How to Help Your Dog Love Baths 

February 19, 2021 1 Comment

How to Help Your Dog Love Baths 

After a long day of exploring the outdoors, your dog might need a bath. However, some dogs become frightened during bath time, making the process much more difficult. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help your dog feel more comfortable and make bath time an enjoyable time for your dog. 

Set Up Your Space

Depending on your dog’s size, you might choose to bathe them in your bathtub, shower, or a DIY dog grooming center. Wherever you decide to bathe your dog, make sure you make the space as comfortable and calming as possible. Consider the following: 

  • Use warm water. Fill the tub halfway with warm water before you put your dog in the tub or shower. 
  • Avoid running water. The noise and splashes of running water can cause your dog stress. Use a cup to rinse your dog if possible. If your dog is too dirty or you need to use fresh running water, consider using a handheld showerhead but hold it against your dog’s skin to avoid spraying them. 
  • Bring a special toy for your dog to play with during their bath. This will help keep them entertained and give them an outlet for nervous energy. 
  • Prevent slips. Put a towel or mat on the bottom of the tub to keep your dog from slipping and help them feel more secure. 

Pick the Right Shampoo

Given the fact that dogs’ noses are forty times stronger than ours, they could be easily overwhelmed by strong soaps. Bathe your dog using a lightly scented, or even unscented, shampoo that is made specifically for dogs. 

Use a Reward System 

Your dog will be more likely to enjoy bath time if they get a special treat afterwards. Give your dog a high-quality toy and make sure to use that name during each bath so your dog begins to look forward to their bath. If your dog is especially nervous during bath time, consider offering a food reward during the process, like smearing peanut butter on the bathtub while you clean them. 

If your dog is scared of the bathtub itself, consider regularly feeding them in the tub to begin a positive association. 

Warm Your Dog Up

Giving your dog the chance to run around for a little bit before a bath could provide multiple benefits. First, it will warm up your dog and help them enjoy the bath water. It also could help your dog get rid of any energy that could become nervous energy once in the bath. 

Consider Joining Your Dog

Whether it’s easier for you to rinse your dog or you think you’re going to get splashed by your dog anyway, you might want to put on your bathing suit and join your dog. This will make the process more efficient and help your dog feel more comfortable. 

Begin Young

If you can make your puppy feel comfortable in the bath from a young age, you’ll be more likely to have a dog who loves baths. Let your puppy explore the bathtub when it’s dry to familiarize themselves before their first bath. 

Do you have any other tips and tricks to make bath time more enjoyable for you and your dog? Tell us about it in the comments below, and follow @campingwithdogs and @myalphapak on Instagram to stay updated on other safety tips for you and your dog!

1 Response


March 03, 2021

We don’t have a tub but rather a large stand up double shower. So we bought a small kiddie pool that we fill with warm water and bathe our pup in there. We always do bath time after he’s had a long day of playing so he isn’t stressed then we reward him with a Yak chew or a Kong stuffed with PB. He usually passes out and sleeps like a baby after.

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