At our house, giving our dogs a bath used to be a struggle! As an animal-care architect, I now understand that bathing areas can be better designed to reinforce gentle handling and to reduce the stress of bath time. I look forward to sharing some of the ideas that work best in our home and in others.
Walk-in showers work better for big dogs. Many people struggle to coerce their pets into tubs. In contrast, walk-in showers are easier to move in and out of without force, and they help reinforce gentle techniques for acclimating your dogs to bath time. If you are adding a new walk-in shower, design one that is at least three-and-a-half feet wide, so there is room for you and your furry friend. In our home, we have a dedicated dog shower, designed properly for our dog, with all bathing supplies on hand.
If you do not have a walk-in shower, de-stress your tub. Tubs are scary, but you can do these four things to make them less so:
Large sinks are better for small dogs. If your small dog is used to being held and is more comfortable off the floor, then an oversized sink, such as a laundry sink, will be best for bathing. A large sink is also easier for you to be relaxed in this more ergonomic setup. Keeping a container with treats that can be used for treat distraction within reach will also help make bath time a more positive experience for everyone.
Use a detachable sprayer. A detachable sprayer with hose is better than a fixed overhead sprayer, because it can be controlled more easily. When bathing dogs, set the water temperature to the cooler end of lukewarm, and use the detachable sprayer to gently move water over the dog’s legs and body, taking care not to spray them in the face.
De-stress your bath or mudroom. Create a peaceful bathing area with the following practices:
Many dogs do not appreciate bath time, so let’s be as kind and thoughtful as we can with the design of our bathing spaces, to ensure that they work as well as they can in our Fear Free Happy Homes! If you have a dog who exhibits fear or anxiety with bathing, consult with professional Fear Free behavior and training resources to learn how to work with them when it’s time to give a bath.
Article Source: Fear Free Happy Homes
Photo Source: Unsplash
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