Category Archives: bathing a dog

Three Common Grooming Mistakes Dog Owners Make

grooming mapleBy Langley Cornwell

We live on the coast of South Carolina. If you are familiar with this area, you may have become acquainted with pluff mud (aka plough mud), a slippery, oozy, brownish, grayish, viscous sucking mud. This slimy mud, which is abundant around our tidal flats and salt marshes, has an accompanying aroma that is like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. I’m not sure I can accurately describe the smell in words but I can tell you this, it’s nearly impossible to wash out of dog fur. The mud itself takes a firm hand and lots of elbow grease to remove, but that smell has a lingering quality that you almost have to get used to. I often say our dogs smell like a combination of popcorn and pluff mud.

Our dogs get into pluff mud a lot. One of our favorite places to let them run is deep in a small island not far from our house. Of course the island is rife with the stuff and our dogs love to romp through it. Not to digress too far off topic, but you have to be careful around pluff mud because you can sink into it and get stuck. So can dogs. Just saying.

Every time we take the pups for off-leash playtime, we know we’re going to have a long, intense grooming session afterwards. Fortunately, they are used to the routine and understand that “if you want to play, you’ve got to pay” so they stand by patiently as we soap them up and wash them down.

If you are a new dog owner or your dog has recently discovered the joys of pluff mud (or skunk chasing or stink rolling, etc.), here are three grooming mistakes to avoid.

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Tips for Bathing a Large Dog

By Laurie Darroch

A larger dog can be more difficult to bath than a small dog that you can simply pick up to put in the water. If a large dog is resistant to bathing, it can be quite the ordeal convincing him that he needs a bath. Dealing with bathing can turn into a unpleasant task if they aren’t cooperating. Make bathing an enjoyable experience for both you and your big dog with these tips.

Be Prepared

Set everything out ahead of time that you will need to give your dog a bath. That way, you won’t be darting out to get the things in the middle of bathing and wrestling a resistant dog. Put the shampoo and towels in easy reach. A dog can have an allergic reaction to shampoo made for humans, so be sure to use a shampoo specifically made for dogs.

Choose an Appropriate Bathing Area

A walk-in shower, regular bathtub or large portable bathing tub that can be used indoors or out, work well for a large dog.  In warm weather, an outside bath might be the best option. If it is very hot, a nice cool dip in a bathing tub or quick scrubbing with a garden hose will help the dog stay cool in the heat. It is more difficult to contain a squirming dog outdoors though.

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Keep Fido Cool in a Doggie Pool


By Ruthie Bently

I’ve used a kiddie pool for my chickens and geese for several years. I originally got it to provide my geese with a place to swim, as our property wasn’t near water. I began to rethink its use the day my dog Katie plunged into it after a play session. I’m not a neophyte when it comes to dogs. I’ve been involved in the pet industry since 1976 helping other pet owners solve problems with their pets, and I’ve owned dogs since 1981. My problem was that I never thought outside the box.

I didn’t consider the benefits of a kiddie pool for dogs until that day when Katie jumped into it. Katie was too warm for her comfort, and that’s why she went for a swim. For me it was an “Ah Ha” moment. I decided to get a second pool that the dogs could utilize without competition, and never looked back.

So why would you want a pool for your dog? You might be amazed at the answers. I found the pool I purchased for my dogs to be an invaluable asset in their caretaking. Smokey Bear met a skunk one evening on a ramble around the property and got sprayed. The odor was so strong I didn’t want to bring him in the house before trying to alleviate the odor, so I bathed him in the pool before I brought him in the house. He still smelled like skunk but not as bad as if I had brought him into the house and had to deal with the smell inside.

What else can you use your dog’s pool for? If your dog has gotten into your garden or flower beds, it’s a great place to wash muddy feet before letting them back in the house where they can track their paws across your rugs or furniture. I live in an old farm house and it doesn’t have a bathtub; instead, it has a shower stall with a plastic shower curtain. While Skye is great about being bathed, I can’t imagine washing a large wriggly dog in my bathroom. I use the pool outside for regular baths during nice weather and have used it for flea baths when necessary. Another benefit of washing Skye outside in her doggie pool is that after the bath she can shake to her heart’s content and doesn’t splatter water all over my bathroom.

I have a garden pond in my yard, and before I set up the pool, Skye would go diving in the pond. Now she leaves it alone. A friend’s mother had a problem with one of her dogs diving in her fish pond. Even though I thought the dog was diving for the fish, I suggested a kiddie pool for the dogs to play in. While she was skeptical, she tried it and the dogs have left the fish pool alone.

If you’re training a puppy to retrieve, a kiddie pool is a great place to toss the dummy to get them used to water retrieving. You can control the water temperature so they won’t get too much of a shock. You can also control the depth of the water so they won’t plunge in too deeply on their first retrieve and become afraid if they go in over their head. You will be better able to discern if they will make a good retriever as you can watch their reaction to the water.

Even if you’re just trying to get a dog used to being around water, a kiddie pool is a great way to start. You don’t have to worry about waves overtaking them and it is a good way to teach them water sports if that is an activity you want them to participate in with you. While most dogs don’t swim as we know it, this is also a good place to teach them how.

As Katie demonstrated to me, a kiddie pool is a great place for your dog to cool off after an exercise session, a walk, or on a hot day. It helps keep your dog from getting heat stroke and you are able to cool them off gradually. Because you’re in control of filling it, you can be sure it won’t have chemicals in it, and you won’t have to worry about your dog getting into bad water. A kiddie pool for your dog can be a great tool; by thinking outside the box you can discover lots of ways to put it to good use!

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Groom a Long Haired Dog


By Suzanne Alicie

You know how pretty your long haired dog is after going to the groomer, all smooth and fluffy with no snarls or mats? Wouldn’t you like for your favorite canine to look that put together all the time? It’s actually quite easy to groom your long haired dog yourself.

Brushing – A long haired dog needs to be brushed every day. The brushing not only clears out tangles to prevent matting, but also invigorates their skin and promotes healthy coats. Of course, with a long haired dog your main thought is always the snarls and tangles, and removing the things that get picked up or caught in the long fur when they are outside. Regular brushing makes it easier to handle the rest of the grooming steps for a long haired breed.

Bathing – When it comes to bathing a long haired dog, the biggest challenges come from keeping the long fur from tangling, and scrubbing down to the skin. The first time you bathe your long haired dog you may be surprised to see just how small he really is.

Here are a few bathing tips to keep from causing yourself more work:

• Always work from the top down when bathing a long haired breed. This means aiming the water in a downward motion and working dog shampoo through from top to bottom.
• Use your fingers to gently comb through the hair while you work the shampoo in. This helps release debris and other items collected by the long hair.
• Apply a conditioner or cream rinse. You can purchase a special dog conditioner or you can use a simple detangling and moisturizing conditioner such as Suave which will probably be more inexpensive.
• Dry a long haired breed by using a large absorbent towel and wrapping it around the dog to soak up excess water. Of course your dog is going to do the shake, which will lift the fur and begin to separate it.

Drying your long haired breed can be done by allowing them to air dry or by using a blow dryer. At my house the dogs really dislike the noise of a dryer so I spread a blanket for them to lay on near a heat vent or the clothes dryer. After a couple of hours they are dry and ready to proceed with the next step of grooming. This way I also have plenty of time to clean up after the bath and prepare my supplies for the next part.

Trimming – Long haired breeds may occasionally need the hair around their foot pads and claws trimmed. The hair can get long and cause the dog to lose traction and slide on a hard floor. A personal trimmer works wonders around dog pads, and while the noise may annoy the dog, you don’t have to worry about cutting the dog. This is also the time to trim your dog’s nails if they need it. Use a sharp clipper and avoid cutting too short. If possible use a file to smooth the nail as well as to make sure your dog doesn’t accidentally hurt himself while scratching.

Preventative Measures – The ideal time to clean your dogs ears, apply flea and tick medication and any skin treatments is after the dog is dry, but before you brush him. The flea and tick meds that are applied straight down the dog’s spine are more evenly dispersed when you brush after applying. Ear cleaning is a simple procedure and if done regularly will prevent ear mites, hair matting in the ears, and ear infections.

To clean a long haired dog’s ears use a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel to swab gently inside, without going deep into the ear canal. Be sure to clean all the nooks and crannies on the dog’s ear as these areas are where wax builds up and mites hide.

Fluffing – Once you have taken care of all the basic grooming steps now you get the fun of making your long haired dog look “show ready.” Brush the dog with a detangling brush first to make sure you won’t pull the hair when you move to the fluffing part of the job. Use a soft bristled brush to brush your dog from the bottom up. This will lift the roots and give your dog the full effect of long hair. Once you have brushed all the hair in the wrong direction start at the feet and brush to direct the hair back down while retaining the fluffiness. Continue brushing until your long haired dog is fluffy, tangle free and looks just as beautiful as when a professional groomer does the job.

Not only is grooming your long haired dog yourself fun, it can be much more convenient than loading up the dog and taking him to the groomer, as well as more cost effective.

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.