Information about Grooming

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Grooming

Your dog's skin is his largest organ---and the one that is an interface between the outside world and the dog within. You'll often read in older dog books that you shouldn't wash your dog more than a couple of times a year. The origin of this outdated notion probably comes from a time when dog shampoos were mostly harsh flea soaps. These days we enjoy sharing our homes, and even beds, with our canine friends, and we want their coats to feel and smell as clean as our own hair. Look at show dogs; they're bathed several times a week and have the nicest coats you'll see on any dog! Part of the secret to achieving the best hair and healthiest skin is in your choice of proper shampoo.


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First, use a shampoo made for dogs. Dog skin has a pH of 7.5, whereas human skin has a pH of 5.5; using a shampoo formulated for human pH on a dog can lead to scaling and irritation---especially if your dog has pre-existing skin problems.

Puppy shampoo, like baby shampoo, is formulated to lessen the chance of tears should some get in the eyes. We suggest it for any dog that has long hair on the face; why should only puppies get all the good stuff?

But for the rest of the body, you'll usually get better results with a shampoo formulated for adults. If your dog has healthy skin, you can concentrate on the esthetics: a deep-cleaning shampoo for dogs that love to roll in disgusting things, or a body-building shampoo for a dog that needs that dog-show coif. Do you have a white dog has taken on a yellowish tinge? Try a whitening shampoo. Whitening shampoos can actually make almost any color coat sparkle.

Itchy dogs need special shampoo. And they need to be shampooed often. Many owners mistakenly believe that washing their itchy dog makes him itch even more. Actually, when a dog has extremely itchy skin, any touch to the skin can be perceived as itchiness, even if it is ultimately helping to soothe the itch. In fact, even the act of getting the skin wet may initially cause the dog to think he is itchy, but applying water to the skin ultimately restores moisture and makes the skin less itchy. The best course of action is to bathe with a moisturizing shampoo with anti-itch properties. Colloidal oatmeal, which consists of oatmeal ground in to an extremely fine powder, has been shown to soothe irritated or itchy skin and to decrease dryness and scaling. It's important that any medicated shampoo be left in contact with the skin preferably for 15 minutes. In some cases, use of colloidal oatmeal or an avocado oil based shampoo will alleviate itchiness entirely; in others, you'll want to consult with your veterinarian and use them in conjunction with other prescribed therapies.

Conditioners and creme rinses can be used after bathing to prolong moisturizing effects. They are also useful in taming long locks. For longhaired dogs, spritzing a small amount of conditioner with water on the coat before brushing or combing will help prevent coat breakage and help comb through tangles.

The secret to a beautiful coat is to groom a little a lot---and to keep your dog's coat clean and moisturized! We offer shampoos that will make your dog's coat smell, look and feel its best!

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