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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baths. Part IV. Dogs Who Hate Baths

So far we have discussed not bathing our dogs, alternatives to pet shampoos, and what might cause our pets to be stinky.
Today begins our discussion on dogs who hate baths. Before we start talking about counter conditioning (in a later post), lets look some aspects of the bathing process that might be scary or uncomfortable for our pets.

Problem: Slippery bathtub can be scary for a dog who can't get his/her footing
Solution: Make the bathtub less slippey with non slip decals or mats

Problem: Water too hot or too cold
Solution: Adjust the water temperature so that it is comfortable for the dog

When bathing dogs outside be sure to check the temperature of the water that first comes out of the hose. If the hose has been sitting in the sun, the water can be very hot - in the beginning. Then it can become uncomfortably cold.  If you choose to bathe your pups outdoors, make sure it is sunny and warm outside. And consider running the hose from your indoor faucet using an adapter so you can adjust the temperature

Problem: Pet Parent's Attitude: Dogs are perceptive. If we don't enjoy the bathing process, our dogs might not enjoy the process either
Solution: Wait until we have the time and energy.  Stay upbeat. Or consider not bathing.

Problem: Water (even at a comfortable tempature) makes the dog uncomfortable (tingly or itchy)
Solution: no baths or dry baths

Problem: Shampoo is uncomfortable on dog's skin or burns the dog's eyes
Solution: Protect the eyes (speak with your vet), try a milder shampoo, or try a shampoo alternative

Problem: Dog gets cold during or after bath
Solution: Turn up the heat before bathing and leave it on until pup dries

Problem: Water gets into ears
Solution: Be careful to not let water get into the ears and/or ask vet about a safe way to prevent this

Problem: Water gets in nose
Solution: Be careful to not let water get into the nose

Just addressing the above problems might make bath time a bit less awful for your hesitant pup.  If not, please stay tuned. Later we will talk about desensitization and counter conditioning

Can you think of any other bath related problems?  Tell us in the comments section below.

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