8 Steps to Relieve Bath time Anxiety in Your Dog
It’s time to give your dog a wash. Your towels are ready, as is the dog shampoo, and you have everything you need except for your dog, who is hiding under the bed. It’s not only you who dislikes bathing. Your dog isn’t the only one that dislikes taking a bath. You may, however, improve the experience for both of you by making a few changes to your bathing regimen.
Here are some suggestions for dogs who dread bathing but yet need them:
1. Bring your dog’s bath with you inside
There are two major reasons why your dog is afraid of outdoor baths. What about the water in the hose, first and foremost? Freezing. This is most unpleasant on a chilly day, but your dog may be too cold even in the summer.
Keep your dog on a leash if he or she likes bathing or if the temperature is above 90 degrees. The dread is heightened by forcing your dog to remain in a terrible environment.
Moving your bath indoors, into a bathtub, shower stall, or even a sink, allows you to adjust the temperature of your water as needed while still respecting the natural curves of the room to ensure that your pet remains in place.
2. The cushion will be handy because the tub’s floor is smooth
Your dog probably dislikes bathing since it is a sensory experience for him. Dogs dislike bathing in a bathtub, shower stall, or sink. On slick, damp flooring, they are shaky. Humans are no different. If you’ve ever slid out of the shower, you know how painful and frustrating it can be.
Before you begin your bath, place a mat or cloth on the floor of your tub to prevent your dog from falling. Sure, the towel will become wet, but your dog will be safer.
3. Use anything else to divert your dog’s interest
Before you begin, give your dog a nice taste of peanut butter or baby food to help him feel that bath time doesn’t have to be so traumatic. (If the thought of a peanut butter-filled restroom does not appeal to you, pick up a Lick mat to sprinkle food on instead.)
Treats may be consumed by your dog if he or she is motivated by them.
4. You are not required to utilize the showerhead or faucet
The sound of water dripping from the shower head or faucet may be fairly audible. Loud sounds startle a lot of pets. In fact, if your dog dislikes bathing, it may be the noises of bath time that frightens them rather than the water itself.
Rather than running the faucet while washing your pet, fill a bucket ahead of time and then pour the water over your pet as required.
5. Use a shampoo that is mild and fragrance-free
Strong-smelling soaps can overpower dogs, giving them noses 40 times stronger than ours. Choose one that is mildly or not at all scented and is made exclusively for dogs. Never give your dog human shampoo or body wash.
6. Examine the water temperature
The water temperature inside may be too hot for your dog, just as it may be too cold outdoors. Make sure the water is not too hot for a nice bath.
7. Desensitization and counterconditioning can be used to calm down scared bathers
If your dog is already averse to washing, you’ll need to go all-in.
Desensitization or counterconditioning can gradually change a dog’s emotional reaction to bathing from dread to acceptance.
Begin by rewarding your dog with tasty goodies just for approaching the tub. You may reward them with a dry tub after they are familiar with this and calm. Then, immediately turn the water off and on again, or gently pour water over it. Then give yourself a prize.
If you need assistance, contact a qualified positive-reinforcement trainer or a veterinary behaviorist. The key to these strategies is to begin slowly and gradually reintroduce washing and toileting to your dog. More information on this procedure may be found in the AKC’s study of it in response to the owner of a Norwegian elkhound whose dog refuses to be washed.
8. Things is preferable to leave it to the experts
If washing your dog is causing you and your dog stress, consider expert assistance. A dog groomer may come to your home and work with your bath-loving pet. Not only will your dog get a new smell, but he will also get a trim and haircut.