We all know bath-time with some pups can turn into a battle of wills. Like these dogs:
But have you ever wondered why your dog hates getting clean more than, well, anything? Here are 5 pawssible reasons why your dog hates taking a bath.
1. It’s uncomfortable.
Hey, maybe they don’t fit in the bath. Or the water is too hot or too cold. Think about how long it can take sometimes for you to adjust the water until it’s the right pressure and temperature for YOUR shower–now imagine that pawblem for your pup but times 10 because soap might get into their eyes, the bath is slippery, you’re erm, groping them in certain places to get them clean, and they can’t tell you what to do about ANY of these problems. Plus, maybe you’re doing it outside which, given the air temperature, could make things even more uncomfortable. Now get why bath time is not the relaxing part of the day for them it is for you?
2. BTSD (bath-traumatic-stress-disorder).
If people were rough during bath time when they were younger (or really, at any point in time), it might bath-time might be bad memory for them that’s triggered every time they hear that water run. Or maybe what you’re saying to get them into the bath something you always say with negative things (like the Vet or nail-clipping). And usually, they’ve been restrained in some way or another, even if it was just for their first bath. Whatever may have happened in their past, try to make it as soothing as pawssible and they’ll be calmer about it.
3. It sounds weird. And feels weirder.
Dogs’ hearing is way better than ours, so running water is going to sound way louder to them than it is to us. Plus, while rain is one thing, actively pouring water onto them might not be a sensation they’re used to tolerating. And if you use a hair-dryer to help dry them, well that’s probably just as scary as a vacuum.
4. They like being stinky.
Dogs process smells differently than humans. So what may absolutely reek to your nose might be telling them all sorts of interesting information they don’t want to forget. Think of their stink as a good book. Perhaps the cat poop they rolled in is like the latest Danielle Steele release, and when you wash it off, you’re taking away their book right at the best part, before the villain is revealed and the hero and heroine get together and live happily ever after. And not only that, but they you force these flowery other strong scents (the dog shampoo) that they never wanted to read int the first place (like say, a stock report). No wonder they may view bath time as “this stupid thing my hooman does every month and I hate it.”
5. No one has made it enjoyable.
You’d be amazed what a calm tone and lots of treats will do for a pup. Sure, some dogs might take to water like a duck (especially breeds that were bred for it), but not all dogs like water period. However, if you make it into a happy experience, being playful (but not too excited) and feeding them, hopefully you can start to build a positive association. This way, every time they hear that spout turn on they won’t automatically run and hide so you have to drag them into the bathroom! Instead, they’ll be like this pup: