Non- slip bath mat- our dogs seem much more comfortable if the bath isn’t as slippery
jug and 2 sponges
shampoo (I use a gentle baby shampoo- in case they wriggle and it gets into their eyes- and I think it makes them smell lovely)
treats/ bribery (only if they’re not keen)
Our dogs react in one of 2 ways when it’s bath time- the Labradors are happy and the Beardies are grumpy. (But they like Kat, our groomer, and seem happier in her professional set up- sadly I only have our domestic bath to work with).
At first I bathed them all on their own, but when it was a beardie’s turn, the Labs would sit outside the bathroom whining in jealousy- I could almost hear “Listen! she’s having a bath! AND she’s getting cheese! AND being told she’s beautiful AND a good girl!” but now I bath them two together- the Labradors enjoyment is catching and it cheers the beardies up, so we need fewer treats.
First I mix the shampoo with some warm water in a jug, it’s much easier to rinse off if already diluted. Then, once the dog is in the bath, I sponge on the mixture and rinse it off. I work neck to tail, wash their bottoms and change sponges to do their head and faces, rinse and we’re done. I ask them to hop out of the bath, stand to their side and hold a towel up so that when they shake it doesn’t go quite everywhere.
*** If your dog shakes after swimming, stand in front or behind them- the water will go out from their sides as they shake ***
I dry them off firstly with a towel then the hairdryer, but many dogs don’t like the noise, sensation and the air being blown about.
You can make them used to it, but you need 2 people. Have one person hold the hairdryer (off at first) in one corner of the room and another in the opposite corner of the room with the dog and some of their dinner or some treats. Slowly walk the dog towards the hairdryer, rewarding as they progress. If they don’t like it, go back until they’re relaxed and try going forward again. Once they are eating biscuits as close as can be, start the process off again, this time with the hairdryer on. Once they are used to the hairdryer, then start giving fewer treats so in the end, they get one treat once they are dry. This process can also work if the dog doesn’t like the hoover.