Why Do Dogs Hate Getting Baths?

by Amy Hunter
    With a little effort, most dogs can learn to tolerate baths.

    With a little effort, most dogs can learn to tolerate baths.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    There are many reasons why your dog may hate getting a bath. Getting to the root of the problem may make it easier for you to ease his misgivings about bath time. Don't give up -- work with your dog regularly to make the bathing process less stressful for both of you.

    Even the most water-loving dog will likely be a little taken back the first few times he has a bath. Being sprayed with water, lifted in and out of the tub, having his body maneuvered so you can get him washed and rinsed are all foreign concepts. If inexperience is the only reason for your dog's dislike of baths, time should cure the issue. Stay patient and make sure he has good experiences while being bathed.

    How do you handle your dog when you are bathing him? Do you lift him up on his back legs so you can rinse his belly, or force him to lay down so you can get him wet? If the bathing process is uncomfortable, you shouldn't be surprised that your dog dislikes baths. Having the right equipment can make the process much more comfortable for you both. A hand-held shower attachment is inexpensive and connects easily to most existing showers. The attachment makes it easy to wet your dog from any angle while he stands comfortably on four feet. If you don't have adequate facilities to bath your dog comfortably, consider using a waterless bath, which you just spray or sprinkle on his coat and brush out.

    Whether you are bathing your dog outside with the garden hose or in a heated bathroom, he is not going to enjoy cold water pouring over him. If you have to bath him outside, bring warm water from the kitchen in a bucket and use a sponge to wet and rinse him. If you are able to bath him in the bathroom, test the water before you start spraying him to make sure it is a comfortable temperature.

    It is challenging to get your dog's face clean and rinsed, but don't make the mistake of pouring water over his head. While you may think getting it over with quickly will make it better for your dog, he will find it frightening. Instead, wash his face with a wet washcloth, using just a little shampoo. Use the same process with a well-rinsed washcloth to rinse his face.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!