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Keeping Your Dog Clean

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We had another post on the forum about dandruff, and as I was bathing Caleb the other day, I wondered about how some people keep their dogs clean throughout the year without giving them baths.

 

For Caleb, he feels super smooth and clean after a bath, but after a day or two at the dog park, there's a light layer of dust that stays on him no matter how much I brush. The caked-on dirt itself falls off once it dries, but his coat just doesn't feel "clean" anymore.

 

Some of you bathe your dog once or twice a year, so how do you clean them without giving them baths?

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I've never bathed out BC in 8 years, just the occasional spot wash if he's rolled in something. He stays clean without any attention as many collies do.

 

How often does your dog get wet in daily life?

 

It might be that by bathing him you are stripping away the natural oils that can repel the dirt. A moderate amount of oil is good, too much is a dirt magnet. I would only bath him if my hand felt sticky after stroking him.

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The dirt just falls off of her, there's no layer of it. You could try using a baby wipe to wipe down the outer hairs if it's really a problem.

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Frequent brushing keeps my girl clean between baths. I bathe her more often than some, 3-4 times a year generally. She has a penchant for rolling in smelly things, plus she interacts with kids and other members of the public so I like to clean her fairly regularly.

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.

 

Some of you bathe your dog once or twice a year, so how do you clean them without giving them baths?

I don´t. Never bathed my border collies actually. My icelandic mix has been bathed on occasion because of his interest in rolling in horrible stuff.

I must add that my dogs aren´t allowed in the house, so you might consider that cheating ;)

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For Caleb, he feels super smooth and clean after a bath, but after a day or two at the dog park, there's a light layer of dust that stays on him no matter how much I brush. The caked-on dirt itself falls off once it dries, but his coat just doesn't feel "clean" anymore.

You hit it on the head when you put parentheses around - clean -. The definition of clean is different for everyone. I agree that my dogs' coats feel soft and silky (clean?) after a good shampoo and conditioner, but .... it is unrealistic for me to try and keep the coat at that level. For me, clean means - the coat 'looks' clean (if one doesn't look too close), it doesn't feel sticky, and the dog isn't stinky (a light 'dog smell' is OK with me).

 

So unless the dog has rolled in some particularly nasty cow or deer poop in the field, I do not bathe my dog. I have gone 2 years + without bathing my dog. Having said that, he occasionally will go swimming for rehab purposes, and just this past summer, he decided that swimming in the pond is OK.

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I am with GCV-Border.

My dogs fur obviously feels silkier and softer after they've been bathed, but it never lasts long and I don't consider that change in feeling to be them getting dirty. Unless the dog smells, is visibly dirty, or fur texture is greasy or sticky, I still consider them clean.


Just no longer influenced by the temporary softening effects of a bath.

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Best way of keeping a dog clean, in my experience is not to bathe them at all if possible. The coat has the right stuff in it to shed dirt and muck, as long as the dog is exercised outdoors and brushed as needed. Bathing, as others have noted, strips away the natural oils in the coat, no matter how PH perfect the shampoo is - making the hairs comparatively dry and rough, which allows dust and dirt to stick to them and encourages the growth of bacteria - hence the doggy odor and dull coat.

 

If I have to bathe my dog I brush her vigorously every day for the following week to stimulate production of oils in the skin, and bring back the natural shine. Rolling in wet grass makes her smell divine and gives her a full-body massage. Much better that some out-of-a-bottle smell.

 

I read somewhere that the medical profession has finally got it that human babies are getting bathed way too much. Babies who get no baths for the first week have no incidence of "cradle cap." And their skin is healthier in general.

 

It's sad to me that the normal healthy smell of a human or animal is always met with wrinkled nostrils from modern humans. Once, a friend, after admiring the gloss of my dog's coat stuck her nose in the dog's fur and then said, "She smells like a dog!" I answered, "Well, what is she supposed to smell like - a rhinoceros?"

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Ahh, depends on the dog. Shoshone had allergic seborrhea so she got bathed quite a bit, depending on the allergen level in the air. She was allergic to, among other things, wool. Samantha really loved rolling in the stinky stuff, so she got bathed as needed for that. Buzz always smelled sweet and clean, even when he was going through chemo.

 

Gibbs is a medium clean type, brushes out well, has normal dog odor, and usually has a good soft coat. He only gets bathed maybe 3 or 4 times a year.

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

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It's sad to me that the normal healthy smell of a human or animal is always met with wrinkled nostrils from modern humans. Once, a friend, after admiring the gloss of my dog's coat stuck her nose in the dog's fur and then said, "She smells like a dog!" I answered, "Well, what is she supposed to smell like - a rhinoceros?"

Personally, I love to bury my face in Senneca's fur. It is a time machine that instantly transports me back to childhood. Senneca and the fosters hardly ever get a bath -- and even then it's plain water from the hose. We do have a bottle of dog shampoo handy for extreme occasions, but it's likely to last decades at its current rate of use.

 

[Oh and oddly enough, people frequently ask what shampoo I used on my dogs because they smell so good. I haven't managed to figure that one out yet]

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Am I alone in thinking my dog doesn't look particular good after a bath? She's soft, but sheddier. All her nice, sleek fur is all poofy and prone to cowlicks... She looks best a week or two after the bath once the oils have returned.

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Depends on the dog here. The slick coated dogs, it makes no real difference in, except texture. The GSD mix is poofy so he does okay with a bath and being poofed up more.


The long coated little dog though? No. I'm with you. She looks like crap unless I blow dry her hair straight. It just cowlicks all over the place, gets crazy fluffy and - SERIOUSLY?! She's little, but I am not straightening the dog's hair.

 

ETA: Pictures.

 

 

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Post bath.

 

2_zps82f59867.jpg

Normal/'Dirty'.

 

I'll take the unwashed.

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No baths, just a hosing for mud or most anything else. Spot clean for real nastiness but the hose gets almost everything but skunk. Their coats stay healthier without the stripping of natural oils.

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I hardly ever bathe my dogs, unless, as others have said, someone rolls in something particularly nasty, and then it's likely to just be a good rinse off with plain water (unless it's really stinky).

 

Bodhi especially loves to swim, so he does get a good rinsing often during the summer months, but soap? I honestly can't remember the last time he had a proper bath. And he's a therapy dog, so I'd never get away with him being stinky or dirty.

 

I know someone who spins and weaves dog fur. She's told me that the best fur for spinning is from dogs who don't get bathed, and that she can always tell. She said my dogs' fur was lovely to work with.

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I've never really noticed a need to bathe expect for poop rolling and swamp runs. In the summer months that can mean at least once a month. But outside of that they never seem to need it. If the coat seems consistantly "blah" then I'd try changing foods or adding some fish oil to their diet.

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My youngest has had one bath in two and a half years. And that was her "get that shelter smell off her" bath. Georgia and Texas rarely get a bath. Mostly they just jump in the stock tank or roll in wet grass. People often ask me how often they get a bath because their fur feels so good. If one of the dogs gets dirty I try to just wipe or rinse with plain water before using shampoos or soaps.

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I bath very rarely, about once a year at the end of summer, so the skin oils buil up again before the cold starts. With Tess being almost all white, I notice that although her fur is self cleaning, she does tend to get an yellowish hue no matter how miuch I brush her, especially around her neck. She swims a lot and that helps, but still... What do those of you that have dogs with lots of white do about this?

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I don't bathe my dogs. They have self cleaning coats. And poor Zeke is so terrified of getting a bath that he will bite. But he doesn't need a bath. His coat is great.

 

Tommy has kind of cottony coat. The top part stays pretty good but the hair under her tail and on her back legs just gets filthy. It is really thick and feels like cotton candy. And it mats. I keep her back end trimmed just for cleanliness reasons.

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I rarely bath my dogs either-Sadie was a nasty habit of finding dead, rotting animals and rolling in them so she gets bathed when that happens. That's maybe once or twice a year. Actually, this year, although she did get a little smelly, it wasn't bad so she didn't get a bath this year. Duke would probably require baths more often as he get so filthy but every time he gets filthy, he has also got himself worked enough that he goes for a swim to cool down and that cleans him right off!

 

It's sad to me that the normal healthy smell of a human or animal is always met with wrinkled nostrils from modern humans. Once, a friend, after admiring the gloss of my dog's coat stuck her nose in the dog's fur and then said, "She smells like a dog!" I answered, "Well, what is she supposed to smell like - a rhinoceros?"

LOL! I too just can't understand people who say that! What do they expect?

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Most the time I just hose my dogs down and that does the trick. No shampoo necessary but you can get the grime off. The cattle dog mix is always covered in mud it seems. He also likes to roll in poop and lovely things.

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Gideon has a teflon coat, so he only gets bathed when he rolls in poop, which happens about once a year now that he's grown up.

 

Micah has food allergies and gets that seborrhea smell, plus the greasy coat and yeasty ears, if he gets anything he shouldn't have. Then he gets bathed as needed, which may be weekly.

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I find during the months we use Advantix, that Penny's fur on her back gets really greasy and sticky feeling so we end up giving her a bath a few days after each dose. The months that we don't have to use the Advantix, she doesn't get oily or smelly and doesn't need a bath.

 

I hate using the Advantix, but we have so many ticks here and it has been helping a lot.

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Kieran has some nasty allergies, so I have to bathe him pretty frequently, like every couple weeks. He gets pretty greasy. My brother always laughs at him after his bath because his fur just looks crazy with all the cowlicks. He does look kinda cute though.

 

PrOBYUf.jpg?1

 

I wish I didn't have to give him so many baths. I quite like the way he smells naturally, but my parents always badger me to bathe him because he "stinks" <_<. My sister and I disagree. Then, of course, there are the times when he steps in poop, but usually I just rinse his feet as opposed to his whole body.

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My dog had a greasy coat for years (and allergic skin stuff intermittently) and she's suddenly all soft and shiny since we switched her to a less-allergenic food (one of the royal canin ones). I know, I know, I sound like one of those hucksters you read on every forum. But it really did work, and I can't see anything other than the food that changed. She has to be bathed a lot less now too, and smells less. Though I reckon a dog who is bathed regularly will probably smell a lot stronger of dog anyway.

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