Trying to pin a dog down and have them sit still during bath time is a skill that takes time to master. We’ve all been there but you don’t have to struggle through it! There are ways to make the process easier for everyone involved.

Below, we’ll provide our favorite tips and tricks to help make bath time easier for you and your furry friends. 

Tips and tricks

Of course, every animal is different so you need to take into account their personalities. However, here are our best tips for keeping your dog calm during bath time:


First and foremost, do some prep work. Gather all of your supplies while bringing little attention to what you’re doing. This includes towels, shampoo, treats, and anything else you may need.


Next, it’s time to gently guide your animal to the bathroom. If they have high anxiety, they’re going to know something is up pretty quickly. Don’t panic though! Speak calmly and guide them with happy tones towards the bathroom. If they run away, don’t chase them. This can make it into a game for them and that’s what you definitely don’t want. Give them a minute to calm down and try again, using a treat if necessary.

Then, gently get them in the tub or shower and close the door or curtain behind you. Try sitting in the space for a minute and get used to it together, talking to your dog and loving on them so they know they’re safe.


Dogs don’t like surprises, especially in new places. Try to run the water without them standing in it. Get the water to a nice, warm temperature before you use it on them and don’t soak them. Shower attachments are great, or use a small cup to work in sections. Take your time and stop if your dog starts to panic.


Make sure to have snacks ready, so that you can award great behavior with treats. This lets your dog know that their doing good and creates a reward connection in their brain.

You can provide little snacks and treats every few minutes, or you can try something more interactive with the peanut butter method. Just swipe a big glob of it on the side of the tub and they’ll be so distracted with the treat that you can wash them with no problem. 


Other distractions are available for bathtime if none of the above methods work. Try bringing their favorite toy to the bathtub or playing calming music. You can also invest in treat puzzles on amazon. They make your dog think and they’ll be so focused on how to get to their goodies that they won’t know or care what’s happening.

Self serve pet wash

These tips are great and can be used virtually anywhere, not just in your home. If your dog likes to play at the park a lot, you might want to see if they have a self serve pet wash available. These are great on-site options to bathe your dog after some fun and the best part is they’ll be so tired they probably won’t fight you!

Want some more tips on bath time, or interested in learning more about the self serve pet wash? Dog Wash Systems USA has been manufacturing pet washes for years and we’d be happy to help you.

So give us a call today, we can help you turn bath time into a dream for you and your dog!