• Louise Kyei-Balffour

How to bathe your dog in 3 simple steps

Cheat sheet guide to washing your dog!

Maybe this is your first time, maybe it's not, but for most of us dog baths are a messy experience. Here are 3 steps to getting your dog to love his baths again.

The reason we struggle to get our dogs in tubs. It's simple, bath's are not natural to them. Think about it, soap is not a natural occuring substance in the wild. Their idea of cleaning themselves is licking. If you ever spot a wolf in the woods and he's wet its because he took a dip in the lake or it was raining. But water and soap. It's unatural.

So how do we convince our dogs it's not so alien? How do we let them know it's a good thing.

Through the power of positive reinforcement. Let's make this fun!

Step 1 Start by luring them into the bathroom with some irresistable treats. I'm talking about real smelly bacon and cooked meats. This process will let them get re-introduce them to the area, and associate it as a great place to be. Do this when you don't have to wash your dog, as rushing them can make them want to run in the other direction. Make sure to let your dog do this in his own time. Leave the bathroom door open so she doesn't feel trapped. Once your dog is comfortable accepting treats from you in the bathroom, move on to the next step.

Step 2 Getting them in the bathtub.

Now that you have practiced bring your dog into the bathroom, and she no longer fears the room itself. The next step is to get her into the tub. If you have a small dog simply hoist them up allow them to stand on the edge, gently nudge her into the tube or drop a few tasty bacon treats for her, to jump in herself and eat. Larger dogs might need a bigger helping hand. I suggest you use the same smelly treats in the tub and let him jump in after them. Repeat these steps untill your dog is happy to jump in the bath.

Tip. Watch out for whale eyes. This is when the eyes are large enough that you can see the whites in them.

Step 3 Add the water.

Now it's time to bathe, your dog. Repeat step 1 & 2, giving them lots of praise while they do it. Once your fur baby is in the bath, fill up a bowl or jug with luke warm water. (No plugs) start washing the paws and work your way up. Don't forget to give your dog lots of treats while you do this. Lot's of praise goes a long way, dogs love to be fussed about when they're doing a good job, so tell them how well they are doing.

Did you know that if a dog exessively licks their lips, it means they are uncomfortable with what's going on around them?

Tip. If your pup at any point starts licking his lips and averting his eyes. STOP what your doing, and wait for him, to calm down again. Pushing your dog too soon to do something he already doesn't like, will make him not trust you making your job 10x harder beacuse you have to rebuild that trust again.

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