Dogs Hating Baths


It seems to me dogs either love the water or hate it, there is no in between. My dog falls into the hating water category, and bath time can be a real struggle. In addition to not liking water many dogs will resist the bath just because they really don’t want to get clean! Dogs tend to actually enjoy being dirty and stinky, I mean that dead thing they rolled in outside surely wasn’t meant to be washed off, right?

The first step in getting that stinky pooch to enjoy bath time is making sure that there are plenty of positive associations with the bath. You can use toys, treats and lots of affection to show your pup that the bath is a happy place. Try getting your dog into the tub when there isn’t any water, then play and give him treats while he is in the tub. Do this several times until he starts to feel really comfortable with the whole idea.

Start young, the younger you start bathing your pup the better. If you have a puppy it’s a good idea to start bathing them as soon as possible. You’ll be getting him accustomed to the bath, and he won’t have time to associate any negative feelings with it.


The techniques you use while bathing your dog are also very important. You definitely don’t want to get any water into those doggie ears. If your dog allows, put cotton balls in each ear, if not just be extra careful to avoid getting water in them. Wash from the neck down, this will keep water out of the ears, eyes and mouth; you can use a bucket or sprayer to accomplish this. Use a washcloth to clean the face.

You also want to make sure you are using the correct soap. Some soaps will leave your pup’s skin dry and itchy, that’s the worst! Talk to your vet to make sure you are using the soap that is best for your furry friend.

Helping your dog enjoy bath time will make it a more pleasant experience for both of you providing another great opportunity for you to bond with your best buddy.


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Wendy Aburto

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