In the summer months, our dog Jasper gets super stinky. Something about the heat really draws out his catfish smell, making him smell like he just took a swim in the lake. He did not, he just stinks! If you happen to have a stand-alone shower, bathing your dog is much easier, in my opinion, than in a bathtub. Here are a few tips for bathing your dog in the shower.
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Jasper doesn’t like getting a bath but he will let you do it when you make it worth his while! That entails a few things but then that makes it worthwhile for us because we get in and out quicker, easier and he no longer smells like low tide.🤣
Here’s what that includes:
- Peanut Butter
- Cajoling (in baby talk)
- Easy to rinse dog shampoo and/or conditioner
- Removable shower head with long hose
- Big fluffy towel
*NOTE: If you’re using a bathtub, you can get attachment hoses that hook over your faucet and remove after use. They work well too!
1.) Peanut butter:
I always just smear a little peanut butter onto the shower wall to keep Jasper occupied while I’m giving him his shower. You can also buy these silicone lick mat things that stick to the wall. You put the peanut butter on that and the dog stands there and licks it off. While just smearing it on the shower wall works, it is less messy to use the silicone mat. It can go in the dishwasher when you’re done. It doesn’t get peanut butter all over the shower wall. And it is textured so the dog has to work a little harder to get it off. Either way, in this instance, peanut butter is your friend! (if your dog likes it and you’re not allergic)
I don’t know if your dog is a big baby, like Jasper. If he/she is, cajoling works wonders as well. Something about baby talk and complimenting your dog can get them to do almost anything. Dogs love… love! So, be as kind and loving to your dog as possible and they will be more likely to let you bathe them. Tugging and pulling never works. It only upsets both you and your pet. You know the old saying, “you catch more flies with honey”? Yeah. That.
So be all, “come here you sweet little muffin. Mama’s (or daddy’s) gonna get you smelling all pretty!” It works. At least for Jasper. That fellow loves being complimented.
3.) Easy to rinse dog shampoo and/or conditioner
This one is probably obvious but if you use an easy to rinse shampoo and/or conditioner, it will make the shower time quicker. Something hard to rinse out will just make you aggravated. Find a shampoo for your dog’s specific needs and make sure it rinses easily. I have slightly watered down thicker shampoos, in the past. They lost a little potency but still got him clean and smelling fresh and rinsed out much , much easier.
Jasper has itchy skin and allergies so I like to use something soothing like this Pure Paws Oatmeal and Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner. Cherrybrook has tons of great dog supplies. I love to look there, first, when buying something new for our dogs. If I run out, I use tear free baby shampoo.
4.) Removable shower head with long hose
This is probably #1 for shower or tub bathing. A removable shower head with a long hose is a must when it comes to bathing your dog. It just makes life easier, y’all! You can really get into the fur and beneath your dog to get him/her wet and rinsed well. This will make it quicker, but also, makes getting all that shampoo rinsed out so they’re not itchy. It goes so much quicker.
I love the shower heads that have a pause button on them. Then, you can get the water temperature set, once, and just pause and un-pause the water flow when needed.
5.) Big fluffy towel for after bathing
A big, fluffy towel that belongs to your dog goes a long way in making them feel safe and warm after being bathed. After the shower, wrap them up tight and give them snuggles and they will be more likely to go in the shower easier the next time. I know I love a big, soft towel. Dogs do too. Many dogs love to be wrapped up after their bath. Well, after that initial shake, that is!
Our shower has a door, versus a curtain, which makes it a little easier to get Jasper showered and shook off. But, our old house had a curtain. I would hold the curtain in place as soon as I got done rinsing him and he would shake off in the shower first. He’d shake, again, after he came out into the bathroom but the majority of the water was off him so he didn’t make a big mess. So, when you are finished rinsing the shampoo out, shut the door or shower curtain and let them get their first big shake out of the way. This way, more water and hair gets on the shower walls and less all over the bathroom. It’s much easier to rinse and clean the shower than it is in the entire bathroom!
After he shakes all the excess water off, I wrap him in the towel for about 15 – 20 minutes and snuggle up to him so he warms up and dries off. He loves the extra attention!
Lastly, give your dog some treats. They deserve it! If you give them peanut butter in the shower, 1 – 2 small treats, after, is plenty. Your dog will begin to associate the happiness of getting peanut butter and dog treats within the few minutes it takes to get clean and they will go in easier and easier each time.
And there you have it. 6 tips for giving your dog a shower. If you have a fairly easy-going dog, it doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. And it will get easier with time. Just remember to stay calm and keep in mind your dog doesn’t fully understand what is going on, until they’ve done it a few times. I know I respond better when someone isn’t yelling at or pulling on me. Our dogs are the same. Be kind and things will go easier for you both.
What are some tips you have for bathing your dog?
Hi! I’m Crystal Martin, a stay at home mom of 4, living in KY with my high school sweetheart husband of 20+ years. My husband and I are co-bloggers at Cinnamon Hollow where we write about homesteading, travel, beauty, our lives with our kids and pets, fun and free printables as well as the products and services that make our lives just a little bit easier – and a lot more fun!
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