Most dogs don’t care for a bath, so what can you do to make it a more enjoyable experience for your four-legged friend? Below are some tips to spoil your dog with a doggie spa treat and turn a gruelling dog bath into a fun day instead.
How often should you bathe your dog?
You shouldn’t bathe your dog more than once a month, as it dries out your dog’s skin. I try to only give Kahuna a bath every six weeks or so. Sometimes, Kahuna will roll in mud at the dog park or seaweed on the beach and then there is no choice – he gets a bath no matter how long time it has been since his last bath. If it hasn’t been long since his last bath and he isn’t smelly, I will just rinse him and not use the dog shampoo.
My dog, Kahuna is not too crazy about getting a bath. In fact, he will actually run and hide when he sees me bring the dog shampoo and conditioner out. When he was a little puppy, we could easily put him in the bathtub. But as he grew bigger and eventually ended up weighing over 100 lbs., it became more of a challenge to lift him into the bathtub. Besides, I would always start to giggle about the whole situation and that would just make the lifting part even harder. Also, Kahuna would shake the excess water off several times, which resulted in wet fur to clean off on the walls and ssower curtain afterwards. Not a fun thing to clean up at all…
Coin-operated dog wash
Washing a 100 lbs. dog in a bathtub eventually became too much of a hassle, so we started to look for other solutions. We tried using a coin-operated dog wash in our neighbourhood, but that didn’t work out too well. Kahuna was shaking the whole time and jumped off the high table – while still attached with his short leash to the table! He was not hurt, but it was a scary experience for all of us and we decided not to go back. After that we took him to groomers, but figured that that would end up being quite expense in the long run, so we kept on looking for a solution.
Backyard dog wash
We gave a local plumber a call and he installed a hot and cold exterior faucet (Amazon link) for us in our backyard. It didn’t cost much to install and was done in an afternoon. Bathing our dog has become so much easier now as we do not have to lift him into a bathtub or drive him to a dog wash. I would highly recommend installing a hot and cold faucet in your backyard if you, like us, have a larger dog that has outgrown your bathtub.
Make the dog wash a treat
I always start and finish Kahuna’s bath with something he really enjoys. In his case he loves getting his ears rubbed, so I start off with that before I turn the water on. I am lucky that he absolutely adores getting dried with a towel, so that is the perfect end to his bath. You always want to finish off on a high note – this applies to washing your dog as well. So if your dog enjoys a gentle massage or getting brushed, make sure to incorporate this into the dog spa day.
Be organized to make the dog spa a success
I always make sure to get everything ready before I turn the water on. This way everything is within reach and you don’t have to run away in the middle of the dog grooming. In my case, I will bring out Kahuna’s favourite towel (see photo above), Earthbath shampoo and Earthbath conditioner, his FURminator brush (Amazon links) and of course his favourite treats.
Two is better than one
The best thing is to have a helper, as this will really speed up the dog wash. Usually, my husband and I will take turns holding the hose and massaging the shampoo into the fur. Also remember that the tone of your voice affects your dog, so make sure to take your time, so it is not rushed. Your dog will sense if you are stressed and just want it over with, so relax and have fun with it – heck, if it is warm outside, “miss” your dog with the water and spray a little on your partner instead (only a little, otherwise they may not want to help out again).
There your have it, my tips to make your dog’s bath a little easier, so it doesn’t feel like a chore for you and a not-so-fun experience for your furry friend. How about you, what are your best tips to make dog grooming easier? Please share in the comment section below.