You may be noticing that you are visiting the dog salon less and giving your dog baths at home more. In this new era of doing-it-yourself, we thought we’d share five simple and safe tips that will make the at home bathing experience better for you and your furry friend. Over the two plus decades working in the pet world we’ve picked up a few hacks from professional groomers and customers alike, and they all are super simple – some only require kitchen staples – but each will make the bathing process more enjoyable!
1. It’s All About the Prep Work
It may seem too simple to be a hack but brushing your dog well before the bath will result in a better wash. So, make sure to brush, brush and brush again. Not only does brushing remove excess hair it detangles the hair allowing shampoo and conditioner to rinse better and help speed up drying time. Brushing hair also helps remove excess dirt and dander, making this first step especially important for breeds with long hair that are prone to matting.
Brushing out your pet’s coat thoroughly will also help you notice any trouble areas. These may be fur stains that will need extra attention when shampooing or hotspots. If your dog does have hotspots be sure to take extra care while bathing and afterwards use earthbath® Hot Spot Relief Spritz, which uses safe amounts of tea tree oil for relief and colloidal oatmeal and organic aloe vera for soothing.
2. Go Natural by Heading to Your Pantry
If your dog does have matted fur or tangled hair, you may be surprised to learn that something you have in your kitchen pantry could help. Cornstarch! You can sprinkle cornstarch on knotted dog hair before brushing to help release tangles. It’s a great tool to keep in your pet grooming kit because it can be used for a variety of purposes beyond detangling fur. Did you know cornstarch can also be used as a dry shampoo or coat brightener? Just be careful to avoid the contact with your dog’s eyes and to completely brush the cornstarch out of your dog’s coat every time.
Another pantry staple that can be used when grooming your dog is coconut oil. If you see any rough patches on paws or a scaly nose you can use coconut oil to help soothe and hydrate the area. Be careful to limit how much coconut oil you use and to watch that your dog is not licking it all off.
3. Gather Your Tools
Now that you’ve prepped your dog for a bath with a good brush, it’s time to decide where it is best to bathe your dog. We’ve found that it’s always good practice to set up the bath space before getting your dog into the tub and turning on the water. To keep your pup safe consider using a non-slip bath mat and keep your plumbing safe by installing a hair trap on your drain. We’ve found that neither of these have to be fancy, the more economical versions work just as well as expensive ones.
Now that the bathtub or shower are prepped you may want to visit your kitchen pantry again. Peanut butter is our go-to when coaxing reluctant bathers into the tub. Use some on a spoon to encourage your dog into the bath and then once they are comfortable wipe some peanut butter on the side of the bathtub or shower wall to help keep hesitant pups content in the tub while you get to work. If keeping your dog in the tub is the hardest part for you make sure to check out more tips for making bath time fun in our blog post here.
4. Stretch that Bath!
Our best grooming hack is to make it last! There is no reason to wash your dog more than is needed especially when earthbath offers a number of products that can keep them looking and smelling fresh and clean. By using grooming wipes and spritz in between spa sessions you can extend the life of your dog’s bath. Our 3-in-1 Deodorizing Spritz can be used in between baths to freshen, condition and detangle. It uses ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, organic aloe vera, and vitamin E to remoisturize skin and impart a healthy shine, while gentle detanglers keep coats soft and tangle free.
5. Skip it all Together
Some dogs are simply not able to have baths due to health or emotional conditions. If you’ve ever been the parent to a disabled or newly adopted pet, you may understand that sometimes it is best to skip the bath completely and find safe alternatives that still yield results. In those cases, a good grooming foam or waterless shampoo can be used. Our Grooming Foams are specially formulated in a convenient rub-on, towel-off formula.
Earthbath’s Shed Control Grooming Foam is specially formulated with potent antioxidants and skin moisturizers to help relieve shedding and dander, in a convenient waterless formula. It’s perfect for those pets (and humans) that don’t enjoy traditional water-based bathing.
We hope you have found these five dog bath hacks helpful! If you’re the pet parent of a feline companion and looking for tips and tricks you may want to read our blog post, How to Groom Long Haired Cats. And, make sure to follow us on Instagram for more bath time inspiration!