The dog wash is one of our most popular features at Braxton’s Animal Works. (Besides the employee snuggles and treats!) Even though most of Braxton’s four-legged patrons are excited to do a bath, there are a few “hesitant” customers. We wanted to share with you a few tips and tricks that we have picked up to make bath time at Braxton’s a bit less stressful on your pet and yourself! We teamed up with local dog trainer and expert, Anne Holiday from Pet’s in Motion to help build your confidence and capability to handle your dog in the bath area.
If you find yourself dragging your pup through the store or struggle getting them into the car to even get to the store, we are here for you and you are not alone. We encourage anyone that is comfortable to bring their dogs into Braxton’s on non-bath visits to get them acclimated to our store environment. Here is what Anne has to say about why your dog might be hesitant when entering Braxton’s.
“Recognize that sometimes the reluctance to enter the store or bath might not be what you think it is. Your dog could be reacting to another individual in the store, or to something that is happening in the store at that moment. Standing next to your dog, holding the door open and keeping the leash completely loose is often a great way to allow the dog to make the decision to enter the space on his own. This could take a minute! Presumably, you will have really good treats with you. At the moment the dog begins to enter the store you would offer reinforcement. If your dog is unwilling to take the food from your hand, you can always try leaving it on the floor for him to get. If your dog is totally unwilling to eat at all, that generally means the dog is overly stressed. Leaving the store for a few minutes and trying to enter again might help in this situation.”Anne Holiday – Pet’s in Motion
Bringing your dog with you even if you are not bathing, reaffirms that Braxton’s is not a scary place and every visit does not necessarily mean they are getting bathed. We highly encourage whenever you bring your dog in to take a trip back to the bath area and walk them around inside and reward them for positive relaxed behaviors. If that task seems daunting, start small by just walking them into the store near the bath and work your way up to going inside on another visit. Using your highest value treats that your dog likes will help. We want to repeat all of these actions as many times, each time getting closer and closer to having them get into the bath on their own.
“Most of our pets allow us to influence their actions and behaviors when necessary. However, there are some individuals who need to maintain more “control“ over the outcomes of what happens in the environment as it relates to the dog, and that includes control of the body. Helping our pets learn and understanding that they have a say in the outcome of a situation is a great way to build confidence for the event occurring at that moment, and for future events of the same type.”Anne Holiday – Pet’s in Motion
Know Your Pets Limits
Knowing what your dog can and can’t handle at home will be very similar to what they can handle at Braxton’s. If your dog doesn’t like when you get the vacuum out at home to clean, avoid using the air dryer at the store which is loud and can be the most stressful part of the bath. At Braxton’s, the towels are on us! Feel free to use as many towels as you need if you need to avoid the air dryer. If you know your pet does not get along with other dogs, and would not have a good time in our bath area with another dog, special circumstances can be accommodated during the week for a private bath. (This is not available on weekends at this time.)
Brushing your dog thoroughly before you leave home can make the bath process go much smoother. Brushing your dog in a comfortable environment can help make it easier on you in the store. Also, brushing is good before bath time to help remove hair that is going to be lost in the bath anyways. You can also use calming remedies to help calm your pet’s anxieties at bath time. We have a few products at Braxton’s that might help such as CBD or other calming aids which can be taken before you leave the house to ensure they are in full effect when you get to the store. Establishing a calming routine can be very effective such as music or aromas. These routines take longer to build and work, but are very effective. Finally, using the bath mats provided by Braxton’s allows your dog to have a more solid footing which provides stabilization for them bringing their anxiety level down.
“Some of our breed types are more inclined to water than others. So knowing your dog’s tendencies can help you understand why bathing can be stressful.”Anne Holiday – Pet’s in Motion
If all else fails, we do not want Braxton’s to be your pets worst nightmare. We have a great list of local pet groomers that can help you get a well groomed pup. We highly recommend Lucie at Barkingham Palace 610-240-0190 to help if you have an extremely stressed animal when it comes to the bath. So whenever you are in Braxton’s, feel free to let our staff know you would like to do some bath training and we can assist you with treats and clearing as much distraction as possible to help you.