How Do You Wash Your Dog?
In celebration of our five year blovagersary, I’m having flashbacks to our first year of posting. Today’s, How Do You Wash Your Dog?, is something I still struggle with, but for different reasons now. Flash and Patches are much older now, with very thin skin and lumpy places, so we no longer launder them at home, or even brush them. They go to a groomer we trust. Chewy and Gadget go to the groomer’s about four times a year, so their nails get clipped, their glands are expressed, and their ears are cleaned. I bathe them in the kitchen sink every three or four weeks otherwise.
Today I’m asking questions, to prove I don’t know everything. Oh, alright – there’s very little I actually KNOW. But this is more of a preference issue. How do you wash your dog?
Take Me to the River
To take your dog to a dog wash? To a groomer? Or to launder your dog at home?
I’ll tell you what we do, what we’ve done, what I’d LOVE to do, and what I’ll probably never do again. But I’m genuinely interested in hearing from you. Since, y’know, I don’t know much. 🙂
Different dogs have different grooming needs. Smaller dogs seem to need more … attention. Fussy primping. Am I wrong? Please tell me I’m wrong. But so many small dogs seem to have hair instead of fur, meaning they need it washed, cut, styled. Maybe it’s just the small dogs that I know. Chewy and Gadget do need more grooming, more attention. Mostly because they are small and need their anal glands expressed regularly. But they’re also much easier to bathe.
We took Flash and Patches to the groomer once. Once. The cost about killed me. Being Aussie mixes, they have a long double coat of fur and shed all year long. A friend recommended we try defurmination, so we did. It was WONDERFUL. And probably worth every penny. But I went hunting for an undercoat brush after that and have been quite pleased with the ten bucks I spent on a brush. Defurmination is a special washing, then a fancy undercoat brush, then another brushing. Or something. It’s mysterious. It must be a magical secret. Our dogs each probably lost a third of their size in volume at the groomer’s. I kid you not. I don’t give them the same attention to detail, but I do try to brush them weekly. The results aren’t pretty.
I would do the groomer’s again in a heartbeat if I could afford it. But a little extra elbow grease doesn’t kill me, so I brush at home.
The Dog Wash – They’re Everywhere, and Just Like a Car Wash
We’ve done the dog wash thing a handful of times, usually before a trip when we don’t have time to wrestle with them in the backyard or we’re on our way out of town.
They don’t really care for the process. It’s a great idea, and it’s not too expensive, but for a 55 pound dog with a ton of fur, the dog wash just doesn’t work. We never get enough time, water, soap, rinse, to finish cleaning our dogs. Similar to a car wash, but not suited to every dog. Not to ours, anyway. Anyone have a different, better experience you’d like to share? If I did this again, I’d bring my own bar soap for the dogs. Especially since it rinses out so quickly.
Do You Wash Your Dog at Home?
Laundering the dog at home is probably my least favorite of all, but the one we do every month or so. More frequently in summer, since the dogs get stinky then. Closest we can tell, the doggy stink is bacterial, something like athlete’s foot. Bathing more frequently, with a white vinegar and water rinse, to kill bacteria, helps a lot. And their coats are softer after the vinegar. They don’t smell like pickles AT ALL.
Amended to say that I’ve since discovered the most marvelous soap for dogs. Chubbs Bars are a bar shampoo designed for grooming dogs and I SWEAR by them. They make it easy to get straight to the skin, soap right up with very little time and aggravation, it rinses quickly and cleanly, and there’s no lingering chemical smell. Also? I use it on my own hair. The whole rinsing quickly is probably the best part. And not using gobs of shampoo.
So that’s what we do, what we’ve done. I’m always open to alternatives. Please share with me what works for you? PLEASE? This is probably me least favorite part of being a dog mom. Thanks.
Don’t forget to enter our TWO Jones Natural Chews giveaways! We’re holding our secret giveaway for our five year blogging anniversary (click here to enter that one), as well as our usual giveaway which happens every two weeks (click here to enter that one). And don’t hesitate to tweet about both, since that gets you closer to winning!
Spreading the good chews …