Tips on How To Give a Scared Dog a Bath

November 10, 2019 4 min read

Tips on How To Give a Scared Dog a Bath

As a dog parent, you try to do the best you can for your dog.

You purchase the best organic dog shampoo (4-Legger of course), feed your dog a fresh-food diet, take them on fun dog adventures, and even plan your family vacations around their well being.

But, when it comes time to give your dog a bath, some are, shall we say less than cooperative.

They may run outside or go hide when they see the tell tale signs of a bath in their near future. 

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. But there is hope for your dirty dog. 

5 Dog Bathing Essentials

Like most projects, the first step is to ensure you have the proper dog bathing essentials and tools.

Having the right equipment can not only speed up your dog's bath, but can make it easier on you and less stressful on your dog.

  1. 4-Legger Dog Shampoo. When you are looking for non-toxic and organic dog shampoo, reach for 4-Legger - the best organic dog shampoo available! 

  2. Hand-Held Shower Hose. The easiest way to get fresh water to the underside of your dog's belly is with a hand held shower hose. This makes wetting and rinsing your dog a cinch and saves time versus trying to dump cups of water up and under them.

  3. Nonskid Bath Mat. Having a secure surface to step on is crucial when giving your dog a bath, especially if your dog is afraid of the tub and his scrub-a-dub-dubs. When purchasing a nonskid bath mat for your dog, make sure it's big enough that if they moves around, they will still be on the mat.

  4. Healthy and Tasty Dog Treats. Another must have if you want to slowly condition your dog that his or her bath time is not scary. Cooked meats and dog safe fruits and veggies make great rewards for most dogs. Skip the processed dog treats and go straight to whole food treats. Not only will this be healthier for your dog, but fresh food tends to be a higher value treat in your dog’s eyes, too.

  5. Hollow Rubber Toy on a String. What? Take a strong string or small rope and tie a big knot on the end. Thread the string through the hole of the toy with the loop part coming out the top. Fill the toy with the meat paste or smashed up fruit or veggies and hang the toy on the bath faucet. This will allow your dog to lick the toy during his bath.

Using a Kong with meat treat in the bath tub

Helping Your Scared Dog Get a Bath

Now that your dog-friendly bath tub is all ready, it's time to prepare your dog for a fun and rewarding experience.

With a soothing voice, smile, and tasty treats, encourage your dog to walk into the bathroom. If this part worries him, practice this step three times a day and give him treats for walking into the bathroom. It's not going to be a bath day today. Continue this process daily until your dog no longer is afraid to go into the bathroom.

The next step is to continue your dog's walking path to the actual bath tub. Encourage getting close to the tub, sniff the tub, and provide treats during the process. What you are doing is gradually building up their association of walking in the bathroom, sniffing the tub, getting treats, and leaving. No bath, therefore, this process is all good and even tasty.

Each day and each lesson will build on your dog's confidence and eagerness to eventually get into the bathtub. Once your dog is voluntarily walking into the bathroom, sniffing the tub, it's time for the next step, into the tub!

Carefully lift your dog into the bathtub and place them on the non-skid mat. Give him lots of praise and treats as you gently talk to him or her and tell them how smart they are.  Continue to talk and share treats and praise.

If you think your dog is ready, show them the treat filled hanging toy and allow him to lick the toy. Once your dog is done eating the snacks, lift him out of the tub. Yes, still no water or bath at this time. Continue this training exercise once a day. Since they are getting a nice quantity of fresh meat or other healthy treat for training, you can cut back a bit on one of his meal portions. 

When you see that your dog is comfortably going into the tub and eating snacks, it's time for a little warm water. Before placing your dog into the tub, bring the handheld shower hose down. Once they are in the tub, happily eating the yummy treat, turn the water on warm and allow it to flow on the bottom. Remind your dog how handsome or beautiful they are and be sure to give out a few extra treat bites. If everyone is still happy, gently start hosing the feet and legs with the warm water. Continue to praise and offer him bites of treats. 

Gradually start to wet your dog's entire body down with the warm water.

Once they are comfortable with the baby steps, you can give a full bath using safe and non-toxic 4-Legger Certified Organic  dog shampoo! 

The important thing to remember is to go slow and steady. Don't rush your dog through the process. If at any time your dog seems stressed or panicked, stop.

It may seem like a long road ahead, but if you truly practice these steps daily, you'll make steady progress.  Dogs love routines and depend on consistency from their people.  If you don't practice, you and your dog will hate bath time, and that's not fun for either of you.

Of course, nobody wants to be around a stinky dog!

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