I think a lot of my weirdness is coming out in this blog lately, and I’m thrilled about it. I’ve learned so much about dogs in the past seven years of blogging and day-to-day life with Matilda and Cow, but the weird ways we get things done are golden.
I’ve washed my dogs in sinks – for Matilda, even a tiny bathroom sink works, and Cow has been in a big basement sink – and in bathtubs, on their own in the shower – and absolutely nothing beats just taking a shower with one or even both of them.
I’m able to reach every part of the dog. It’s so much faster and less stressful for them.
And I truly hate getting my clothes wet when I bathe them from outside the shower. It’s that “wet sock after stepping in a puddle” sensation times ten. Gross.
And the multi-tasking! I’ve also brushed my teeth, all while showering with my dogs, which is a terrible idea, but it’s how we do things around here.
Is it Safe to Shower with your Dog?
The biggest concern is going to be slipping and sliding. You want to make sure your bathmat is big enough for you and your dog. And if they’re frantic, struggling to keep them inside the tub could make you slip and fall.
The backspray of the shower can also get up your dog’s nose and in their ears. I have a detachable showerhead that I can position so it’s against the wall while I work in their shampoo.
It’s much harder to do this with a normal showerhead. I’ve held Matilda in my arms to get her under the spray to rinse, and she’ll try to climb on me to get away from the water. Sometimes she scratches me, but if I let her hang out on the bathmat and spray her with the handheld showerhead, she’s fine.
Can I Use Human Shampoo on my Dog?
Human skin and our soaps and shampoos are relatively acidic, so they are not safe to use on dogs. When used on dogs, human hair products, even mild baby shampoo, dries out the top layer of their skin. The skin can dry out and crack, leaving them more vulnerable to itching, flaking and infection.
If I’ll be washing my hair, I usually shampoo before I let the dogs hop into the tub. Even though they’re not fond of baths, they actually try to climb in before I invite them.
I think my dogs hop into the tub so readily because, even though they’re nervous about bathing, they want to be close to me. And I think that’s why it’s so much easier for them.
What if I Don’t Want to Shower with my Dog?
If you can’t or don’t want to shower with your dog, but you’re still looking for a better way, you can try a larger space like a bathtub or a baby pool. You can join them, in a bathing suit or some old clothes, that way you can still be close to them and give them a good scrub.
And of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a sink or taking your dog to a groomer. The key is to make hygiene easy and comfortable for both of you.