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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:57 PM
im_nomad im_nomad is offline
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Bathing: does anyone else go through such an ordeal?


Ok, i'm getting to the point where I may never bathe my dog again. She is having some itchy skin problems so the vet gives her shampoo to use "bathe her as often as you can, daily etc"......... This vet has obviously never met my dog, because the way she acts when I try to bathe her you'd think someone was trying to inflict the worse kind of pain on her. She is not sore or hurting anywhere at this point, and she's acted like this even when she's not had skin problems, but the vet said the bath & shampoo should be soothing (yeah right). Tonight she looked a little scaly, so I decided to give her a "soothing" bath, and now I feel like I need a triple martini and some soothing of my own.

She's always been a little like this with not liking the bath thing so much, but has gotten worse it seems the past year or so. I do not make an ordeal of this, I go up to start the bath, and calmly call her upstairs in that pleasant sing-songy voice. All through the bath I rub her belly, and use soothing "good girl" sounds, plenty of praise etc. I try to make it as short as possible, and avoid her face and ears if they don't need it. The past few baths (not daily btw, too much of an ordeal) have only involved washing from her "waist" down pretty much.

Regardless, throughout the bath, she shakes and shivers and on occasion pees or poops the bath and generally acts as if the world is ending with her antics. When done, I let her jump out and get a quick as all possible rub down with a towel, again lots of "good girl!!". After which she goes completely ape-****, running around the house like she's possessed, rubbing herself all over the furniture, barking, running the stairs and banging into stuff even, and you guessed it, messing all over the floors. Tonight, she decided to get that part over with BEFORE the bath, nice puddle outside the bathroom door on the carpet, but made sure to save a BM for the floor post-bath, which she took with her several places through the house (she had recently done both pre-bath).

Most times I can't even get near her to put her collar back on, the barking and acting like she's been cornered starts.

Can a simple bath really be THAT much torture for a dog ? I'm at the end of my rope.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Im so sorry she is that tough to bathe! I dont have much advise to offer on the bath but wondering what type of food you are feeding her? somtimes the bathing is not going to help if your dog has an allergy or issues with food. Jut thought I would put that out there so that maybe you wont have to bath her all the time?

Cindy
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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A few ideas...are you filling the bathtub with water before putting the dog in the tub? For some dogs, having their feet suddenly submerged like that can be very frightening. Rather than using a tub filled with water, place the dog in a dry tub and use either a shower wand or even just an old jug that you can fill with water and pour on the dog (that's what we do). You may even want to try some "dry-runs" (literally) where you simply put the dog in an empty tub, reward and praise her when she's calm and still, then remove her. It keeps it all very positive and can help her realize that it's not all bad.

What kind of surface is your dog standing on? Bare tub or tile? This kind of substrate is super-slippery, and can cause some dogs to panic. We use a rubber bathmat or even an old bath towel on the bottom of the tub to give our dogs some traction, which is calming to them.

Remember, too, that your dog will be feeding of your emotion. If you go into that bathroom all tense and thinking about what a nightmarish ordeal the bath will be, your dog will pick up on that and will mirror that tension and stress. Stay calm, upbeat, happy and light. Keep your actions and your movements calm and smooth.

Of our three dogs, two will tolerate the bath quietly, but one is a "screamer" (which is odd because she's such a water dog)...as long as we don't make her stand on a slippery floor and we're quick, she isn't too bad.
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Last edited by bendyfoot; July 10th, 2009 at 09:17 AM.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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One other thing...

I would exercise her thoroughly before the bath, really run her, give her a chance to burn off some energy and empty her bladder/bowels.
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Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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is it possible to bathe her outside? and I agree with bendyfoot, a good run/playtime before a bath really helps, I have the opposite problem, a full tub and an open bathroom door is an invitation my dog can't refuse....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr even when its MY bath, and even if I'm IN MY bath and hubs thinks its funny to open the door.....I often take my dog to the river to play and bathe her there, its organic shampoo so it will not hurt the water in any way
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Old July 10th, 2009, 10:40 AM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melinda View Post
is it possible to bathe her outside? and I agree with bendyfoot, a good run/playtime before a bath really helps, I have the opposite problem, a full tub and an open bathroom door is an invitation my dog can't refuse....grrrrrrrrrrrrrr even when its MY bath, and even if I'm IN MY bath and hubs thinks its funny to open the door.....I often take my dog to the river to play and bathe her there, its organic shampoo so it will not hurt the water in any way

tBathing outside is a great alternative on a hot, sunny day...that's what we do in the summer for sure...keep the dog on a leash in case it panics and decides to bolt, but we do find that Jaida's less agitated when she's bathed outdoors.
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Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
__________
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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CearaQC CearaQC is offline
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bendyfoot gave most excellent advice!

Are you giving the dog anything in the diet that will help with the dry skin? Our vet recommended some Omega fatty acid vitamins for my Sandy. It helped a lot! The vet price for the pills averaged out to about $1 a day.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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cpietra16 cpietra16 is offline
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This is just out of curiosity;

What type of dog do you have? I use to have a Sable, a collie..and they are so not a water dog that when she needed grooming and a bath it was like I was committing the worse crime of the century...my neighbours could hear him miles away.
I can;t give you any advise because with Sable, nothing worked because these dogs are just not comfortable with water.
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