In a recent episode of a reality television show, one participant mentioned that she showered with her dog. Apparently, the dog loved it because he had his back scratched and ears cleaned. Is it okay to shower with a dog? It makes some sense because when you bathe your dog, you often end up as wet as you would in the shower anyway. If you have the space in your bathroom and your dog doesn't mind the spray of water, there's no reason why you shouldn't shower with him.
The one big advantage to showering with your dog is if they don't have an escape route from the cubicle when the door is closed. This means they won't pull out of their collar or scramble out of the bath before you're finished bathing them. Of course, if your shower is in a bathtub sans door, the advantage goes away.
There are, however, a number of disadvantages to washing your dog in this way. Large dogs won't have much room to move around and you run the risk of tripping or stumbling over them. This could result in injury to both of you.
It's not always safe for small dogs, either. They'll be slippery when they're wet and soapy, and might slip out of your hands and fall to the floor. If they're a bit wriggly, you might find yourself with scratches in some sensitive areas.
Some dogs may become anxious about the sound of the water spray or the feel of it on their body. These individuals would be much happier being washed elsewhere.
Dogs of any size might like to lap up the soapy bubbles on the floor. This is unlikely to cause any problems but if they swallow too much, it may make them feel a bit ill. If they lick up any residual shower cleaning products, you can expect to see signs of gastrointestinal irritation such as vomiting and a loss of appetite. If this happens, have a chat with your vet for some advice on how to treat your dog.
To make your shower go smoothly, there is some preparation you can undertake. Use a hose extension for your shower. This will make it much easier to aim the water directly onto your dog's coat rather than throughout the shower cubicle. It will also be easier to rinse out the soapy lather from their fur.
It's helpful to have a second pair of hands to help after the shower. What happens after your dog has a bath? They shake, run around, and roll on the ground. If you can imagine your freshly showered dog doing this as soon as it is released from the cubicle, you can imagine how wet your entire bathroom may become. Have a helper ready with a towel for your dog before they're allowed free rein in your home.
The last piece of advice is to use a dog shampoo to wash your dog rather than sharing your own hair care products with him. Our shampoos are too drying and could leave your pet's coat dull and dry. A variety of shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for dogs are available; find one that suits your pet.
Any anecdotes of sharing a shower with Fido? Or Fifi? Share them in the comments below!