolling around in the mud after a rainy day or digging up the garden bed, or heck, maybe it’s just been a while and you realize they’re starting to stink! The time will eventually come, where you have to give your dog a bath. The dreaded bath. The moment that you and your dog’s eyes meet and you have to say the excruciating words to them — it’s time for a bath!
They typically scamper away in fear…or put their head down immediately. You’re faced with the moment where you try to coax them into the bathroom with treats — or you have to chase them down and guide them into the tub.
Either way, it’s never a fun time for either participant. So the question is — how can we dog moms make bath time a better experience for our pups? While it won’t always (or ever) be a smooth process, we’ve pulled together our top tips for how to bathe a dog at home in a way that makes it a more comforting experience for them.
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1. Preparation is key when you bathe a dog at home
There are a lot of items you may need to give your dog a bath. You also need to be prepared with what all you’re planning to do while they’re in the bath. Is it a simple shampoo and rinse bath? Are you planning to clip their nails while they’re in there? Do you need to have your dog grooming comb at the ready?
Make sure you’ve gone through your mental checklist of what you want to accomplish during this time. Once you have that in order, then it’s time to get everything in place. You want to make this experience as quick and painless for your pup, so making sure that you have everything you need in place ahead of time is crucial to make bath time a bit smoother.
The most basic items you need to have prepared is dog shampoo and a dog brushing comb. These two items are the most basic needs to get your pup feeling clean and fresh, especially if they’re covered in dirt. Our favorite shampoo is Pro Pets All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner because it uses all-natural ingredients and is vet recommended.
Another essential (and awesome) item to really get your dog clean is a silicone bath grooming brush like this one which not only massages your dog to help them relax, but works extremely well to clean down to their skin without harming them.
And when all is said and done, you’ll need to dry your pup off. Having a towel prepared and at the ready for the moment you’re done will be key to your dog not jumping out the moment you look away. We love this microfiber dog towel that’s not only soft, but ultra-absorbent so your dog can be done and out of the bathroom in no time.
2. Make your tub non-slip
One of the biggest fears your dog may have when they get in the tub is the instability they feel being on slippery surface. It can often add to the anxiety of your dog when they’re on a surface they’re not used to. Especially since they have nails that make it harder to grip a surface that’s smooth like a tub.
To make your tub non-slip, there are some great, affordable products out there that you can buy to place on the bottom of your tub. One of our favorites is this non-slip bath mat that adheres to the bottom of your tub with suction cups. This bath mat will help add texture and grip to the tub so your dog can feel more comfortable knowing they won’t be sliding around during bath time. Not to mention, it comes in 9 different colors to you can find the perfect match for your bathroom decor.
3. Bring treats and toys into the tub
Sort of like you would for a toddler, right?! Your dog doesn’t like bath tub, so you need to help ease their mind by occupying it with treats and toys. This will help them to feel more inclined when the next bath time rolls around and they (finally) willingly oblige to take a bath.
Luckily for us dog moms, there are some awesome bathroom toys and treats that help calm your dog during bath time. One of our absolute favorites is this bath bone that helps relieve anxiety by keeping your dog occupied while you bathe them. This toy suctions to the side of a bath tub and you can put a sweet treat like peanut butter on it to ease your dog’s worry.
You can also bring in some of your dog’s favorite treats like these triple flavor dog treat kabobs that offer a premium treat and long lasting entertainment during bath time. Making your life a lot easier for those who decide to bathe a dog at home!
4. Exercise before bath time
One of the best ways to calm your dog’s panic during bath time is to make sure they’re thoroughly worn out before you start. You can take your dog on a 30-minute walk or play fetch in the backyard to help burn off all of their excess energy. Another great way is to give your dog an interactive puzzle toy that gives them mental stimulation that is equivalent to exercise. These dog puzzle toys also help to reduce your dog’s anxiety because it offers them a challenge to solve which will wear them out easier.
Learning how to bathe a dog at home isn’t always a walk in the park, but these 4 pro tips for dog moms will help make bath time a little easier for dogs who become anxious at the site of water. By making sure that you’re prepared with everything you need before you start, you’ll save time and be able to keep an eye on your dog to calm them. You can help ease their worry during the fearful time by making the tub non-slip and easier for your pup to grasp. Be sure to grab some of their favorite toys and treats to keep them occupied during their bath time. This will help ease their mind and make them less focused on trying to escape. Lastly, make sure you pup is worn out before bath time! This will make it easier for them to be calm and less aggressive when trying to get them clean.
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