A TikTok clip of the puppy that has gone viral is captioned: “She’s been through things no one should have to go through…” The video shows Tiggy, the nine-year-old rescued Pomeranian, being held like a baby wrapped up in a towel.
Her owner, Fern Atkinson, 32, who goes by the handle @tiggystongue, added the following text to the story: “She went through a traumatic experience, [and] needed some serious love and cuddles, and to be held for 35 minutes to get over it.”
Users then see a photo that may help many dog owners understand why Tiggy is acting that way—an image of Tiggy in the bath. Newsweek reached out to Preston Turano, a veterinarian, who explained why some dogs find bath time so traumatic.
Why Do Dogs Hate Baths?
Fortunately for dogs, a good scrub in the bath doesn’t happen every day. Experts previously told Newsweek they should be bathed every four to eight weeks. Otherwise, their natural oils may deplete.
Turano told Newsweek: “It depends on the dog’s bathing history and grooming experience. Some grooming facilities are extremely noisy due to the dryers. Some dryers are very loud, leading groomers to wear ear protection. Imagine how loud it must be for your dog.”
Turano, also a spokesperson for AKC Pet Insurance, said using a hose isn’t a “pleasant experience” for a dog—mainly when used on their heads. Turano added cold water isn’t enjoyed by most dogs, especially during the cooler months.
He said: “Turning on the shower and spraying your dog is not a good idea either. Some adopted dogs may have never had a bath, so you must start slowly. They aren’t used to it, which is scary.”
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Speaking to Newsweek, Atkinson, who lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, explained she rescued Tiggy from a shelter.
The marketing freelancer said: “She was, unfortunately, a puppy farm dog, used for breeding Pomeranians for most of her life. We are unsure if she was allowed outside, and I don’t think she ever saw grass.
“I decided as she has had such a tough life, she deserved to be treated like the princess she is—so I do everything in my power to give her the best time.
“As time has passed, I see her become more dog every day. She is the sweetest, kindest, most lovable, goofy, fantastic dog—even after everything she has been through!
“We are now seeing a few diva-ish tendencies, which I love because she is more comfortable and feels safe to show her true personality. She deserves the world and all the love and spoiling I can offer her.”
How To Make Your Dog Enjoy Bathtime
Turano shared some top tips that may help your dog fall in love with bathtime:
- Do not use a hose outside.
- Cold water and the actual spray of the hose can be a turn-off for dogs.
- If you have a large dog and can’t use a tub, find a self-dog wash in town.
- Check out the facility and noise level if you use a groomer. There are plenty of mobile groomers around these days as well.
- If you are washing at home, start when they are young. So, they are used to the bathroom by taking them in there regularly, so they are familiar with the space.
When it comes to washing them, Turano advises owners to fill the bathtub with a few inches of warm water and use a pitcher to pour the water over the dog’s coat gently.
He added: “Gently lather in the soap and rinse using the pitcher and water (use the faucet for clean water if needed). Towel drying is best, but if using a dryer, do not concentrate on one area for long, as it can lead to burns. Gently move over large areas and carefully around the head.”
Lastly, Turano advises against taking your dog outside after a bath unless they are scorched. And to give treats throughout the process to ensure it is a rewarding experience—after all, that is the way to a dog’s heart.