For many dog owners, bath time can be a struggle. But, when done correctly, grooming your canine companion can actually be a healthy bonding experience. Below are five common mistakes to avoid when giving your dog a bath:
1. Getting frustrated: It may be easy to get frustrated when trying to wrangle an uncooperative dog into the bathtub, but do your best to keep it together. Yelling at your pet will only make an already stressful situation even more tense. Be gentle both physically and with the tone of your voice. Use praise and offer a special treat when it’s all over. Your dog will eventually begin to have positive associations with bath time.
2. Using cold water: Just like you’re probably not a fan of cold showers, your dog isn’t either. Cold water is uncomfortable for people and canines alike. This isn’t to say that the water should be scalding hot, just a nice warm temperature to keep the experience as pleasant as possible for your dog.
3. Using shampoo made for humans: Doggy skin requires a different pH level than human shampoos have to offer. Invest in a good quality dog shampoo that fits your pup’s individual needs (dry skin, sensitive skin, etc.).
4. Spraying water on your dog’s face or head: Many dogs find it a little frightening when water is coming down on their head or face. A better option is to use a warm washcloth to wipe down your dog’s face.
5. Using a hot blow-dryer: Using a blow-dryer can be helpful if your dog has a lot of hair, but use caution. Either use a dryer specially made for dogs or switch your blow-dryer to the cool setting to avoid burning your pup’s skin. Be mindful that some dogs are afraid of the noise, so carefully introduce the dryer to keep the whole experience as positive as possible.