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Petrified of water

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Polo hasn't taken a bath since 6 weeks ago and he's quite the stinker. 6 weeks ago when he got his last bath he takes an effort to work with but was able to take a bath without much trouble. Today he seriously needed a bath because he reeks of other dogs drool. However he is extremely difficult to work with, he just does not want to touch water. I tried treats, but the second he walks into the bathroom, he shows absolutely no interest in them. Last time he will eat the treats while the water is running. Tonight he was just fighting with me to get out of the water. After splashing water everywhere he finally got his bath done. He was also shivering while I applied shampoo on him. What are some methods to minimize the difficulty of giving him a bath.

 

During the summer when other dogs are around, he doesn't mind walking around and sitting down in the kiddie pool with other dogs.

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A couple of ways you can do this. One, either start with the hose, or what ever implement your using in the tub, (if ya havent got one, ya might try one.) Start with luke warm to tepid water. First, dash from your mind that this is going to be anything but a fun and pleasant experience for the both of you, then with very low water pressure, start with the back feet, and slowly work your way up, slowly and little by little. First the feet, then the back hocks, then the legs, on up to the haunches, ( one side at a time) under the belly, over the back, and so on. If its the hose he doesnt like, try using a plastic cup to pour the water from, again starting from the back and working upwards and forwards. Some times instead of pouring the shampoo on from the bottle, you can pour it in your hand first and rub it in like your petting/massaging him and he'll be non the wiser. It is also a good idea to try to noose him in the tub, and snub him up rather short, it gives him less space to fight. Most of the time, they upset them selves the most, by fighting. If you can noose him in there, you can wash with one hand, and control him to some degree with the other. Keeping front feet on the ground. Dont allow the water to continue running while your sudsing him up, turn it off. After the bathing, make towel drying a real blast, let him roll around and dry himself ( sorta) Also, I do this with cats, instead of wetting him intially, just rub the shampoo into the coat and use a little cup of warm water to get the coat a little damp, then you only have to use the hose one time to rinse, which is less tramatic on him. And if all else fails, and he get progressivly worse, take him to the groomers and explain to them that he doesnt like a bath. Most will work with you on this. Good luck, Oh, and get yourself a water proof smock. It'll help keep you drier.

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Oh, I almost forgot. I havent tried this myself, but I am aware that there are "dry" shampoos on the market too. They come in a powder form and you sprinkle then on the dog. Cant say if they work or not, but you can always try it.

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I don't have a hose in the tub, I'll go with the cup method. Getting his belly will be a little tougher. I put the shampoo on my hand before massaging him. He struggled so much that half the bathroom is covered in water. Before I had surgery I used to wear my swim trunk and just join him in the tub. He seems to do a lot better when other dogs or people get wet with him, he freaks out when it's just him in the water.

 

Same thing at the dog park. When there are other dogs in the kiddie pool, he doesn't mind joining in. But he'll refuse to get in for the life of him if he's the only dog in the kiddie pool and he'll tremble a lot.

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Try to be cool and calm yourself. He is going to struggle but just act like this is something normal. Don't make a big deal over it. Just be calm and tell him he needs it and you'll be done as soon as you can. You'll probably want to protect your cast ahead of time.

 

Molly also hates baths. We don't have a tub so we take showers with her (with a shower hose). She got worse and worse the first several times but since then it has gotten better and better. We do it business like and quick then give her treats afterwards. Comforting her while she is getting the bath just makes it scarier. We also try to encourage her to explore the bathroom other times--she comes in with toys and plays and sniffs it.

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I was thinking of leaving him in his crate in the bathroom while I take a shower, hoping it'll desensitize him with the sound of running water.

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Mollie slid and fell in the tub while we were bathing her one day, and that was it. Bathrooms and tubs are EVIL!!! So I bought a mat for the tub, and we started playing a game where she has to go and find her favorite toy in different spots in the bathroom. We started at the door, then slowly moved inside (our bathroom is tiny). Then as she became more comfy entering the room, I started hiding the toy in the actual bathtub, so she had to climb in. She now seems a lot more comfy (still not fully there yet, but getting MUCH better). Good luck.

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Today he seriously needed a bath because he reeks of other dogs drool.

This happens quite often to Senneca; especially after a fun session at the dog park. I'm pretty brutal; I march her up to the wash station in the park and hose her down. At home it's the same routine with the garden hose. This is all she needs except for very rare occasions when I pull out the shampoo bottle. No she doesn't like it, but once it's over she shakes herself dry and life is good again.

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Guest SweetJordan

My dogs love the water. They will play w/ the garden hose as long as you let them, splash and laydown in the kiddie pool, swim in the lake. They will also splash though puddles and play/exercise in the rain. But if I want to give them a bath they act like I beat them and sent them to bed w/o supper during the whole bathing experience.

I generally only use shampoo when I really need to. I give a bath in the fall and in the spring w/ shampoo, and that's it unless I have to use it. Usually I just rinse them off if they are dirty. For between bath freshening I use Buddy Splash on occasion.

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I put the crate in the bathroom (ate up all the space to move) and first left him in there with treats. I took a bath rather than a shower because it's similar to the condition when he gets bathed. I left the crate open as I took a bath and left a treat by the tub. At first he just hid in the corner and was just completely shutdown. About 10 minutes later he got out of the crate and sniffed around the bathroom and eventually laid down and ate the treat by the tub. Definitely some progress was made but there's still lots of room left for him.

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I used to have the same challenge with Cedar. So, I started putting him into the tub...no water...just a towel to stabilize footing....then we worked up to adding water. Now a simple "in" and away we go...scrub a dub dub!!! Followed by drying time in front of the fireplace....toasty!

 

Hang in there!

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What do you feed Polo? Diet can have a bunch to do with how dirty and smelly a dog's skin and coat get. That may be something to consider.

 

I got Boyden from the shelter and he was my shadow until I took my first bath. He wouldn't even come into the room.

 

He's very food motivated so I would give him treats while I took a bath until he was ok with that. Then I'd put treats in the bathroom somewhere with the tub water running a little, then running on full. Then I'd put treats in a dry bath so it was easy to reach, then where he'd have to get into the tub to get them.

 

When he was comfy with that I'd command him to get into the dry tub for a treat. After that was ok I'd lightly run the water for just a second, then for a bit longer, then plug it so his feet got wet. It took time and I wouldn't move on until he was totally ok with what we were doing, but now he will hop into the tub on command with no qualms at all. In all honesty though, I've never given him a bath! He's just naturally clean, doesn't smell a bit, and doesn't leave my fingertips with anything on them after giving him a good rub. I have hosed him down but that's it.

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Polo's on adult sensitive stomach formula per vet (Science Diet). He's been sleeping in his crate that's placed in the bathroom. So rather than taking showers I take baths (also easier with immobilized right foot) and he stay in the bathroom with me with treats placed by the tub. He making very small steps, but he'll eventually get there.

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just because your vet says it's good doesn't mean it is... most vets get very little nutritional education and it's no coincidence that vet schools and practices have sponsorships from major dog food companies.

 

politics aside, science diet is some of the worst food on the market.

 

Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Pork Meal, Dried Egg Product, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Liver Flavor, Oat Fiber, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine.

 

those are the first 10 ingredients in the sensitive stomach formula. ingredient lists go in order of most concentrated to least concentrated, right?

 

so that means the first two ingredients are the most abundant in the whole food, and they're both fillers that are completely indigestible by dogs. (dogs do not digest grains, they are carnivores)

 

then you get chemically altered fat. mmm fat.

 

then some pork meal, which is the fist source of protein, way down at #4.

 

dried egg 'product'.. what the hell is egg product? why not just eggs?

 

then more nutritionally vacant corn.

 

chicken liver FLAVOR, not liver... just flavor...

 

oat fiber. more filler. more garbage.

 

then KCl (an electrolyte salt)

 

and L-Lysine, an amino acid.

 

Really? your vet thinks this is the best thing to feed your dog? And people wonder why all of a sudden dogs have grain allergies these days.

 

If you start feeding a good food (origen, evo... something grain free), the odours and bad hair will remedy themselves. bad coat and skin problems, digestion issues, huge craps, etc... are all a byproduct of terrible nutrition.

 

---

 

Now as far as the baths go, you might want to start in a dry tub and treat like crazy for the dog's getting in there. then the next day, do the same thing. then the next day do the same thing.

 

then the next day, dog goes into the dry tub and you treat like crazy when you just turn the water on slightly for a few seconds. repeat the next day. repeat the next day.

 

then next the water stays on for 10 seconds with a little more force. treat like crazy. repeat the next day. repeat the next day.

 

you get the picture. desensitize the dog to the water. eventually bathtime will be a fun party. be patient!

 

 

 

 

 

Polo's on adult sensitive stomach formula per vet (Science Diet). He's been sleeping in his crate that's placed in the bathroom. So rather than taking showers I take baths (also easier with immobilized right foot) and he stay in the bathroom with me with treats placed by the tub. He making very small steps, but he'll eventually get there.

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I feed my cat I/D by Hills. Why? Because she has irritable bowel. She was on Innova for years, and then BOOM- no good for her anymore. She does remarkably well on this food, even though the choice of ingreds is not what I would chose. I have to feed her what works for her, and doesn't make her puke and have diarrhea. One must feed what works for their dogs/animals. period.

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Dog food is something us pet owners have been kept in the dark about. I do agree that what you are feeding Polo is not something I would feed my dogs, simply because of the ingredients. Diet is a huge subject that takes time to learn and understand and can be overwhelming while you're learning, but a dog food containing meat as the main ingredients, minus all the fillers like corn and grains, will help keep a dog's coat and skin in good condition (in addition to better overall health). Smell won't be such an issue, nor will continual scratching, excessive shedding, etc.

 

ALL dog foods on the market are able to keep a dog alive. Please understand that much. The quality though is what determines whether a dog is thriving on their diet or not. We can live off Big Macs and chips but it's not exactly healthy or good for us, especially all the time.

 

You may want to learn about dog nutrition so that you can determine for yourself what is good quality and what is not. The ingredients list on the back of the package is all that you should bother reading. The order of the ingredients is always from most to least. Dogs can't digest corn or other grains, it's just a filler that basically goes in one end and out the other. There is absolutely nothing available at the grocery store that I would feed my dogs because of all the fillers and additives and whatnot. That should give you just an inkling as to what to look for when choosing a kibble for your dog, but I would recommend that you look into this subject for yourself when you have time. It's a real eye opener!

 

I hope you are able to help Polo overcome his fear of water. Just take it slow and make it a positive thing. In time he will be ok with it and it won't be such an issue. Who knows, he may even come to enjoy it someday!

 

Oh, and I hope your foot is back to normal soon. I broke my ankle last year and it was a pain taking a bath and keeping my cast dry, so you have my sympathies!

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Wow, I'm sure all the attcks on the OP for what he's feeding are extremely helpful with the bathing issue.

 

J.

 

no you're right. it wasn't meant as an attack, but more of a response to the OP's reply to what food she was feeding. I've been doing a lot of diet talking recently and sure i went a bit overboard, but it's something i'm passionate about these days and i won't apologize for that.

 

And I agree with kelpiegirl that one must feed what the animal does well on. irritable bowel and allergies can develop even with great food because dogs do best with a varied protein source. feeding any food for 'years' is not necessarily a good idea, which is why most experts suggest switching foods every few months.

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We used to have the same problem with our Fynne. Last time I washed her, I had to lift her up gently and put her in the tub. Then gradually hose her feet and working upwards. She was rather nervous but patient. Rather like a little kid clinging nervously to daddy!

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