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8 Tips to Help Your Dogs Overcome Fear of Bathing

Dog Bathing

One of the difficult challenges most first-time dog owners face is bathing their dogs. Most canines are afraid of water and hate water being poured on them. But, bathing is a vital grooming part which you can’t avoid and should be done without stressing the dog.

Here are 8 easy tips which will tremendously help you to make your dog’s bathing sessions a fun experience.

  • Bathe Your Pup Indoors

If your dogs dislike being bathed outside, it may be because of unfamiliar surroundings, loud sounds or some other distractions. Consider shifting your dog’s bathing sessions indoors to a more friendly setting, such as a bathroom or laundry room. This will make your dogs feel safe and relaxed, preventing a lot of stress and anxiety.

  • Cushion the Slippery Bathtub Surface

Dogs hate being on slippery surfaces and this is why they are often reluctant to enter a bathtub. To make your dogs feel safer, place a non-slip mat or towel beneath your tub. This will offer them a secure place to stand on, while also avoiding slipping and sliding during the bath.

  • Reward them to Keep Their Focus

Dogs can get easily distracted during a bath, owing to their anxiety and discomfort. To keep them focused and relaxed, consider giving them a chew toy or a puzzle toy filled with delicious dog treats. This will keep them engaged and also distracted from the bathing process, making your job a lot easier.

  • Avoid Using a Faucet or Showerhead

The pressure and noise coming from a showerhead or a faucet can frighten some of the dogs. Rather, you can use a bucket or a handheld showerhead to bathe your dog. This will help you regulate the water flow and also avoid spraying on your dog’s face, which can be highly uncomfortable for them.

  • Try a Gentle Shampoo

A gentle and soft dog shampoo is needed for bathing your dog, especially if they have sensitive skin. Opt for a dog shampoo which is free of harsh chemicals and other synthetic ingredients. This will significantly help you in soothing skin irritation and other discomforts faced by your dog when you are bathing them.

  • Put Water Temperature to Normal

Dogs are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, and therefore, you should test the water before bathing them. The water you are using should be lukewarm, not too hot or cold, which will help prevent stress and discomfort in the dogs. Remember it’s their first time in the water and take things as easy as possible.

  • Consider Desensitization

If your dog dreads bathing, you can desensitize them to make things easy for them. This type of dog training involves slowly exposing your dogs to water and bathing them in a positive and regulated atmosphere. Begin by allowing your dogs to sniff the bathtub and pour water on them gradually.

  • Start When They Are Young

Bathing your dogs from a young age can help a lot in preventing the fear of water in them. Puppies are more open to new experiences and they quickly adapt to change in conditions as well. So start bathing them when they are young and make it a regular part of their routine.

In Short,

You have seen 8 highly essential tips which will help you prevent the fear of water in dogs. Also, remember that training your dogs is a slow process and you can’t achieve results overnight. Be patient and offer your dogs plenty of love and praise. This way you will not only be able to prevent anxiety in them, but also foster a strong bond with them as well.


An avid nature and animal lover, Akhil likes to read and watch anything related to wildlife. He also has a great interest in athletics, mainly track and field events and is a big Masala Dosa fan.

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