Realize that there are a number of things that can keep your dog’s coat from looking its best – and many of them are simply a part of her normal world.
For example, if she spends time swimming, excavating gopher holes, or romping through fields, she could end up with a less-than-beautiful coat. And many of these forces are an unavoidable part of a dog’s world. Rather than confine your dear pup, who was bred to live in the Great Outdoors, it might be wiser to use a product to help your dog’s coat look its best. Here’s how…
Do You Give Your Dog Anywhere Near the Hygiene You Give Yourself?
You shower and wash your hair every day… but how many days pass without your pretty pooch getting one?
Just as you would never consider going weeks without cleaning up, perhaps you shouldn’t make your precious four-legged family member wait that long either. Especially in summer when she sweats and may even stink. After all, she can’t just remove her coat like you can. She’s forced to wear it day and night.
What’s worse, her feet are like a wet sponge they’re bare, moist, and collect much of what appears on her path. Again, you can take off your shoes to keep the dirt out of your house and off you, but can your dog?
Since she probably spends more time outside picking up who-knows-what during spring, summer and fall, frequent bathing is more important at those times.
It’s a good idea to help your four-legged family member be as clean and comfortable as possible – to do for her what you do for yourself.
But don’t panic… Bathing your dog doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore.
Before we dive into how to do her bath, let’s quickly touch on what not to do from a birds’ eye view.
Why You Need to Pay Attention to Her Food Supply
Eating a species-appropriate diet which provides the nutrients your dog needs cannot help but impact the quality of her skin and hair.
While it’s true that AAFCO has established minimum nutritional requirements for dogs and addresses which ingredients are appropriate, the organization does not address the quality of ingredients pet food producers include in their formulas. Meeting their basic requirements to stay healthy… and providing optimal nutrition in a species-appropriate manner are two entirely different issues.
In my opinion, a healthy, species-appropriate dog diet should include:
- High quality protein – muscle meat, not pieces or parts
- Moderate level of animal fat
- High levels of EPA and DHA
- High moisture content
- A few fresh cut veggies and bit of fruit (mimics prey’s stomach contents)
- No grains
- No potatoes or other starches
This will go a long way toward making your dog feel comfortable in her own skin and hair.
Now, here’s your quick clean guide… If you’re already an expert, feel free to skip to the next section.
How to Make Bath Time Fun for Your Dog
- Kitchen sink, laundry tub, shop sink, walk-in shower or regular bathtub… or garden hose in warm weather.
- Towel for the tub to reduce slipperiness and a towel to dry your dog with
- A helper, especially if your dog is nervous or new to this process
- Cotton balls to prevent getting water in the ears, and additional ones to clean the ears
- Shampoo (more specifics on this in a moment…)
- Washcloth for cleaning your dog’s face
Always remember that your goal – besides getting your dog clean – is to create a positive experience so your dog likes (or at least tolerates) being bathed.
Place cotton balls in her ears (even if you don’t plan to get her head wet)… Place her in the tub, and pour water over her back, legs, paws, tail and undercarriage. Get her thoroughly wet, especially if she has a full or long coat. It will make lathering and rinsing easier.
Incidentally, NEVER pour water over your dog’s head. She can develop secondary ear infections from moisture in her ear canal. I also don’t recommend lathering anywhere around your dog’s head – even if the shampoo says it’s safe around the eyes.
I’ll talk in more detail about shampoo in a moment…
Pour a strip of shampoo down your dog’s back, and lather. If your dog has dense or double-coated hair, I recommend you pre-mix the shampoo with water before applying it for better distribution.
Wash her armpits and under her neck. Go over their belly, groin, and all four legs and especially their paws (which, as noted above, pick up the most dirt, every step of her life).
Be sure to thoroughly rinse all soaps and shampoo residue off your dog, which may take a few minutes with a densely-coated dog. Don’t let this residue dry on her skin.
Now take your washcloth and wipe away any debris that may have collected on her face or in her facial folds.
Wipe off the excess water with your hand, grab a towel, and pat her dry.
Keep her warm, especially in the colder months. It’s easy for her to become chilled with wet skin and fur. Never let her get to the point of trembling.
When you remove the cotton balls from her ears, check for dirt and debris. Swab them out with a cotton ball dampened with water or a special ear cleaner. Repeat until the cotton ball comes out clean.
If she tolerates her bath well, you can blow dry on low heat. But don’t try this if she’s not content with her bathing process. And stop immediately if she becomes nervous or anxious.
One of the Most Common Questions I Get Asked
How often should I bathe my dog? It’s the question I get asked nearly every day.
My answer… You should bathe your dog whenever she’s dirty or stinky,
On days when you don’t give a full bath, your dog will appreciate a quick foot bath. It helps cleanse salt crystals during winter and grass and more during summer.
A foot bath is a great idea… because, of course, your dog is naked, not wearing shoes or socks, and sweats from the bottom of her paws. Keeping her paws clean will make her more comfortable, and a better companion.
What Toxins Do You Expose Your 4-Legged Family Member to… In the Name of Cleanliness?
You may be someone who judiciously tries to avoid applying potential toxins to your own skin, and keeps your home free and clear of them to the fullest extent possible.
I believe that you’ll show your favorite canine the same loving kindness by doing the same for her.
Unfortunately, just as your beauty products may contain toxic ingredients… so can your pet’s beauty products (shampoos and soaps).
Check your labels… Does your pet’s shampoo contain any of these potentially dangerous chemicals?
- D-trans Allethrin – from a class of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids, derived from natural chemicals found in chrysanthemums. Synthetic varieties are significantly more potent and persistent than naturally-occurring products, and can cause allergic responses. Also a suspected endocrine system disruptor. Veterinarians caution against using pyrethroid containing products if there are cats in the home.
- Resmethrin – also from the chemical class called pyrethroids. Very toxic to cats; should not be used in a household with cats.
- Pyriproxyfen and S-Methoprene – Considered relatively safe with low toxicity. However, data is lacking about their risks when combined with the above chemicals, which may be the case on some pet shampoos.
So what are the alternatives?
Your Dog’s Alluring New Look – A Strikingly Rejuvenated Coat From a Wholesome Shampoo
You could feasibly combine various all natural and organic products to create your own dog shampoo and conditioner.
But honestly, most people don’t have the time to do that. So I’ve taken the time intensity out of the process and created a product which I believe will moisturize your dog’s skin while she’s getting her bath. If you’re as busy as I am, I’m sure you’ll appreciate that thoughtfulness.
Which Shampoo is Right for Your Dog?
My new scented dog shampoos are free of harsh chemicals, and are specially formulated to clean and condition your dog’s skin and eliminate odor.
USDA certified organic, without sulfates – they are perfect for rejuvenating her skin and creating a beautiful luxurious coat of hair.
My Organic Lavender Shampoo makes your dog’s bath time fun and relaxing. It is designed especially for dogs with sensitive skin, and features organic herbal extracts and luxurious moisturizers that won’t upset your dog’s skin.
In sum, it:
- Won’t upset sensitive skin
- Contains organic herbal extracts and luxurious moisturizers such as Calendula, Chamomile, Lavender, Aloe Vera, and Pro-Vitamin B-5
- Makes bath time fun and relaxing. Perfect for small dogs, puppies, and especially for any dog that gets stressed out over baths.
- Is made in the USA
- Its appealing scent may make bath time more fun for you and your four-legged family member
On the other hand, if you’re seeking a more aromatic shampoo, you might want to try my new Organic Peppermint Shampoo.
Peppermint’s main constituent is menthol… famous for its heady, minty aroma and remarkable “cooling sensation.” After a long tiring day of romping outside, your pup will really appreciate peppermint’s rejuvenating properties. To summarize, Organic Peppermint Shampoo gives your dog:
- A rejuvenating bath time
- Contains organic herbals and moisturizers (more on those coming up)
- Perfect for dogs who enjoy bath time, or who like the smell of peppermint
- A terrific way to help reduce dog odors
- Is made in the USA
Which do you think your dog would approve?
Incidentally, I also offer Organic Peppermint Conditioner to make it easier to manage your dog’s beautiful hair – especially suitable for long haired and double coated breeds. This will moisturize and condition her hair with oils and herbals.
The remaining ingredients for both shampoos are nearly identical to each other.
8 Botanicals Shared by Both Shampoos
Whenever possible, I believe that you should use products directly from nature that moisturize your dog’s skin and coat…
I can assure you, I am very concerned about the potential toxins found in so many pet shampoos. But in the area of shampoo, I’m committed to helping you give your pet equal stature in your family with its human members. So I searched for what I believe to be the very best options that not only clean and manage your dog’s beautiful coat of hair – but do it in a natural way.
Here’s what I found when I searched for what I would be comfortable applying to my own dogs’ skin and hair:
- Organic Neem Seed Oil and Neem Leaf Extract
- Dates back 7,000 years ago in India
- Accounts of Neem’s revitalizing properties have been recorded through the centuries as a beauty aid for skin and hair
- The National Academy of Sciences attaches very high importance to the Neem tree… and the U.N. declared Neem as the “Tree of the 21st century” – alluding to its overriding benefits.
- Scientists believe it is safe for mammals
- Organic Apple juice
- Mildly and gently exfoliates your dog’s skin
- Moisturizes and softens your dog’s skin, for shine and glow
- Organic Coconut Oil
- Terrific for skin rejuvenation
- Helps exfoliate dead skin cells
- Organic Sunflower Oil
- Is easily absorbed
- Rich in vitamins A, D, and E, plus oleic acid, as well as lecithin and unsaturated fatty acids.
- Improves the appearance of dry and weathered-looking skin
- Organic Sesame Seed Oil
- Rich in vitamin E, B complex, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to keep your dog’s coat looking loved and cared for
- An excellent moisturizer
- Organic Jojoba Seed Oil
- Technically, it’s not an oil, but a pure and luxurious liquid wax ester used to improve the appearance of dogs’ skin
- Appropriate for sensitive skin
- Contains vitamins E and B-complex, plus silicon, chromium, copper, zinc, and iodine
- Organic Horsetail Leaf Extract
- Of all herbs, contains the greatest amount of silicon
- Considered beneficial for skin and hair
- Organic Aloe Vera
- Contains more than 130 compounds and 34 amino acids
- Provides calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, chromium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc… plus vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, folic acid, and niacin
Wouldn’t you agree that these ingredients make a great foundation for your dog’s finest and most glorious-looking skin and hair – whether or not you ever enter her into a show?
Why We Left Oatmeal Out of These Formulations
We did admittedly leave out an ingredient that’s very common to pet shampoos (besides the potential toxins). Why?
I believe you’re well-advised to avoid shampoos that include oatmeal.
Some animals have problems with grains and they are also likely to have problems with oatmeal shampoos.
2 Extra Beauty Aids in Organic Peppermint Conditioner
Besides repeats of some of the above-named ingredients, Organic Peppermint Coat Conditioner also contains two additional products from nature – to help promote a beautiful coat of hair for your dog.
Here’s how we’ve got your dog covered:
- Organic Shea Butter – An all-natural vitamin A cream from West Central Africa, grown in the wild without pesticides. Highly regarded as a superior, skin moisturizer, that revitalizes and softens skin and hair. Known to eliminate odors.
- Organic Olive Oil – Has long been considered a “beauty oil”. Softens and moisturizes skin and hair. Adds shine to hair.
So let me ask you…
Isn’t Your Precious Canine Deserving of the Very Best in Doggie Hair Care?
Remember, you wash and condition your hair on routine. But your dog has to speak cryptically to get her messages across.
Wouldn’t it be a big favor to set a routine bath time for her, and give her the TLC hair wash and conditioning she deserves?
Think of it like this…
If you have a set day and time, you know she’ll be clean and refreshed, and make a better more satisfied companion for you. During hot weather, you may need to double up on frequency for her, just as you do for yourself.
And in addition, when you take her out and about, she’ll be a great representation of the tender loving care you give her.
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