A River Paws Dog Grooming Middleton client asked: “Do we have any tips for bathing a dog at home?”

- River Paws

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Bathing your pup at home can be a difficult and daunting task, especially for first-time dog owners and those with anxious dogs. A good bath is essential for any pet’s health, but it’s important to keep the process stress-free.

– It is essential to gather all the necessary items ahead of time. This might include shampoo (it is important to use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs, as human shampoo can strip away natural oils and cause irritation), towels, treats, toys, and lots of patience.

– Another important step is getting your pup used to the idea of taking a bath in advance by desensitizing them slowly. Start by offering treats from around the bathroom area when they enter it before eventually having them interact with different grooming tools such as brushes (be sure to use a brush that is appropriate for your dog’s coat type) while being rewarded with positive reinforcement regularly. Also, try having them get in empty tubs and run their paws through the water while they are still dry while giving lots of praise so they start associating baths positively.

– It’s important to make sure that both parties remain calm during the wash, as getting upset can make the situation worse. It is beneficial to get your dog accustomed to the water and his bathing area before you start actually washing them.

– If your dog begins to show signs of anxiety, calming techniques such as offering praise or treats can help. Speak words of encouragement throughout the entire process too so that your dog will associate bathtime with positive vibes. To further help keep a calm environment, try playing some music or having soothing conversations with yourself or others nearby so your pup knows things are still okay despite the chaos.

– You can even try distraction tactics such as bringing in toys for after the bath that signal the end of his bath is near. Talking to your pet during the whole procedure can help reinforce safety and security for them.

– Gently towel dry your dog and then release them back into the house. Be sure to heap on some extra praise and reward a job well done with a yummy treat for being so calm during their wash! It is important not to leave your dog wet for too long (especially if it is cold outside). Letting them finish with an air-dry in a warm room is usually sufficient, but you may want to use a non-heated blow dryer to help the process along.