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Most dog parents think that dogs do not like taking a bath.
However, if done right, most dogs actually do not mind taking a shower or bath - and some even enjoy it a lot.
The most important thing is to train your dog to like taking a bath and to make the bathing experience less scary and stressful and more enjoyable!
This article covers these topics:
Here are some reasons why dogs do not like taking a bath and what you can do:
|Reasons||What You Can Do|
|They were not properly introduced to the idea of bathing||
|They do not like the slippery bathtub floor||
|They do not like soap in their eyes||
|They do not like water in their ears||
|They do not like cold water||
|They do not like the high-pitched sound of the hairdryer||
|They do not like the combing after the bath because the hair is tangled||
Here are some things that you need to give your dog a nice and relaxing bath:
Tip #1: If you have a young dog full of energy or a high-strung dog, exercise your dog before giving him a bath to tire him out.
Tip #2: If you are trying to re-educate your dog about the "fun" of bathing, use treats. Put treats where you can easily get to while bathing your dog and reward him when he behaves well during the bath.
Here's how to bathe a dog:
If you choose to use a blow dryer to dry your dog's hair, use it on the lowest setting and keep moving the blow dryer around to avoid irritating any particular area of the skin.
Some dog parents think that bathing makes a dog's skin dry and flaky. Don't worry. It doesn't. In fact, in most cases, the dog's skin actually improves if bathed on a regular basis AND if the correct shampoo is used.
Bathing is in fact a very good skin therapy for dogs with itchy and inflamed skin because by bathing and rinsing the coat, you are manually removing toxins and allergens from your dog's skin.
For dogs with skin allergies or with greasy coats, veterinarians suggest that frequent bathing is beneficial - as often as twice a week.
The bottom line? So long as you use a good shampoo, you can feel comfortable bathing your dog as often as is necessary - from once a week to once a month.
One easy way to decide when to have a bath is to observe your dog. If your dog starts scratching himself (i.e. starts feeling itchy) and his skin starts getting smelly and greasy, then a bath is definitely in order.
Choosing the right shampoo for your dog is important, and remember, never use human shampoos on your dog. Human shampoos are designed for a more acidic skin with many sweat glands and are often too harsh for dogs' skin.
Choose a natural dog shampoo that best meets the needs of your dog's skin conditions. Here are some suggestions (Affiliate links):
If your dog has no skin problems and you just want to use a gentle shampoo that is soothing, then here is one for you to try:
This shampoo (and conditioner) contains skin soothing and nourishing ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, aloe vera, and jojoba oil. Both the shampoo and conditioner are 100% free of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and paraben.
This herbal shampoo contains no Sodium Laurel Sulfate. Instead, it contains Aloe Vera, which is soothing, as well as lots of herbal oils that nourish the coat. Your dog's coat will be soft and supple and he will smell great as well!
Even if your dog is a magnet for ticks and fleas, you do not need to resort to shampoos that contain harsh chemicals to get rid of the bugs. Here is one that is natural but effective:
This herbal shampoo (and conditioner) contains a blend of flea/tick repelling herbs and essential oils (e.g. neem, lemongrass, citronella, and patchouli), as well as skin soothing and calming ingredients (e.g. organic aloe leaf, chamomile). All natural, non-toxic, and good smelling - what more do you want?
This shampoo contains neem oil which is inhospitable to biting insects such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. In addition, neem oil may help reduce the risk of infections, itching and dermatitis from insect bites.
Best of all, this shampoo does not contain DEET, pyrethrins or other synthetic pesticides and chemicals that are harmful to our pets.
If your dog has truly dry skin, try this natural oatmeal shampoo:
This shampoo contains colloidal oatmeal which is is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. It can draw out or soothe irritants and can be used for dryness and dandruff.
Dogs with sensitive, greasy and inflammed skin due to allergies can benefit from a natural anti-inflammatory shampoo such as this one:
This natural shampoo contains no artificial fragrance or colorings and is hypoallergenic. The shampoo can help speed the healing of itchy, inflammed skin and hot spots.
If you have a dog who is prone to skin irritations and inflammation, these natural dips are beneficial. Use any of these AFTER shampooing and rinsing your dog:
Pour the lemon water on your dog starting from the neck behind the ears all the way down the back (avoid the head and face). Rub it into the skin and towel dry (do not rinse). This dip can make your dog smell really great!
Note, however, that if your dog has a black coat, lemon can bleach the coat when your dog goes out in the sun. Therefore, if you don't want your black dog's coat to have red "highlights", avoid this dip.
Povidone iodine is an organic iodine solution that is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It is non-toxic and safe for use on dogs. You can get Betadine at any drugstore or online.
Mix one cup of Betadine with one gallon of water. Pour the solution on your dog starting from the neck behind the ears all the way down the back (avoid the head and face). Rub it into the skin and towel dry (do not rinse).
Sometimes it is just not possible to give your dog a bath. For example, maybe your dog is sick, or you are traveling with your dog, or you are just too busy...
That doesn't mean you can't keep your dog relatively clean and smelling nice!
In between baths, you can definitely give your dog a "bath" without water: