The water is running. The doggie shampoo is lined up on the bathtub shelf. You’re all ready for Rover’s bath — but unfortunately he is cowering under the toilet and seems to have grown about five more legs when you try and pull him your way. Dogs are masters at avoiding the bathtub, but with all the gross, smelly things they like to roll in bathtime is a necessary evil. How can you help your dog dread it less?
Wear Him Out
A tired dog is less likely to have the energy to fight you super hard, so get yours worn out before trying to get him in the bathtub. Grab those grey tennis balls from the drawer and spend an afternoon at the dog park. Let him run, run, run the energy out so that when it’s bathtime he will be too tired to care — and might even enjoy the massage after hard play!
Our canine friends are a lot like toddlers in many ways. They can sense your energy and mood, so be overly enthused when you’re trying to coax your dog into the tub. Praise him and give him belly rubs as the water fills up to try and ease his anxiety.
- Also like toddlers, dogs love toys. Bring his favorite toys into the bathtub with him! Having something to distract him might make him less anxious and feel more comfortable.
- What is a better way to a dog’s heart than through his tummy? Start feeding your dog in the bathtub (when it’s dry, of course) so that he makes positive associations with it. During bathtime, have a few treats on standby to reward him for good behavior.
It can be majorly difficult to give a stubborn dog a bath, but there are methods that can help. Be patient and loving with your pal; he would do the same for you!