Most dogs hate baths. Most dogs are less than fond of the suds and smells of bath time. If you've ever struggled with your doggie in the tub, here are five tips to help you make the whole process easier on you and your pet:

1. Talk to your vet. It may seem silly to ask your veterinarian about bathing your dog, but some breeds actually require more bathing than others. Also, your vet can determine if your pet has any specific skin issues that may necessitate a certain type of dog shampoo.

2. Gather your supplies. You will definitely need shampoo and lots of doggie towels. If you are bathing your dog outdoors, you will also need a tub with non-skid bottom or a hose with an adjustable nozzle. If doggie's bath with take place in your bathroom, make sure you close the door behind you once you get him inside. Also, depending on your dog's breed and hair type, you may also want to use conditioner.

3. Lather up. Fill your tub with 4-6 inches of water (less if you have a very small dog or a puppy) and ease Fido into the bath. If she's very nervous, be sure to talk gently and handle her as carefully as possible. Wet her coat with water, making sure to keep it out of her eyes and face, and lather her up with a small amount of shampoo at a time. Smooth on conditioner if desired and be sure to rinse thoroughly.

4. Make drying fun. OK, the hard part is over. Now show your pooch some love with a vigorous toweling-off. Most dogs get a little whacky after a bath and like to run, run, run. If possible, give your dog a few minutes to run in the yard and get his excitement out.

5. Break out the treats. The best way to ensure that your dog won't run and hide the next time you break out the shampoo is to end the bath on a positive note. So make sure to give her lots of pats and treats for the job well done.

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