We all know how good a nice bath makes us feel, so I have to wonder, why does my dog go crazy after a bath? Bathtime around my house is a not-so-nice time for my chihuahua, Angel. She seems to go into hyperactive mode before, during and after getting a dip in the bathtub (much unlike her usual laid back, not-a-care-in-the-world persona).
Many dogs get the after-bath crazies — racing through the house, jumping on furniture and wholeheartedly wagging their tails. It might make you wonder if there’s something in the water to make them so energetic!
Here Are Some Guesses
Perhaps it’s that the air moves across their wet bodies and gives them a great feeling, which is enhanced the faster they move.
Or maybe the smells of the soaps and shampoos we use on them are strong on their nostrils. Even though we don’t exactly love the pre-bath “dog” smell, that is the smell they are accustomed to. So rolling around on the floor after a bath may give your dog a more natural smell to them.
Of course, rolling around helps get them dry quicker. So does shaking off the water. They don’t like the weight of the water on their fur (even if they go for a dip in the river, they will keep stopping for a shake-off). A healthy, dry coat is a canine’s best protection from the elements, and natural instinct tells them to keep it dry.
Or… Just Glad It’s All Over
Surely, one good answer would be that your clean, sweet-smelling puppy is really glad the entire ordeal is over. Free at last, your dog goes zooming around the house, ready to accept all your hugs and kisses, as well as the praise (and treats) for being such a good dog during the bath.
A woman who works in a grooming salon says, “When they know it’s over, all that adrenaline…has them feeling relieved and energetic. You’re controlling them and making them feel yucky during the bath, and then releasing them and they are celebrating! Moving around gets them back to feeling normal.”
“Catch Me If You Can”
With Angel, bath time is a workout — for both of us. First, I have to catch her (she hears the water running in the tub, sees me walking toward her, and the game is on). I think she is a little afraid of water and does not enjoy having her face wet. But once the bath is over, she is ready to go — whether from excitement or relief.
There is no better smell to me than that of a freshly bathed dog — except, perhaps, a freshly bathed infant.
Dog Bathing Tips From a Pro
In this video packed with helpful information, Dr. Karen Becker, DMV, gives some dog bathing tips:
- Your Chihuahua: How often should I give my chihuahua a bath?
- Paw Rescue: Bathing and shampooing your dog
- ASPCA: Grooming FAQ