Six month old pup hates baths
I have a six month old rottweiler who when he was 4 mos. old got demodetic mange. The vet gave us medicine to treat him after his regular baths, which was to be applied once he was towel dried. He hasn't really been fond of baths in the first place, but he really hates it now to the point of foaming at the mouth and getting very aggressive.
We are through with his treatments, thank goodness! He gets treats while bathing. We are considering muzzling him whenever he gets baths, but we really don't want to do it. Any suggestions as to what we can do to help him know that he will not get the medicine after his bath and to relax? Last week we tried to do it slowly and gently and it seemed to work for some of the time.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Your poor pup, and poor you too..... this must have been pretty traumatic for everyone involved!
It's understandable that your pup gets upset over his baths, especially as he's been through a bit of an ordeal with the Mange treatment.
Really it's probably just going to take time and patience to help him overcome the stress that bathing triggers in your pup. Going slowly and gently is definitely the best approach, as is giving treats and trying to make the whole experience as positive as possible. I'd also recommend keeping his baths as short as possible for now. Aim for a rinse and towel off with lots of treats and praise and try to get it all over and done with before he gets upset. Then build on that.
Rottweilers don't really need bathing a whole lot (unless they're adept at getting really dirty!), but although you don't want to bathe him too often, you also don't want to leave too much time between these quick 'rinse and dry' sessions as you want to desensitize him to the whole process. Maybe a quick bath once every two months or so would work for now.
I'd also advise against muzzling him unless there's absolutely no choice, because this will stress him out more and probably scare him too. He'll also associate the muzzle with the bath and will hate it even more :o( Basically you just need to be consistent, loving and patient with him so that he eventually accepts bathtime without getting so upset.
There are some natural products that can be used to help calm down a dog who is very anxious or fearful and you may want to take a look at this page Dog Separation Anxiety Medication page. Although the article deals with anxiety relating to separation, the products are suitable for all types of situations that cause fear and nervousness.
Anyway, I hope this helps somewhat and that your pup manages to overcome his fear of baths in time.