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Battle of the Bath

How to Deal with Dogs that Hate Being Groomed

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Header photo: Westsib/

Does your dog HATE being groomed? You’re not alone. Though many dogs don’t love grooming sessions (baths and nail clipping are often particularly problematic), there are some dogs whose intense dislike for the process make it near impossible to take care of essential things like trimming those talons or washing off skunk. For these dogs, we share here expert tips plus recommended products to help in the battle of the bath. 

dog who escapes a bath#1  Work with a behaviourist

In truly tough cases, call in the experts. This is the ideal starting point to positively impact your dog’s long-term ability to be groomed. Positive-reinforcement behaviourists can assess your dog and begin identifying and working on the underlying triggers and associations causing the upset. They give you training tips, coping mechanisms, and daily tasks you can perform to desensitize your dog, like daily paw massages.

#2 Have back-up in the grooming salon

Bring in a third helper, so both you and your friend—someone your dog knows and trusts—can help the groomer. That way you have someone to help restrain and calm your dog, while you and the groomer can work on the grooming. (Be sure to let the groomer know what they’re getting in to.)

#3 Calming Sprays and CBDs

To help with anxiety, try adding a few drops of Bach’s Rescue Remedy for Pets to your dog’s food, or spraying MediPets CBD Pet Spray into your dog’s mouth (legalities surrounding CBD vary per province/state; check with your vet and turn to page 68 for more on how CBDs can help dogs with everything from anxiety to pain). Both are two natural ways to help your dog relax and reduce anxiety. 

#4 More spot cleaning, less full baths

Make life easier between baths by using a spray, dry shampoo and/or handy pet wipes to freshen up your pet. 


Products That Can Help

scrubber for bathing dogs A Handheld Scrubber

The Dexas Scrub Buster is great for spot cleaning. It lets you use water and shampoo in the top capsule and dispenses it onto your dog where you can lather it with the bristles. You still need some water to rinse off the soap, but a quick rinse with the hose does the trick. The scrubber is also good to use in the summer months after camping and to keep any odours at bay. 

A Good Glove Brush

A de-shedding glove is a Godsend, allowing you to remove excess fur and loose hair while you pet your dog, getting him comfortable with the processes of grooming. The HandsOn glove is a favourite. They come in multiple sizes and really work! 

Dog Cologne/Spray

Skout’s Honor Probiotic Deodorizer in Honeysuckle scent not only hydrates but also deodorizes your dog’s skin by incorporating probiotics, which make it difficult for harmful bacteria to take over while allowing good bacteria to flourish. Just spray on and brush or massage through your dog’s coat and onto skin for a fresher, better-smelling pet in between washes! Can be used daily. 

FurBliss brush for brushing your dogA Good Daily Brush

Getting rid of the dander and hair can make your dog at least look freshly groomed and put together! Try the FurBliss brush—no matter your dog’s breed/hair type, they have a brush that will help.

Waterless Shampoos

Dry shampoos are super popular for people to use in between showers, why not for dogs?! There are a few types we’ve tried and each has its own benefits: 
– John Paul Pet has a Waterless Foam Shampoo that you pump into your hands, massage into the dry fur, and simply brush it through—no rinsing required!
– Rufus and Coco's Water Free Wash cleans, deodorises and removes oil without water. Simply sprinkle on, brush and go!

device to distract dogs in the bath Bathtime Gear

Aquapaw’s ingenious Slow Treater is designed to keep less cooperative dogs busy. Pack it with peanut butter and stick it to the wall to distract your dog while you’re washing him!  



Fur Detangler for dogsSpina Organics’ fur detangler is a lightweight leave-in conditioner that nourishes fur without weighing it down. Enriched with Argan and Moringa oil to make your dog’s coat softer than ever before, it eliminates tangles and leaves fur static-free, no rinsing necessary!  

Doggie Body Wipes

Wet wipes are a baby must-have and the principle applies nicely to dog hygiene. You can wipe off anything weird your dog has rolled in and keep your dog smelling as fresh as possible. Metro Wipes can be used all over your dog’s body, and they’re even good for using on your dog’s face and paws.


Foamcare® makes bath time easy!

Foamcare® dog shampoo sprays on for quicky coverage, conditions skin, enhances shine, and rinses easier than other dog shampoos! Available in regular, thick coat, and medicated formaulas. Relives dry, itchy skin, medicated treats hot spots, dermatitis, skin allergy symptoms. Paraben-free, plant-based, and fun to use!


Need more bath time goods? Check out our Coat and Body Care products in the Modern Dog Shop!

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