If you struggle with giving your dog a bath, you’re not alone. Many dogs aren’t keen on getting in the tub, including my pups Daisy and Rosie. So I turned dreaded bath day into the ultimate doggie spa experience to help my dogs get fresh and clean without freaking out.

I’m going to share my method including:

  • Getting a dog to willingly jump into the tub on their own
  • Making and applying a homemade exfoliating scrub for dry winter skin
  • Giving a relaxing canine massage
  • And of course, washing the dog

What You’ll Need

  • Doggie towel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Brush
  • Their two favorite treats
  • Epsom salt
  • Lavender or peppermint essential oil
  • Carrier oil such as almond oil
  • Doggie ear cleaning liquid and cotton balls
  • Nail clippers (optional)
Some of the supplies you’ll need for the ultimate doggie spa experience.

Getting Your Dog into the Tub

My dogs know when it’s tub time, and they don’t like it. Once they see me pull their special bath towel out of the closet, they start trembling. I don’t want my dogs to associate anything I do with fear, so I have started incorporating treats into bath time. On our first doggie spa day, I cut up some treats from one of their favorite Natural Balance dog food rolls. I lured Daisy into the bathroom and then placed a few treats on the edge of the tub. After she was brave enough to take a treat, I asked her to get into the the tub – she eventually hopped in – and then I gave her another treat.

Daisy hopped right into the tub with the help of some baiting.

At this point, Rosie was so interested that she came to the bathroom doorway to watch.

Rosie was no doubt interested in the treats Daisy was receiving.

Treating Your Dog to an Exfoliating Scrub

Daisy is a pitbull mix and tends to have dry skin, so I decided to treat her to a moisturizing exfoliating scrub made of 1/2 cup epsom salt, 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 1/4 cup almond oil. The lavender essential oil works to calm your dog, while the almond oil contains skin-soothing properties. To make, just mix these three ingredients until they form a paste.

The ingredients for the scrub – 1/4 cup almond oil, 1/2 cup epsom salt and 3 drops lavender essential oil.
The mixed dog exfoliating scrub.

The quantities above were enough to apply to both of my medium sized dogs. After wetting my dogs down, I applied the mixture and massaged it into their skin for five minutes. Believe me, the dogs loved getting their necks and backs massaged and the lavender essential oil was no doubt soothing! To get your dog to an even more zen-like state, try also incorporating a jaw massage and ear rub.

Finishing Up

By this time, my pups were feeling pretty calm and it was time to get clean. After washing up with some Jean Paul Pet oatmeal shampoo – also good for soothing dry skin – the two were ready to dry up and get out of the tub.

Daisy all sudsy.
Rosie drying off in her duckie towel.

Next, I applied Jean Paul Pet spray-on conditioner to each dog and gave them a quick brushing. The final task was cleaning their ears using Petco’s branded ear cleaning solution – just drop the solution into the dog’s ear, massage it for a minute and clean it out with a cotton ball. After that, each of the dogs received their jackpot – a peanut butter dog biscuit.

Overall, bath time still might not rank up there with going to the park, but Daisy and Rosie were much calmer during this exclusive spa experience. I highly recommend incorporating some of the more soothing aspects of the doggie spa experience into any dog’s bath, especially if they suffer from tub time anxiety or just need a little extra pampering.