Some parts of being a dog owner are very fun and rewarding, but bathing your dog is not one of them. Despite the fact that your pooch looks super cute when he is half the size and doing his drowned rat impression, there are not really any enjoyable parts of giving your dog a wash.
Most owners sort of rue this part of looking after their dog, to the point where people are very happy to outsource all parts of bathing and grooming to experts in patience and perseverance.
Most dogs don’t really enjoy being bathed and make the process very difficult. Or they love it a bit too much and make the process very difficult. Some hate it and fight against every step, only to run straight outside and roll in the dirt or your neighbour’s fish pond.
Those dogs who sit and behave beautifully during bath or shower time are a bit rarer, and quite frankly are not why these handy devices were invented.
Why is it a good idea to bathe your dog?
When you are facing yet another wet battle with your reluctant dog, it may help to remind yourself of all of the reasons why bathing your pooch is a good idea. These include:
- He will smell better
- He will be healthier
- You can check him for any extra passengers such as fleas and ticks
- You can remove any matts and make his hair look glossy (even if it is fleeting)
- You can pick up on any injuries, illnesses or skin conditions that are developing before they get a good chance to take hold
If you can do it without screaming, crying or sitting in the corner shaking, then it can also be a lovely opportunity to bond with your dog.
Some handy tips for remaining sane while bathing your dog
Step One: pay someone else to do it. Just kidding.
Dog washing does not need to be as painful as process as it has turned into, and there might be some small things that you can do to make things a bit easier on everyone involved.
- Don’t leave it until you are tired or have no time left in your day. Schedule this for a time when you don’t have to rush, and you are less likely to get frustrated if things don’t go according to plan.
- Be prepared to give up and let it go if your dog is clearly just going to fight you through every step of the way. This is a small thing to get upset about and might eventually just be a waste of time.
- Lower your standards if you need to and just do the basics of what keeps your dog healthy and you sane.
Check out the handy list below and see all of the ways you could be making your life easier and making this time with your dog a lot more pleasant.
A list of the best dog showering and bathing essentials
Furminator Dog Deshedding Tool
This is a very popular tool with professional dog groomers. Shaped sort of like a window squeegee, it has stainless steel combs which go easily through the topcoat to reach the dog’s undercoat and remove matts and lose hairs while being gentle to the skin. A push button release flings out any fur as it builds up.
Available in a variety of sizes for different breeds and long and short hair.
Glantop Pet All-around Washer Ring
This gadget is a bit ingenious. It attaches to your garden hose and shoots a stream of water, through a shampoo dispenser, and out in a ring at the centre of which is your dog. The ring allows you to wash all sides of your dog at once, cutting down time, effort and dog handling. This is much more likely to keep you dry too. There is also a rinse mode.
Washing your dog in just minutes, this device comes in a number of sizes for different dog breeds.
BathEz Dog Durable Bathing Cable
The idea behind this is basic; a leash to keep your dog in the bath, but very few people would come up with it or rig up one of their own. Requiring no tools to install and with a cable that is chew-resistant and doesn’t get wet, as well as being easily removable from the wall after the bath, this is a really handy item if you wash your dog inside.
Wahl Pet Hairdryer and Stand
Another simple concept – a hairdryer on a stand – makes drying your dog so much easier. Leaving you with two hands for grooming or containing your dog, drying time is minimised with this hair dryer. This runs quieter than a human hairdryer which is more pleasant for pups.
GreeSuit Dog Shower Bath Massager
There are a few different kinds of these around, but this is one of the best and sturdiest. Attaching to your bathtap or outdoor hose, the stream of water comes out of a brush-shaped spout that allows you to really wash, scrub and massage your dog. You can insert shampoo for the washing stage, then put it into rinse mode.
This model comes with a number of hose attachments, so it is more likely than other brands to actually connect to your faucet.
Paw Washing Cup
There are a wide number of these on the market, and they all seem fairly similar. Cheap and cheerful and very handy to have in emergencies, this is just a cup with a brush inside that your dog puts each of his paws in to wash and clean his feet. Very handy for keeping in your car or at the front door.
You will learn this when you have babies too; wipes are the single greatest thing ever invented and you don’t know how you ever lived without them before. Because wipes are like a tissue, but stronger, dampened, with detergent and sweet smelling, they are enormously handy to have whenever you are going out, or pretty much anywhere.
Good examples are antibacterial and odour controlling, to help wipe nasties from your dog immediately. They are also great for cleaning in your dog’s ears when you are bathing him. You can also buy extra special gentle formulated ones for your dog’s eyes.
These are nifty gloves that you can wear to groom and essentially brush your shorter-haired animal friends. They are simpler than brushing and feel to your pup as though he is being petted all over. They help to stimulate the skin, remove any loose hair and give your dog his best healthy-looking coat. Good quality ones are long-lasting and machine washable.
A definite must-have not only for your dog’s breath but also to keep his teeth healthy and free from disease are products to help with toothbrushing. There are toothpastes created for dogs (look for big meaty flavours and fluoride free) and also very cool finger tooth brushes which attach to your finger for easy doggy teeth brushing.
Never use human toothpaste for your dog. You probably don’t want to share your toothbrush with him either.
Folding Dog Bath
Very handy if your dog is large and prefers a bath to a shower, but you don’t really want him in your human bath. There are a wide variety of folding baths available on the market, in a range of colours and sizes, but they all function on the same premise and end up being much the same product. Make sure that you get the right size for your pooch.
These are tough and durable and will withstand your dog’s harsh treatment better than any baby bath or kiddie pool you were already using.