How to Train Your Dog to Love Baths

It’s a nice sunny day outside, and it’s been a few weeks since your dog’s last bath. Bath time is probably a big ordeal for your dog if you clicked on this article. Hating baths is not unusual for dogs, and even though you might love your dog sometimes there is no other alternative but to give them a refreshing bath no matter how much they hate it.

We realize that bath time can be troubling for both you and your dog. You are not alone. We have some tips and tricks that can help your dog get used to baths and actually like them.

Now, before you get your shampoo and towels out all ready to get done with it and hope that your dog won’t hate taking a bath miraculously, you may need to take a step back and make a few changes to your routine.

Your behavior

Dogs are brilliant animals, and as cheesy as it sounds they know when you are anxious; thus, if you approach bath time with a troubling, nervous or anxious attitude, your dog will pick up on that and behave accordingly.

Dogs don’t hate baths but hate the anxiety around this specific event much of the time.

Some fellow dog moms and dads are in such a rush that they take their dogs to the backyard and hose them down. Dogs do not like this approach for several reasons:

·      It is loud, and the rushing water noise can scare them

·      The water is too cold

·      The pressure from the water can hurt them

For this reason, most trainers recommend that you take your bath time indoors. First, your dog is familiar with your house and will feel more comfortable. Do not restrain them because they get anxious when they feel their movement is restricted.

Make bath time fun

The obvious question arises: if we don’t restrain them then how will we keep them still while we give them baths?

There are multiple things you can try to keep your dog entertained during bath time.

If you are using a tub or even your kitchen sink (for puppies), make sure the water pressure is not too high and the water is lukewarm for their comfort.

Many people have started using a bath buddy to keep dogs entertained during bath time. You can smear some peanut butter (see also ‘Is Butter Bad For Dogs?‘) or any other treat that your dog likes on your bath buddy, stick it to the bathtub wall or any surface, and they will lick away at it while you clean them with ease.

Sometimes dogs hate bathtubs, and it is perfectly reasonable for them to do so. Bathtubs are super slippery, and dogs often lose their balance. No one likes to get hurt. So it would be best if you put a non-slippery mat down for them to stand on while bathing them quickly.

Give them a treat

The best way to train any animal to like something is with the help of rewards. If your dog hates baths and refuses to head in that direction, you have got your work cut out for you in the training department. First, you can them a delicious treat. Your dog needs to be in a playful mood for their baths. After giving them the treat, you can take them to the bathroom or your kitchen sink and put them in the empty dry bathtub. At this point, you should give them another treat to reinforce their good behavior. Now slowly turn the water on at low speed. Do not use a sprayer. If possible for you, use a mug or a container.

After you bathe them, give them another treat so that they start associating a bath with fun and playtime. Rewarding good behavior will always give you the results you need.

Bath Friends

If you have two or more dogs or a friend that has a dog who enjoys baths, then you can set a bath date for your dog. Seeing another dog enjoy its bath time can influence your dog, and they might jump in to participate in the fun activity.

Use pre-bath activities to warm up your dog

This trick can help you in the summertime. When you want to bathe your dogs, take them outside for a walk or run. After playing for a while and bringing them to a bathtub, dogs get excited to sit in the water for a few moments and cool off.

Bath Products

You need to use products that do not irritate your dog. Some products are fragrant and can cause your dog to jump around anxiously. They are very sensitive to smell, so keep your shampoos and conditioners minimal in their ingredients.

Bath Time

Since your dog may not enjoy bath times, you should arrange everything beforehand and make the bath quick. It would be best not to make them take long baths to make your dogs like it. After bathing them, gently dry them with a towel, give them a treat and also gently blow-dry their body.

Professional Groomers

If all else fails, it may be time to take them to the vet or get them professionally bathed and perhaps groomed. Especially if your dog is aggressive or jumpy during bath time, you should not risk an injury to yourself and them. Thus taking them to someone who can handle them is the best option.

Recommended Products

We have picked out a few of our amazon bath favorites that can help you with bath time.

Bath Buddy for Dogs – The Original Dog Bath Toy – Makes Bath Time Easy, Just Spread Peanut Butter and Stick

Product Description:

Use bath buddy for an easier bath time, and your dog will happily enjoy their delicious treat while you clean them up.

B-Air Fido Max 1 Dog Dryer – Premier Grooming Collection

Product Description:

This dryer has many massage attachments that dogs enjoy the most, and It helps with shedding at home in a calm and friendly space.

Isle of Dogs – Everyday Elements Silky Coating Brush Spray for Dogs – Jasmin + Vanilla + Daily Use Spray Detangler for a Softer, Smoother, Cleaner Coat Between Baths – Made in the USA – 8.4 Oz

Product Description:

If your dog is fluffy with beautiful thick fur, it probably gets messy. Your dog can get annoyed by all the knots; you can keep their fur knot-free and brush them more smoothly with this spray.

NACOCO Dog Bathrobe Towel Microfiber Pet Drying Robes Moisture Absorbing Towels

Product Description:

If you are one of those people who have an extremely active dog and they like to shake around after baths, this microfiber towel is the answer to all your problems. This microfiber towel keeps your dog comfortable and, at the same time, soaks the water, so they don’t make a mess when they shake around.

Wags & Wiggles Purify Hypoallergenic Wipes for Dogs – Gently Clean & Condition Your Dog’s Coat Without a Bath

Product Description:

These wipes are perfect for people with an injured dog or a sick dog who can’t take baths for a few weeks or months. People who have highly anxious and aggressive dogs can also switch baths now and then with these wipes and get away with them since these clean the fur without causing any irritation.

Vet’s Best Waterless Dog Bath – No Rinse Dry Shampoo for Dogs – Natural Formula Refreshes Coat and Controls Odor Between Baths

Product Description:

This shampoo is made of entirely natural ingredients with no scent. You can use it as a dry shampoo for your dogs to keep them fresh.

VEVOR Dog Grooming Tub, Professional Stainless Steel Pet Grooming Tub

Product Description:

While a bathing station might be a fancy investment, this specific bathing station is compact and foldable. It contains everything you need, from an adjustable temperature faucet to leashes if your dog is not trained in bathtubs.


Now that we have given you all the wisdom on Bath 101, we hope that you and your dog have a fun time during that activity. Good luck.

John Lowery

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