- Health Library
- PetMD U
Whether it be a cat or dog you wish to bathe, the most important thing to remember (especially with those frisky felines) is to start ‘em young. Yep, we mean as babies.
But even if they are babies, you can’t just toss them straight into the bathwater (as apposed to throwing the baby out with the bathwater). You need a strategy, or a plan, or something to help you get those fluffy bundles of joy ready for a lifetime of enjoying a splash in the tub.
Toys and play are essential before you even get your pet into the tub. Play with them in the bathroom and bring in favorite toys. Basically, you’re teaching them the bathroom is not a scary place.
Of course, like kids, toys in the tub are fun for your pet, too (though only the ones made of plastic). Pets especially love toys with treats hidden inside them. We say bonus points for the types of toys with treats that clean the teeth and sweeten the breath!
#4 Water Temperature
Puppies and kitties are very sensitive to hot and cold. Just make sure the water is lukewarm, so their sweet, sensitive, baby skin won’t burn. Also, hot water can be a shock to an animal that has never had the luxury of a bath. Remember, this is their first time in the water!
#3 Water Wings
We’re not saying you need those floaty devices that are so popular in teaching the young to swim. But for a young animal who’s never really been put into a pool of water, porcelain against paws can end up in a horrible sliding, scrabbling, scared event that no one wants.
A non-slip mat to perch your pet on is the perfect alternative to them sliding into the great white abyss of your tub. Your pet will have something to cling to and bathing won’t be traumatic -- or seem like a bad rehearsal of Ice Capades.