During the recent events, many of us found ourselves with the task of grooming our own dogs at home. Some people didn't realize how much professional groomers are miracle workers. Amy I right?
Washing your dog at home can prove to be quite the challenging task if you aren’t prepared. If you’re missing your groomer, here are some DIY tips for grooming your dog while at home.
The 7 items that should be on your grooming checklist and ready to go:
BEFORE THE GROOMING
Many times dogs get stressed during grooming. Here's a tip, give them a small amount (depending on the size of your dog) of room-temperature chamomile tea with honey about 30 min before bath time, followed by a carb-rich treat like Antioxidant Health Bars. The glucose in the treat will deliver the calming tea straight to your dog’s brain.
If you don’t have a waterproof apron to protect your clothes, be sure to change into something that can get wet. Preferably it will have pockets to hold yummy dog treats, while keeping your hands free. I like to use either Tasty Rewards or Turkey and Berry Chewies. I tear them into smaller pieces so I have treats ready.
You will want to use a high-quality shampoo, like Revitalizing Shampoo, because it makes a difference. Believe me, you will never look for another dog shampoo again! This stuff is legit and it's all we've used since it came out. The luxurious lather will not strip your dog’s protective oils or leave soapy residue on their coat. The natural fruit extracts have a soothing fragrance both you and your dog will appreciate. We have used it on dogs with black coats and red coats and both sparkle. People ask us how their coats look so great.
If you have a Long-haired dog breed, they should be brushed with a fine-toothed comb first. Otherwise you could end up making knots in their coat even worse.
We live in Arizona and outside baths via the garden hose has worked for years during the warm months because the hose water is the perfect temp and very refreshing for the both of us. However, if your dog especially seems to dislike outside baths, it might be a good idea to try the bathtub. Many dogs respond much better to lukewarm water and the bathtub makes them feel secure. For those of you with small dogs, even the kitchen sink works.
DURING THE GROOMING
Start by wetting your dog at their neck and move backwards. Then, apply shampoo and use a gentle massaging motion. Give them soothing words of encouragement — your voice can be therapeutic to your dog! Our dogs love the massage on top of it!
Make sure you don’t miss any commonly missed spots, such as the underarms. Scrub from top to bottom — first wash one side, then the other. Don’t forget in between the toes and to wash their face last. Be careful to not get soap in their eyes. I use a small amount of soap that was on my hands from washing so there isn't much used at all.
To rinse them off, start at your pup’s head (avoiding the eyes) and move backwards, as all the soap will run down the dog. Rinse one side of the body first, then the other before rinsing their chest, underarms, belly and legs thoroughly. To rinse their head, soak a washcloth and wring it out just above their head. Use the washcloth to wipe their muzzle and around the eyes.
After rinsing, use your hands like squeegees to remove excess water. This also allows you to feel if you have left any soap behind. Rinsing all the soap off completely is important, as any soap left behind can make your dog itchy. Let them shake that excess water off! If you're washing outside, I wouldn't let them run off to shake because we used to have a dog that loved to find a patch of dirt and roll in it while wet.
AFTER THE GROOMING
Now you’re ready to dry your dog using towels. If your dog has long or cottony fur, try to use more of a patting motion rather than rubbing to avoid matting the fur.
Once they are dry, follow up with a skin & coat conditioner, like Bath Fresh Mist. This conditioner helps keep their exterior hydrated, healthy and smelling fresh! This is perfect for in between baths too! It will keep your pup smelling fresh and doesn't just mask the odor, it neutralizes the odor.
Don’t forget about the ears! Many breeds of dogs need to have the hair in their ears cleaned regularly — this helps fight off bacteria, dirt and grime trapped inside the ear canal. We use Life's Abundance Ear Care Formula as it gently and safely removes dirt and debris while nourishing the tender skin of the ears. It doesn't sting like many commercial ear cleaners do so once your dog gets comfortable with the process, they won't fear it. Years ago with one of our rescue dogs, she was terrified of getting her ears cleaned. We started with just a a few drops on a cotton ball to clean the outer edges. She got used to the smell of the ear cleaner and didn't fear it. Then we moved to a few drops in her ear and all went well. Of course during the cotton ball time, there were lots of treats involved too!
To finish the grooming session, remember to offer your dog their favorite dog treat. This helps seal the experience in your dog’s mind as a positive one. Your dog will start to look forward to bath time and that makes it a lot easier on the both of you.
Remember, bathe your dog no more than every 2-3 weeks, unless your dog rolls in dirt immediately and you need to repeat right away (see story above). Keep the Bath Fresh Mist skin and coat spray on hand for in between baths to neutralize odors and condition the skin. Just spray and brush it in. You will love the smell and your dog will love the attention.
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Life's Abundance has been in business since 1999.
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Enjoy your day!
Lisa and Rich Jelinek