Why Do Dogs Hate Baths?

It is bewildering to many dog owners to realize that their pooches seem to hate them after a bath. Therefore, you are not alone if you find it difficult to understand why your canine is never in a good mood when it is bath time. Due to these surprising reactions and actions of dogs, some people erroneously assume that canines think water is lava. This is not true! So, why do dogs hate baths?

Baths are uncomfortable for dogs because it is not the same as swimming, where they have more freedom. Yet, it is important that you bathe your dog. Therefore, you have to learn how to make your dog love to bathe. By avoiding some wrong practices and incorporating healthy ones, you can achieve them.

It appears that dogs and baths are like two parallel lines that should not meet. If some pooches have their way, they would never allow themselves to be subjected to grooming by bathing. Yet, they cannot be allowed to do things their way. This article will help you to understand why your dog hates to bathe so that you can change the bathing experience for your dog.

Why Does My Dog Hate Me After A Bath?

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The way dogs act after a bath could almost guilt-trip some owners to vow never to let them have a bath ever again. Most pooches do not like to take their bath outside.

So, you should consider this to change the reaction of your dog to every bath time. This simple but effective change has made a tremendous difference to the bathing experience of many canines.

Recall Of A Scary Moment

Apart from exposure to the outdoors, your dog can also hate to bathe because it brings back the memory of a traumatic moment. If your dog had almost drowned at some point, for example, your pooch would start getting anxious at the sight of water.

Some negative experiences have lasting impacts on both humans and animals, which can make them avoid anything that is associated with that event. 

If your dog cringes at the sight of water due to a previous bad experience, you cannot expect things to change suddenly. You will have to let time take its full course to allow your dog to have a full recovery.

Endeavor to be gentle, loving, and patient with your pooch during bath time. You might inadvertently trigger a traumatic event when you are not calm enough.

Avoidance Of Hard Surfaces

Another reason it appears that dogs hate bathsย is due to their dislike for hard surfaces. Pooches areย used to lying on soft cushions and comfortable beds. So, when they are introduced to the hard surfaces of baths, they protest by kicking up a fuss. They want to get back to where they are comfortable as soon as possible.

Of course, washing the coats of your canine is necessary at least once a month to make your dog look gorgeous and presentable. Yet, their dislike for hard surfaces can make the process harder than you expected. You have to find a way to convince your pooch that what you are doing is for the best of all involved.

Use Of Human Cleansing Products

A wrong practice some people have that makes dogs hate baths isย the use of human cleansing products. The use of such products, such asย soaps and shampoos,ย is not recommended when bathing your dog. They contain chemicals that can be overly harsh on the skin and fur of your pooch.

Moreover, some of them have strong fragrances that might not agree with the sensitive snouts of your canine. Therefore, your dog might not look forward to the next bath time when you have this practice. 

Instead of soaps and shampoos, invest in grooming wipes that are specifically designed for this purpose. This will improve the bathing experience of your four-legged furry friend. 

Are Baths Stressful For Dogs?

Bath time can be stressful to dogs depending on your approach. The way you treat your bath time can also influence the experience of your pooch. If you are fond of complaining and whining whenever you need to take your bath, your canine will take cues from that and start rebelling whenever it is time for a bath.

Therefore, the change must start with you. Moreover, the way you handle your pooch during bath time can also affect its experience.

For example, if you have a habit of shouting, hurrying, and handling your dog roughly during the process, your canine will want to avoid another bath time at all costs.

How Do You Give A Dog Who Hates Baths A Bath?

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Your dog might hate bath time, but there is no other option. You have to clean up your pooch. Therefore, it is essential that you try to improve the bathing experience of your four-legged furry friend.

The Water Factor During Bath Time For Your Dog

Just like human beings, dogs do not want to be a part of a negative experience, and that is why some of them hate bath time. Some pooches can be found shivering or displaying general signs of anxiety when it is time to bathe.

You have to do your path to make them see the experience as safe and positive by considering the following factors:

  • Rushing water
  • Hot water

Rushing Water

One of the commonest reasons dogs hate bath time is the sound of rushing water. They do not like loud noise because it makes them uncomfortable. It makes them lose their sense of security. Therefore, you need to consider this factor. 

If the running water from the tap gets uncomfortably loud for them, they will start kicking up a fuss whenever it is bath time. Consider getting the water ready before bringing your four-legged furry friend to the tub.

Hot Water

It can be surprising that even water-loving breeds, like Labrador Retrievers,ย can make exceptions to bath times. One of the reasons for this isย the temperature of the water.ย 

If the water isย too hotย such that it causes your pooch pain, you can be certain that you will have a hard time getting your canine to bathe again. The negative experience can have a lasting impact that will define what to expect from bath time for your dog.

Dogs’ Avoidance Of Unfamiliar Bathing Experience

If it is the first time your pooch is having a bath, it can affect the response of the dog. Also, changing the location your canine use to bathe can affect the willingness to get cleaned up.

Endeavor to expose your dog to the tub as a puppy. This will help them get used to the experience as they grow older.

Loss Of Control

Dogs hate to have a feeling of not being in charge, and that is why some of them rebel when it is bath time. For example, if the bathtub floor or the sink is slippery, making your pooch fall, it can affect the bathing experience. Avoid this by placing a nonslip rubber mat on the bottom of the tub.

How Can I Improve My Dogโ€™s Bathing Experience?

Due to the importance of baths, it is critical that you give your dog reasons to enjoy the experience. There are various ways you can achieve this. The tips below will help you in this regard:

Emotional Control During Baths

Your actions and inactions go a long way in determining the perception of your pooch during bath time. Therefore, it is essential thatย you are in the right mood during the period.

If you are emotionally or physically exhausted, do not bathe your dog during that period. Wait until you are more relaxed to avoid reacting to your dog and making a wrong impression.

Make Your Dog Look Forward To Bathing 

Your dog should not endure bath time. Rather, you should make your four-legged furry friend enjoy the experience. Once you recondition your dog to enjoy bath time, the experience will not be stressful for you and your canine. 

Your pooch will not rebel, and you will find it easier to clean up your dog. You can make your four-legged furry friend look forward to bath time through the following ways:

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Introduce Food

You need to create a positive association between bath time and something your dog loves, like food, to improve the bathing experience of your pooch. By moving the food bowl of your dog next to the tub, you can create a positive atmosphere that will make your pooch anticipate the next bath time.

Introduce Toys

Apart from food, you can introduce toys to the bathtub as a motivating factor for your dog. A combination of treats and toys can also be used to devastating impact.

Make a game out of it by splashing a little waterย on your dog. You can make the bathtub a haven of serenity and enjoyment for your pooch, eliminating the fear of bath time in the process.

Cut Out Negative Associations

Everything you do to your dog during bath time will end up affecting the experience of your pooch positively or negatively. So, it is vital that you do all you can toย prevent creating negative associations.

Check the water temperature and avoid spraying water directly on the face of your canine. Any negative experience can have a lasting impact on the bath experience of your pooch.

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Pete Decker