Does your dog need a bath?

Yesterday I helped a friend of mine bathe her two dogs. It reminded me of a few tips that can be handy when giving a dog a bath.

  • Have everything ready before you start, like towels, shampoo, conditioner and treats. This prevents you from needing to leave a wet dog to plot his escape while you fumble for things you need.
  • Before you begin, put a cotton ball in each ear (the dog’s ears, please!). This prevents water from entering the ear canals, which can elicit a full body shake midway through the bath, which is messy and inconvenient, and slows down the whole process.
  • Wet, wash and rinse the whole dog except for the neck on up. Save that for the very end. That prevents the dog shaking, too.
  • I like to teach my dogs to do a full body shake on cue. That way at the end of bath time, when the dog is clean but dripping wet, I can cue “shake!” while they are still in the tub. That prevents water from getting all over the walls, ceiling and floor.
  • Finally, create a pleasant association with bath time by pairing it with praise and treats.

When I asked my friend what treats she had brought, she replied, “Cheeseburgers.” My response was, “Cheeseburgers? Holy cow!” to which she replied, “they are only the kiddie cheeseburgers, not regular sized.” (Well, thank goodness, who knows what they would think if they got regular sized!) Needless to say, not every dog will require a cheeseburger, but you can be sure both of her dogs willingly stayed in the tub for their baths.

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