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Do Dogs Prefer Baths Or Showers?

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Do dogs prefer baths or showers

When the time comes to wash our dogs, we often wonder, does my dog enjoy this?

Whether it’s the endless shaking after the bath, the Houdini style attempts of escapes, or the effort it takes to get your dog into the bath or shower, it can seem more like a chore than a pleasant experience for you both.

You wonder, does my dog prefer a bath or a shower? It’s a valid question, and one we find keeps us up at night as we ponder the best way to clean our pooches. So much so that it becomes an obsession of ours.

Well, prepare to wonder no more! We have answered the question once and for all! Keep reading to find out whether dogs prefer baths or showers and any other dog bathing-related questions you have!

Do dogs prefer baths or showers?

When it comes to preferring a bath or shower, just like us, dogs have their preference!

We would say that it depends on your dog’s personal preference rather than an “all dogs like a bath” or “only certain breeds like a shower.”

It’s often worth trying your dog with a bath and a shower, seeing which one they prefer, and going from there.  Remember to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for them no matter which method you use. 

Not all dogs enjoy the water and being washed, and instead of splashing around or enjoying a good massage.

They are darting for the door or trying to climb out of the tub! In these cases, many positive comments and affection are often needed to keep your dog in position long enough to get the dirt out!

In these cases where your dog is anxious about being bathed or groomed, the bath tends to be the better option and one they prefer.

Compared to showers, the bath is far quieter. There is no loud gushing water hitting them, and you can work to keep the noise to a minimum in the bath. Without filling the bath with too much water, your dog can feel comfortable here and enjoy themselves more.

On the other hand, some dogs will prefer the pressure of the shower and the water falling on them instead of standing in it.

A shower can be better for particularly dirty dogs, especially those that tend to roll in the mud! You can offer a deep clean, and the dirt will wash away instead of sitting in the bath with the dog. 

Whichever option your dog prefers is the one you should choose. It will ensure that your dog is more agreeable when being washed and make the experience more enjoyable for you both! 

Do dogs care if they are dirty?

Generally, no dogs don’t care if they are dirty. This does vary from dog to dog and will depend on how dirty they are too! If your dog has been out rolling in mud, or worse, then the smell can bother them, and they will care that they are dirty.

In these cases, it’s often down to how sensitive dogs’ noses are, as the smell is more likely to irritate them than being dirty.

However, if being dirty is making them uncomfortable, then they are going to care.

For example, if there is dried mud or sticks stuck in their fur, this can be very uncomfortable for the dog and is likely to irritate them.

The same applies if the dirt was on their face and obstructing their vision. In these cases, the dog is going to care and will need to be bathed.  

You might also find that if your dog’s paws are dirty or wet from a walk in the rain or playing in the river, this will also bother them. They might rub against your furniture or shake a lot as they try to dry off. In these cases, your dog can seem uncomfortable and will need to be bathed.

Do dogs feel better after a bath?

Dogs prefer baths or showers

How your dog feels after a bath generally depends on the dog itself! Commonly we see dogs running around crazy after a bath, feeling a mixture of relief and happiness that the bath is over!

They often feel wet or a little damp, which is where the running and rubbing all over your furniture comes from! An excellent way to combat this is to use a towel to dry your dog thoroughly or a gentle blow dry if your dog isn’t afraid of the dryer (ours is terrified!). 

Part of this running isn’t just your dog feeling a little damp; it’s their instincts kicking in too. Your dog is running to scents that are more familiar to them, such as a cushion or their favorite blanket.

It’s not necessarily a reflection of how they feel about the bath, but feeling familiar.

The different smells on shampoo, the water, and how you dry them can feel unfamiliar to your dog, especially if they haven’t had many baths or don’t have them often.

Allowing them some time to calm down after their bath is always best; after all, it can be quite tense for some dogs. 

Dogs also have far more sensitive noses than us, and the scents used when bathing them can irritate them.

Instead of their usual “dog” smell, your dog will not smell clean, clinical, and sometimes fruity, depending on the scent of shampoo that you use. Strong smells can irritate your dog and cause them to act differently from normal.

Using a fragrance-free shampoo can help alleviate this discomfort and frustration your pup might be feeling.

Anxious dogs are more likely to feel relief after a bath. It can be a stressful environment for them, and afterward, they might run as far away as possible to escape it!

They might also be happy for the bath to be done and that they can get back to playing or sleeping. While it might not seem this way, dogs are happy after a bath or worn out most of the time! 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.