Most dogs can't stand baths, as they associate the experience with being restrained or coerced into something they don't want to do. Add in scented bubbles and you've got one unhappy animal. Bypass this response completely with a few easy steps.
To get started, you'll need a tub or a closed shower. Some people use their own, while others choose to buy a special grooming tub.
Small dogs can be bathed in kitchen or laundry room sinks, which will take enormous strain off of your back and knees, too! If it's hot outside during the summer months, why not take your dog outside for a garden hose variety bath?
Next, if you're using a tub with a slick surface, you'll definitely to put down a towel or non-skid material. Give your dog a stable place to put their paws and they'll feel much calmer about the whole thing.
Some owners want to ensure that water and soap don't get into their dog's ears, so think about putting a cotton ball near the entrance of the ear canal. You shouldn't really be scrubbing their head with soap anyway (unless absolutely necessary), but if you must: be gentle!
Because you'll be focused on cleaning and scrubbing your pup's fur and paws, get a trusted helper to keep them calm. Many dogs panic because they can't see what's going on behind them, so having a friend nearby will be a tremendous help (a friend who can also give them treats)!
After the bath--regardless of behavior--give your dog a favorite treat or toy. The Pavlovian Theory will work wonders, and they will start to associate 'bath time' with a great time!
As always, it's best to get your dog accustomed to the bathtub when it's a puppy. If not, take our advice and good luck with your happy, shiny dog!
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