Bathing your own dog at home is something that many people undertake, although others will avoid it at all costs due to the potential mess, struggle, time and effort involved! In this situation, it is normal to take your dog along to a professional groomer to take care of things for you, because groomers have not only the skills and experience to make sure things go smoothly, but also the facilities to make things much easier to manage too.
However, whether your dog is bathed at home or taken off to a professional, you may have noticed that your dog acts rather differently for the rest of the day after they have been bathed and dried, potentially being very playful and energetic and zooming around the house and being silly! This phenomenon is so common that most people who have bathed their dogs more than once come to expect it-but have you ever wondered why it is, and what causes your dog to act in such a strange way?
In this article, we will address this question and provide a range of possible answers. Read on to learn more.
Whilst we as humans are of course used to bathing or showering regularly, having a proper bath is not something that dogs do in the wild-if they do get into water or swim this is likely to be for a purpose or for fun, with the getting wet part just a necessary side effect.
The whole sensation of being bathed is very alien to dogs, both in terms of them being placed in a bath, washed with hot water and shampoo, massaged, brushed and cleaned up, as well as of course being dried off too, particularly if you use a hairdryer. The sensation of being dripping wet is potentially very odd for your dog, which is why you will rarely manage to intervene with a towel before they shake off everywhere!
For some dogs, bathing can be very stressful, and even to very laid back pooches, the novelty and strangeness of the situation is of course unusual. Some dogs actively enjoy being bathed, due to a combination of the sensations, attention, and the novelty of the process itself.
However, whatever your dog thinks about the bathing and drying itself, the chances are that they feel like a different dog afterwards!
After your dog’s bath, they will definitely feel different. All of the dirt and grease from their skin and coat will be gone, the texture of their fur will have changed, and they will smell different too. Such acute changes within a relatively short period of time will make your dog’s body feel rather strange and alien to them, although this is usually a good feeling-much as we have after a good thorough bath or shower when we are particularly dirty.
Your dog’s excited or vigorous behaviours after a bath are likely to be connected to your dog testing out the new feelings, and also, getting used to the way their skin and coat feels now. Additionally, the dirtier they were before, the better they are apt to feel, and so this is likely to make them happy and more light-hearted.
Bathing even a well behaved dog that enjoys their bath and cooperates fully requires restraining them and manipulating their bodies to ensure that they get properly cleaned and dried, and so when you finally let them go, they will likely want to shake themselves out and celebrate their lack of restriction by leaping around and having fun!
As mentioned, bathing your dog significantly changes the way they smell, which is one of the main points of giving them the bath-but dogs, whose senses of smell are much more acute than ours, will notice this change even more, particularly when the smell that has changed is their own!
Your dog might roll around on the floor and/or rub themselves against the furniture in order to somewhat mute the smell of “something different,” and regain the smells of their natural environment. If this sounds like your dog, keep a close eye on them to ensure that they do not roll around in something foul on your next walk, as is sometimes apt to happen!
For some dogs, baths are great fun and the whole process is something that they very much enjoy, particularly if you make sure that your dog has a good time while in the tub! If your dog views the whole thing with great enthusiasm, as some breeds that have a natural affinity with water to like the springer spaniel are apt to, they will no doubt want to keep the fun going after the bath itself is over.