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How to Bathe a Dog Who Hates Baths

How to Bathe a Dog Who Hates Baths

Is it a struggle to get your pet into the bath? Here are some tips that can help.

Having a pet dog is lovelier than one can express. There’s a reason a canine is called a man’s best friend. Even so, there can be trying times between you and him. For instance, bath time can be an ordeal. If you’re wondering how on earth to bathe a dog who hates baths, consider the following ideas.

Tire Him Out

The first step to getting your dog into the bathtub is by tiring him out. Take your dog on a long, pleasant walk or play with him indoors or out. Dogs will naturally want to cool off and get refreshed afterward, so a bath would be welcoming.

Have a Positive Attitude

Associate bath time with an exciting, good time. It’s an event your dog could even look forward to. Your pet can sense your feelings, so if you have a hesitant, dreading, or negative attitude toward this event, it will naturally feel the same way.

Introduce Water Gradually

Ideally, you’ll want to get your pet used to taking baths from an early age. Even so, if your dog is scared of the running water, introduce the scene gradually. Start with putting your dog in the tub or basin and giving him a treat. Take it a step further and introduce a thin puddle of water around his feet. Add more water and continue reinforcing positivity until he gets the hang of it. Above all, don’t rush your dog into anything.

Use Lukewarm Water

For your dog’s comfort and safety, use lukewarm water to bathe a dog. In other words, don’t bathe a dog in water warmer or colder than what you would use to wash a baby. Dogs can be sensitive to heat and some breeds can overheat easily. Plus, no one likes getting cold.

Bring in an Assistant

Sometimes a peer’s persuasion can be invaluable. If you have another dog who already submits to bath time, bring it along to encourage your other dog to make the jump into the tub. 

Reward with Food

Every time you give your pet a bath, reward him with a special treat. Doing so will help reinforce the idea that going through this process is good for him. You can also try putting food in the bathtub area to lure him into the tub, but many dogs can think past this strategy.


If you’ve tried everything and your dog is particularly large, don’t give up! It is possible to assert your leadership and get your dog used to it eventually. If your pet prefers a professional groomer, Everhart Veterinary Medicine is happy to help.

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At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 at 9:36 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.