Some dogs are wonderful bathers, right? They step into the tub willingly, and are patient throughout the shampoo, the rinse and the toweling off. They may shake some water in your face, but mostly, they are on their best behavior. Some dogs may even look forward to washing up time, like Lena the Rottweiler, the star of this YouTube video below, who can’t get enough of the shower.

If your dog is one of these special sweethearts, consider yourself lucky. Because bath time looks very different in some dog homes.

At DogWatch, we’ve known a fair number of pups who are definitely not fans of the bath. Case in point, this pup.

Ok, so we’ve never heard a dog like this one in real life, but you get the idea. Bath time can be stressful for a dog and his people, but it helps keep your pup (and your house!) clean and healthy. To make the process a little bit easier for everyone, here are a few tips.

Dog in bathtub

  • For puppies and dogs unfamiliar with bathing regularly, start slowly. Get the dog used to the feeling of being wet and the process of moving into and out of the bathtub before you attempt a full bath.
  • Make sure the bath water is lukewarm, and not too deep (3 to 4 inches max).
  • If your dog is acting up in the bath, try introducing a toy into the water to keep their attention focused. Be sure to praise good behavior with a treat and a “good boy.”
  • Pay careful attention so as not to get water in the dog’s eyes, ears or nose.
  • Use a dog shampoo rather than human shampoo, which can dry out your dog’s skin and cause excessive itching.
  • End bath time with treats, toys and encouragement. You want your dog to associate bathing with something enjoyable!

For more bath time survival tips, check out this detailed and informative article from ASPCA. With time and proper encouragement, your dog may grow to love – or at least tolerate – the bath. He may never stop making those classic sad wet puppy faces, though. That look may be here to stay.

Video credits: “Lena the Rottweiler LOVES to take showers!” by Life with Oz the Rottweiler via YouTube and “Wet Dog” by Talking Animals via YouTube
Featured Image: “Pitiful” by latteda is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Image is cropped.
Image credit, bottom right: “cosmo’s bath” by Ginny is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.