A dog in a bathtub getting a rinse from their owner.

Do Dogs Like Showers?

We all know dogs love to roll around in the mud, play in the snow, and take a dip in a lake. They don’t seem to mind being dirty at all! And, of course, you try to shower them on a regular basis so that they do not look messy. But do dogs actually like taking showers?

Dogs don’t like showers. This is usually because the shower can be a scary or unpleasant experience for dogs. Bad memories can also cause dogs to associate showers with pain and fear. Baths are also stressful experiences for them as bathing involves loss of control, unfamiliarity with showers, and inability to escape or express discomfort. Ultimately, whether dogs enjoy baths also depends on their breed, personality, and experience with water.

Some Dogs Like Showers And Some Dogs Don’t

A dog shaking water off its body.
Shake it off, buddy!

Although not all dogs may like taking showers, it depends largely on the individual dog. Some breeds are more likely to enjoy the experience. Some dogs may enjoy the feeling of being in a warm shower, while others may find it intimidating and unpleasant. 

Breeds with a lot of hair, such as golden retrievers and German Shepherds, tend to love baths since it keeps their fur clean and manageable. Conversely, low-maintenance breeds such as Chihuahuas, which don’t need a lot of grooming, may not enjoy showers as much. 

Why Dogs Don’t Like Showers

Sometimes dogs feel uncomfortable or scared when standing in a confined space with water and noise coming from all directions. However, there are several reasons why dogs do not like showers, which are as follows.

Bad Memories

Dogs may have bad memories associated with baths, be traumatized by past baths, and vigorous shampooing may also make showers unpleasant experiences. They might want to avoid it at all costs. Being bathed or shampooed too roughly can make them wary of bathing and cause them to associate the experience with pain and fear.

Loss of Control

Dogs may also feel a loss of control and insecurity when taking showers. They cannot move around freely in the shower, and they are not able to escape or express their discomfort. This can cause anxiety and fear, making showers a negative experience for dogs.

Bath Time Is Stressful

Dogs are creatures of habits and routines, so it can be stressful for them when the daily routine is disrupted. Being bathed and shampooed can be a big change from the usual routine, which causes stress in some dogs. 

Most dogs don’t like the smell of shampoo or soap because these smells are different from their own scent. They may also dislike the feel of water on their fur or skin because it’s something they’re not used to. Therefore, it can be stressful for them.

Unfamiliarity With Showers

Dogs may also dislike taking showers because they are unfamiliar with the process. They may not know what to expect and be confused about why their owners are trying to get them wet or why their fur is being lathered up with soap. The unfamiliar sounds, movements, and smells can lead to anxiety and fear, which in turn leads to a negative experience for the dog.

Do Dogs Need To Take Showers?

Dogs with short, smooth coats and no skin issues do not need to be bathed regularly. Although bathing your pup once every two to three months is often beneficial for pet owners, it is not always necessary. Usually, dog baths are more of a convenience than an absolute requirement. However, if your dog becomes dirty or develops a skin problem, then it is best to bathe it more frequently. 

5 Tips To Shower A Dog That Hates Showers

To make showering your pup an easier, more stress-free experience, try applying these simple and uncomplicated tips.

1. Tire Your Dog Out

Before a shower, tire your dog out by playing with it or taking it on a long walk. It will help to reduce its energy and make it calmer and more relaxed. Exercise is also a great way to tire out your pup and make shower time less of a struggle.

2. Have A Positive Attitude

Your pup is more likely to follow your lead, so if you are positive and upbeat during the showering process, it will be too. Try to stay calm and speak in a soothing voice that won’t frighten it.

3. Introduce Water Gradually

Don’t let your pup take a plunge straight into the shower! Start by introducing them to the water bit by bit. Start by dampening a washcloth and letting your pup get used to the feel of water. Praise them for remaining calm during this process. Once they seem comfortable, you can begin using the showerhead, starting from the bottom and slowly working up their body.

4. Create A Positive Association

Creating positive associations with the shower is key for any pup who hates taking baths! Before beginning the shower, give your pup a special treat or toy that it only gets to enjoy during bath time.

This will help it start to associate showers with positive experiences and happy memories. Additionally, make sure to reward it at the end of each session with lots of praise, petting, and treats.

5. Make Shower Time A Fun Time

Showering with your pup can be a great bonding experience for you and your pup! Also, turn shower time into fun by using one of your pup’s favorite toys. You can also try playing some music or having someone else join you to add an element of playfulness and keep your pup entertained while it gets clean.

With patience, positivity, and consistency, you can teach your pup to love showers.

Alternative Ways To Clean A Dog Without A Bath

Bathing your dog is not the only way to keep it clean and healthy! There are plenty of alternatives that can help get the job done. Here are some of the best options.

Dry Shampoo 

Dry shampoo is a powder or spray that absorbs oils in the fur, making it easier to brush out dirt and tangles without water. 

Grooming Wipes

These wipes contain special ingredients that help condition your pup’s coat while removing dirt and debris. 

Waterless Bath

A waterless bath is an easy way to clean and freshen your pup without actually having to get it wet. It works by spraying a gentle solution on its fur that can effectively remove odors, dirt, and dander. 


Brushing your pup regularly is a great way to keep their coat clean and healthy. This will help reduce mats and tangles and remove dirt and debris that may be stuck in its fur.

In Conclusion: Do Dogs Like Showers?

Showering your pup can be daunting, but with time and patience, it can become enjoyable for you and your pup. It’s important to remember that all dogs have their own likes and dislikes regarding showering. Some may outright hate it. If this is the case, try using dog-friendly products and introducing the experience in small doses.

Focus on positive reinforcement and make shower time enjoyable by providing rewards or giving your pup a special treat afterward. With these tips, you can help make shower time calming, comfortable, and less stressful for your furry friend! 

So, do you plan to shower your dog soon? Or will you try a different way to help them stay clean? Let us know in the comments below!

Dr. Majid Tanveer (DVM)
Dr. Majid Tanveer (DVM)
Dr. Majid is a licensed veterinarian, writer, and animal welfare advocate. He obtained his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan. He has been working as a senior veterinarian for five years. Over the last few years, Dr. Majid has worked extensively for the betterment of animal welfare and rights in his country. He is also a proud owner of a dog, which he loves dearly. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog and indulging in his hobby of writing.