As a pet parent, bath time is one of the biggest struggles you will face. Questions such as: “how to bathe a dog that doesn’t like baths?”, “how to give a dog a bath that hates water?”, “how to give a dog a bath that is scared of water?”, and “how to make your dog like baths?” tend to remain unanswered because it seems that every pet parent experiences difficulty during bath time. The likelihood of asking how often dog baths should be, will lessen, and instead, turn into a chore that you would pass on to someone else if possible. But it’s never too late to turn bath time into playtime! So, if you’re in search of dog bathing tips, we’ve got you covered.

bath time for pets

Source: @judgejudylim

Dog Bathing Tip #1: Condition your dog with treats and toys

If there is one door your dog is less likely to enter, it’s the bathroom door. Your dog already marked it as THAT FRIGHTENING DOOR, never to be entered. How to make your dog like baths – or at least the idea of it? You can usually tell how frightened your dog or cat is when he has his tail in between his legs or is clinging on to you for dear life, instead of the usual excited tail wag you see when he’s about to eat or play.

The answer is simple: slowly lure your dog into the bathroom with treats and his favorite toy to condition him to like bath time. Do this whether it’s really time to give your dog a bath or not. That way, you’ve conditioned your dog into thinking that entering that scary bathroom door isn’t all the scary because he’ll get that much-awaited treat he always looks forward to. Do this exactly the way you do it all the time. And next time you’ve really scheduled a bath, your dog will be a lot calmer.

How to give a big dog a bath is very different from how to bathe a puppy. Their size matters; consider the size of your tub or shower to ensure that your pet and his toys have enough space, and will be comfortable during bath time. If your dog tends to move around a lot, add a non-slip bath mat for your pet’s safety.

A dog’s bath water temperature plays a vital role in bath time. You’ve already gotten your dog through that door, you don’t want to mess up all your efforts by shocking him with a super cold shower or burning, hot water; make it lukewarm because your furbaby is very sensitive to temperature.

Think that your drawing the bath for yourself, recall the warmth and comfort you feel when you take a shower after a long day. You want to share this with your furbaby, so he’ll feel as relaxed and calm as you. Afterwards, adjust your cat or dog bath’s water temperature according to his needs; watch out for his reaction. Finding the right temperature can help ease your furbaby’s worries about the bath and will help him sit back and relax and enjoy the water.

Covering all these areas ensures that you have the right environment and set the right mood to get started with your furbaby’s bath. Never let those treats out of sight!

Dog Bathing Tip #2: Give more treats

When planning to give a bath, how often should you give treats? On the day you decide to bathe your dog, make it extra special by giving one before, during and after bath time. The treat after bath time is very important as positive reinforcement is key to reward your dog for a job well done, making him feel relaxed and happy.

Be efficient when giving your furbaby a bath. Know which part you want to wash first. Tip: start with your furbaby’s dirty areas like his paws, belly and private areas and shampoo the head last to avoid shampoo or water from getting in your pet’s eyes.

Dog Bathing Tip #3: Bring out toys

How to bathe a scare dog? How to give a dog a bath if he hates water? Dogs are easily frightened by things they are not used to. When your pet seems scared or too agitated, take some time to calm your pet with his favorite toys. Throw a selection of toys into the bath, including those that float and sink. Not only will your pet’s attention divert to the toys, but he’ll feel comfortable being surrounded by the toys he loves to play with. Toys will become your furbaby’s best friend, and yours when you work on your dog’s dirty and troublesome areas.


Dog bathing tips are only meant to guide you, as a pet parent. Specific treatment and procedures may vary depending on the need of your pet. It’s best to consult your veterinarian how to bathe a dog with fleas or any other health concerns you may have.

Preparing all these things are not only for your furbaby, but for you, too. As a pet parent, your perception and energy towards bath time must also be positive. How will you make your dog like baths if you also dread bath time? Or how to bathe a scared dog if you’re also scared? It should be your goal as a pet parent to know how to bathe a puppy, so as he grows older, your furbaby will be trained to love bath time.