Black & White Sunday–Bath Day & A Review

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Siren, not terribly thrilled about bath day.

 

Every 2-3 months or so (depending on how dirty they get), it’s time for Dog Bath Day.  To avoid eradicating healthy oils from the coat and causing dry skin, we only bathe when absolutely necessary.   To keep shedding to a minimum we brush and de-shed their coats regularly.  Not only is brushing your dog’s coat good for getting out loose hair and keeping foreign objects out (stickers, tree sap, etc), but it helps to distribute those healthy oils, thereby giving your dog’s coat a nice sheen.  It also serves as a nice bonding time, relaxing both you and your dog.  Mine like it so much they are often snoring by the time I am done.  

Shedding is something to consider when choosing a dog, and I often get asked how much my breed sheds.  It is not as bad as when I had Rottweilers, but they do shed.  I am normally sweeping, vacuuming and mopping once daily.  It was not unheard of for me to do it twice daily if I forgot to take them outside and use the shedding blade on them.  Tumbleweeds (blobs of hair) are a fairly common sight here.  I have always used a shedding blade, but when the trusty one I’d had for years finally broke, I decided to try something else.  I’d heard many folks rave about the Furminator line of de-shedding tools, so I purchased one for myself to see how it performed.  In addition to the de-shedding tool, I purchased their shampoo and conditioner.  It smells wonderful and I swear, there is less hair in my house!  I even notice less hair in and around their crates.  This is a huge deal since normally every week I am moving crates and sweeping around and under them.  Using the tool in conjunction with the shampoo and conditioner has made an amazing difference.  The products are a bit pricier than you might expect, but they are absolutely worth every penny.  The shampoo and conditioner retail for $12.99 each and the de-shedding tool starts at $37.99 on up to $72.99 depending on size and coat type.

 

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Shedding blade. Photo by leerburg.com.

 

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From left to right: Furminator tool, Furminator De-Shedding Shampoo, Furminator De-shedding Conditioner. Photos property of Furminator.com.

 

While the conditioner sits on the dogs’ coats I usually clean their ears.  Using a pair of hemostats (so as not to get any ear ick on my fingers), I clip a large cotton ball between the tips and soak it in regular rubbing alcohol, squeezing off the extra before using it to clean the dogs’ ears.  Alcohol is a drying agent and will help to dry up any water that might have gotten into the ears.  It will also clean out dirt and wax buildup, thus preventing ear infections if done regularly.  Every time your dog gets wet, you need to be vigilant about getting any water out of the ears.  For smaller dogs, cotton swabs are fine.  Don’t worry about puncturing the ear drum; you couldn’t if you tried.  The anatomy of the inside of the ear is such that you cannot reach the ear drum.  The ear canal is L-shaped.  The pocket at the base of the ear as well as around all the folds and inner surface of the ear should be cleaned.  Don’t try to stick the swab or cotton ball down into the ear canal, since this might push debris down further.  Below is a diagram from peteducation.com of a dog’s inner ear:

 

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Photo by pet education.com.

 

 

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Hemostats and large cotton ball. Using hemostats keeps your hands clean and debris-free.

 

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Cairo gives me some pretty good stink eye as we let her conditioner sit for about 10 minutes. She knows the ear cleaning comes next!

 

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Some tree trimmers across the road get her attention.

 

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“I’m ready to rinse now, Mom!”

 

Crates are cleaned before anyone gets back into them, then they are crated while they dry.  This prevents rubbing their wet dog smell all over my rugs, furniture or running outside and diving into dirt.  Everyone gets a chewy of some sort so that they have something to look forward to after the unpleasantness that is Bath Day.  When I am getting pups accustomed to being bathed/groomed, they will get treats throughout the process so that they associate it with positive things.

We usually operate Bath Day like an assembly line of sorts, with someone cleaning out crates while someone else does the bathing and towel drying, and when one dog goes inside to dry, another comes out to be bathed.  We just keep going until everyone is done.  Do you have a bathing/grooming routine?

 

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7 Comments

  1. DZ Dogs March 9, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Hahaha!! I love the sad wet doggy faces. 🙂

    We bathe when the get dirty, which has become more often since we’ve started trail running (we tend to hit the mud every time!). I use an all natural doggy shampoo and conditioner, it’s herbal and supposed to be good for their coats and skin. The shampoo smells great! Its a lavender/lemony scent, the conditioner doesn’t smell much but it leaves them feeling silky.
    I must admit we don’t regularly brush because of their short coats, if I remember correctly your pups have just a tad thicker coat than my dogs. But when I do brush them I use some coconut oil to moisturize, and then use a horse hair brush that is soft so it doesn’t scratch their skin.
    And we use witch hazel to clean their ears! Always after bathing and after playing in the river.
    Nail trims – the dogs hate way more than bath time. We’re trying to get back into the habit of doing nails once every two weeks.
    I love that you get your kids involved!

    1. Rama's Mama March 9, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      I keep meaning to ask you about the trail running. Do you guys scout out the trail beforehand? Like for roots and holes, etc.? I can’t see myself running with my head down, lol. I’d be tripping on everything and twist my ankle for sure! How do you avoid this?

  2. Faith Ellerbe, The Frugal Fur Mom March 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Lol at the stink eye look! I am still working on their bath time routines. Bath time is different for all 4 of my dogs. Siberian Huskies have a coat that does not retain smells and sort of self cleans when they get dirty so they do not get weekly baths. It actually would dry out their fur if they did.

    Harmony hates grooming so for now I take her to the professionals and when they do use the Furminator line I CAN see a difference from the previous groomers that did not. The others I bathe at a self-wash because the clean up is way to much to do at home. Reagan is the easiest. Her coat is not as thick so the entire grooming process takes about an hour. The huskies take at least 2.5 hours because it takes so much water to penetrate their double coats and then the dry time!!!! SMH!

    The routine for them all is wash with a whitening shampoo (if I don’t their coats with not come completely clean), wash with an oatmeal shampoo, condition with furminator conditioner, blow dry and brush out at the same time. After they get home I grind their nails and if they are not completely dry I will crate them and put a fan on top to speed up the process.

    With long hair dogs if they are not completely dried and brushed their hair can get matted. I will try the ear cleaning during the conditioning. I probably don’t leave it on their long enough.

    1. Rama's Mama March 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      It’s a job, isn’t it? I used to have Chinese Cresteds, who despite being hairless (mostly), had quite the grooming routine. And then there was the Puff Crested. Ugh. She was a nightmare to groom!

  3. Mark @ DBDT March 9, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Veruca and Ava don’t get baths as much as they probably should. For most of the year we have to go to doggie bath place because it is to cold. But we have been using a Furminator lately and what a difference that makes. We love them. Veruca gets a lot of brushing before the in-laws come by.

  4. Mark S March 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Veruca and Ava don’t get baths as often as they probably should. For most of the year we have to go to doggie bath place because it is to cold. But we have been using a Furminator lately and what a difference that makes. We love them. Veruca gets a lot of brushing before the in-laws come by.

  5. Tenacious Little Terrier March 9, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Mr. N gets bathed in the sink pretty regularly. He has hair not fur so everything sticks to it and he needs to be clean for his therapy visits.