Bath time can be a challenge for dog owners everywhere. But why do dogs hate baths? In this article, we'll take a look at a few reasons why dogs don't like baths.
5 Reasons why dogs don't like baths
Why do dogs hate baths? Dogs hate baths because they're confined to a small area (the bathtub), can't secure their footing in the bath, or don't like the smell of shampoo. Let's take a deeper look.
Some dogs have severe anxiety and nervousness. These dogs hate baths and everything about bath time. Professional training is an option for these dogs.
Other dogs have general anxiety that isn't as severe, but can cause a problem during bath time.
Our calming treats are a popular option in dealing with general anxiety. They can be great for bath time, vet visits, and the groomers.
Most dogs like to run around and be free. During bath time, their freedom is limited. Some pet owners suspect their dogs hate bath time because of claustrophobia.
Does this sound like your dog? You can give your dog baths outside to help (as long as it isn't too cold).
3. Smell of shampoo
Pet parents have reported their dogs don't like the smell of shampoo. Our dogs love the natural scent of their fur and coat.
Additionally, some shampoos can cause skin irritations. Be sure to check the ingredients of any products you use on your furry friends.
Shampoos do a great job in covering up their natural smell. Most dominant and alpha dogs hate having their odor covered up. If this sounds like your dog, you can try a more natural scent.
4. Bath temperature
No one likes when their bath is too hot or too cold. And our dogs are the same!
Make sure you have the right water temperature before your dog gets into the bath. If the water temperature is too hot, your dog is at risk of burning their skin. Too cold and they'll jump right out.
5. Water pressure
Most dogs love jumping in puddles and lakes but still hate the bath. One explanation is the water pressure. They might not like the shower head or faucet.
Instead of the shower head, try using a bucket and slowly pouring it over your dog's head and body.
How to bathe a dog that hates water
Here are a few tips to help bathe a dog who hates water and bath time.
1. Never spray water in their face or ears
To clean your dog's face, use a wet cloth instead of spraying their eyes and nose with water.
2. Use a rubber bath mat
Bath mats are great for stabilizing your dog's footing. When they slip and slide, they become anxious and will want to leave the area.
3. Use lukewarm water
It's best to use the normal temperature you would use for yourself, but then turn it down just a bit. This makes for the perfect water temperature.
Your dog won't need the temperature as high as humans because of their fur.
4. Let the water drain
Keep the drain open while running the water. Most dogs love swimming but during bath time, they don't like the water filled up and prefer it to drain.
Additionally, their skin may become irritated by the soapy water.
5. Speak softly and praise your dog
Be kind and gentle with your dog. The less stress they experience the more likely they'll be to return happily to bath time.
6. Use a toy to distract your dog
Distract your dog by playing with a toy before turning the water on.
7. Rinse your dog's fur
Your dog is finally in the bath and now it's time to take advantage of the opportunity. The majority of your time should be spent rinsing your dog's fur.
8. Dry your dog
Completely drying your dog after bath time is essential. Wet dogs can begin to smell after bathing even if you've used enough shampoo.
Dogs hate baths for a number of reasons. It's important to be gentle during bath time while making it a welcoming environment. After a few successful baths, your dog might warm up to the idea of bathing and not cause such a fuss.
To learn more about your dog's hygiene and bath time, check out our article, "Signs Your Dog Needs a Bath"