I was lucky with my previous dog Bailey; he wasn’t a smelly dog and only went to the groomers twice a year with the odd rinse down in between. He also enjoyed the attention he received from being bathed and groomed. However, my Border Collie puppy Bertie is completely different and enjoys nothing more than a good old roll in the most disgusting things on a regular basis. He’s also not a fan of being brushed let alone having a bath which isn’t ideal being a mucky pup.
Don’t be fooled by the butter wouldn’t melt look, Bertie loves a good old splash in a filthy puddle and a fox poo roll to make himself dirty and smelly.
So how often should you bath your dog? Well, it depends entirely who you are talking to. There are lots of online articles that give different information from once a week to twice per year.
As every dog is different and if you think they’re a bit too dirty or smelly it’s probably time for a bath but I wouldn’t personally bath them more than once a fortnight. It’s also a good time to check them over and make sure things like their ears are cleaned which should be checked at least every two weeks so they don’t get an ear infection.
I understand it’s a minefield choosing products for your dog and finding shampoo is good for them, please don’t be tempted to use your own shampoo or even a baby shampoo as there are not designed for dog’s skin and could cause irritation.
Unless your dog has allergies and must have a special medicated shampoo from the vets there are so many choices, but some could contain ingredients that might not be good for their skin.
Here are some of the things to look out for in the ingredient list.
- SLS - the chemicals that make soaps lather
- Parabens - a preservative to increase shelf life and allegedly can cause some types of cancer
- Phthlates - chemical compounds which used in plastic production
- Phosphates – a chemical that contains the mineral phosphorus used for its lathering properties
- Petrochemicals – chemicals refined from petroleum which gives a smoothness and help products glide
- Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) - petroleum based compound used to help oil and water ingredients mix or as a moisturiser
- Sulphates – salts from sulfuric acid which again have lathering properties
I always recommend buying 100% natural and if the ingredient list has lots of things you don’t understand try and avoid it.
As people become more aware of what is in their products, you’ll be pleased to know there are lots of natural product makers to choose from. I like to shop small independent makers and a personal favourite of mine is Herbal Dog Co. They use 100% natural ingredients and plant based fragranced oils in scents which are amazing. Particularly the Palma Violet shampoo which takes me back to my childhood and makes the dogs smell good enough to eat.
Luxury Dog Hampers only use them and have a doggy pamper hampers which contains their shampoo and other pamper and health products which you can see here.
If you are unsure about which products to use, consult your dog’s groomer who would be happy to give you advise on what products are best. And once all the pampering is done, don’t forget to dry your dog to prevent them getting any sores.
Bath your dog whenever they are getting smelly or have rolled in something but try not to bath them more than once a fortnight. Avoid ingredients you haven’t heard of and opt for 100% natural shampoo. Give them a dry and enjoy them smelling amazing for as long as it lasts.
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