If there was any doubt that caring for pets was much different than caring for a toddler, try giving them a bath. Like kids, many pets treat taking baths like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several ways you can make your pet more comfortable if they hate taking baths, from the water to the tub and much, much more.
Adjust the Temperature
One problem your pet might have with taking baths could be due to the actual temperature of the water. Just as you wouldn’t want to freeze in a tub of cold water or be boiled alive like a lobster if it’s too hot, neither does your pet. It’s best to set the temperature to somewhere in between, closer to room temperature or just lukewarm. This is why many dogs don’t like taking baths outside because water from the hose is freezing cold and any wind can make it worse.
Pick Shampoo Wisely
Your pet has a much stronger sniffer than you do, so using a shampoo that is overly scented can overwhelm them. It is much easier to go with a lightly scented option that will get them clean and smelling fresh without making them want to bury their nose in their paws.
When you take your kids to a checkup at a health facility like Northwest Surgery Center, you give them a lollipop afterward as a way to assure them that they will be rewarded after it’s all over and done. The same mindset can be used on your pets during a bath. If you make a habit out of rewarding them with a special treat after each bath, they will learn that by enduring the terrible water, they’ll be given something they love.
Turn Off the Faucet
While the physical sensations play a major role in your pet’s bathtime experience, it’s not the only factor. Loud and scary sounds can trigger your pet into a howling session or scurrying out of the tub to find shelter. When the faucet is running on full blast or the showerhead is blasting your pet with water, this can prove a bit much with everything else going on. Instead of having loud, rushing water around your pet, try filling the tub and scooping water in a cup or bucket to pour over them. This is much more gentle and can keep your pet from freaking out.
Caution: Slippery When Wet
If you’ve ever seen a cat fall into a tub and struggle to get out, it’s because they don’t have the traction to escape. That same principle applies when they’re getting a bath, too. When your dog or cat can’t stand up straight without a significant amount of struggle, they won’t want to get into the tub. To prevent this, try placing a mat down in the tub for them to stand on. If they have control, they may be calmer.
If your fluffy companion absolutely despises bath time, try implementing these tips to make their experience more tolerable. Not only will it benefit their well-being, but it will make your life much easier—and keep your bathroom floor from getting too soaked in the process.