Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pooches: On Dog Cleaning

Back when Miss M and I were bachelorettes together, one of the biggest problems of being a single girl with a big dog was giving her a bath. Not only did I have to find a way to lift and toss her 75 lb body into the tub, but Miss M took any advantage to escape from the bath. I actually had to don a bathing suit and hop on in with her where I spent more time tackling her than actually cleaning. The mere touch of water gives Miss M a Gremlin-effect where she starts zooming around and would drench everything in my apartment. Not to mention the amount of hair I had to clean out of the tub.
Times have changed and we decided to make our lives easier by taking both the pooches to PetSmart. Here we let the professionals take care of the cleaning, not to mention the toenail clipping and anal gland expression. But lately it's been really hard to find a 3 hour block to devote to dropping off and picking up the dogs, or maybe it's more about the horror of navigating Chicago traffic.
Are there other pain-free solutions to dog bathing? We've already been using Earthbath Cleaning Wipes between baths to fend off the smell of Fritos, but I don't think it really removes dirt. Does anyone else have any great, stress-free dog bath tips? And how long do most people go between baths?

40 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

We might be the worst dog parents ever. We've had Ollie for almost two years and have yet to actually give him a bath. Now, they do get them on the occasion at Camp if it is extra wet and muddy that day...free of charge too! I use cleaning wipes I found at Target or PetSmart pretty regular. Flash is not easy to bathe...she's kind of like Miss M!

PS. I am in Chicago this weekend and have some free time late Friday afternoon. Would love to meet up for a snack or to meet the kiddos. Email me if interested (prandolph0625@gmail.com)

Leila said...

I have a lovely doggie day care here that does a spa day. Which means, play until tired, pop into the tub, scrub until clean, muzzle for nails (the Quizz, no matter what I do, is not fond of people handling his feet so he is a bit mouthy), then settle down for a afternoon nap after a tumble in the dryer. I pick him up after work and have a clean Quizz. As happy to leave as he was to go in.
It certain beats the bruises from the last bath battle royale that convinced me that baths were best left to the professionals.

The Heartbeats said...

We don't have a great way to bathe the dogs either! I want a groomers tub in the garage of my next house!

Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

Ohh Bathtime, we take Sophie to the groomer on a regular basis just because she needs her hair cut and nails done, but if she gets smelly in between visits then we just throw her in the tub. At 4pds she is quite easy. Koda is a different story, we use the tub and die trying to get him completely clean and then completely free of soap. He often goes for 2months without a bath.

Coleen L. said...

My dogs get a bath about once a season. Bathing too often strips their coats of natural oils, and leads to skin irritation and doggie dandruff.

Luckily for me, though, I have a doggie groomer across the street from my downtown Philadelphia apartment.

HP said...

Mine get bathed maybe once a month in the bathtub. They do get to go out to the country pretty regularly to play and run around and Ben usually ends up rolling around in horse poop... so when the weather is nice, he gets hosed down lots more frequently than usual!

Ettel, Charlie Poodle, and Emma Pitty said...

Since there are two of you now you can pull out Ms. M's favorite treats and have one of you hold/feed her while the other cleans? You could also do a whole DS/CC thing where you get her to LOVE the tub and water. I second not bathing too often, as it can mess their skin/coats up quite a bit, especially in the winter. I have to bathe Charlie much more often, comes with the non-shedding territory, but I really only bathe Emma when she's dirty, which is very rarely. Though they both get a quick rinse after swimming in the river. After bath zoomies are the best! I use a microfiber towel to dry them off - it works quite well.

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

We have a grooming tub in the basement because of the rescue so there is no escaping baths for us. If we don't cooperate there are contraptions to tie is in so we can't escape. Unless we get really dirty doing something that requires getting dirty, we usually get bathed about 2-3 times a year when we are blowing our coats because mom says the conditioner makes the hair slide out faster so the shedding slows back down to normal every day shedding faster. (Us shepherds, we shed EVERY DAY, just worse a few times a year.)

puddleofink.com said...

We have self-service dog washes in a few of our independent pet stores - they provide everything you need there, and it's cheaper than paying a groomer to do it.

Right now, I'm able to just toss the dogs in the bathtub and clean them here, but once I move, we'll be using the self-serve washes. I'm also a fan of waterless shampoos for a quick rub down.

Muchadoaboutnothing said...

Fortunately, being a dog aunt instead of the dog parent, I don't have the responsibility of bathing the guys when they need it (and since two horses live here as well and the guys like to run around where the horses are quartered, they tend to get smelly often). I think they end up getting baths about every couple of weeks. When I was younger, I had a medium sized lab mix that I would bathe in the bathtub and a terrier mix who got her baths in the kitchen sink. Then, after toweling them off, they'd do zoomies through the house to get dry. They didn't get baths unless they were particularly smelly. Later, when I lived in my second apartment, I had a cocker mix and would have a mobile groomer come and bathe her about every month, less often in the winter.

orange sugar said...

miSome places have self serve dog washing stations. I found one in Chicago: http://www.scrubyourpup.com/.

I have this [http://tinyurl.com/4qo4q66] and this [http://tinyurl.com/4brpxq3]. Mine usually get a bath 4 times a year or whenever they need it. They're pretty good about it and I wipe them down with a towel before letting them out of the tub to minimize water getting everywhere. I would much rather take them to a groomer but that's at least $50 per dog and I choose to save the money and do it myself.

ForPetsSake said...

I found a non-slip mat to be helpful in the tub. As long as she doesn't pull too much, you could try a leash to hold her in place if you have a built in soap holder in the tub. I've found that talking really smoothly to Nyxie works well. (Like a classical music DJ) She calms down quite a bit. Also, the days when I just do the bath and not stress myself out over doing the bath seems to go smoother. I'm lucky that I don't have to express anal glands, but I do that regularly at work anyway, so I can be prepared to do that if I had to. (Yuk) Nails we do separately from the bath. All together may be too stressful, too many negative associations. Nails we do while watching TV - slowly and with LOTS of training treats!!

msnform said...

LOL--that's the cost of going to the beach/lagoon/hiking! We live at the beach so Ms. Rikki gets a rinse at least 3 times a week, sometimes twice a day in warm weather...though an avid swimmer, you would think the hose contains caustic acid from her pitiful looks...outdoor shower has a spray handle, so warm water helps. When I didn't have an outdoor shower I did as A, donned the bathing suit and dragged'em into the tub (closed bathroom door to control shake damage)

Tucker said...

Hmm ... well, Tucker & Phoebe are pretty easy, but Dakotah was a chore. Summers I'd wash him outside, but winters I'd try to keep the baths down to a bare minimum and just suck it up and deal with it when I absolutely had to. Not sure exactly where you are or where this place is, but it looked interesting (it's a self-serve dog wash):

http://www.scrubyourpup.com/

Stella Louise said...

We have three small dogs and we bathe them 2-3 times a month. We use a suction cup with a short lead attached to it that I purchased @ Pet Edge. I love it and it works really well. It keeps the dogs from being able to jump out of the tub and squirm.

mayziegal said...

I just DON'T understand what humans' fascination is with this whole bathing thing. Yeesh! I think I smell good and I don't think it's worth taking the chance of my brindle furs washing down the drain. But after that first bath I got this last summer, mom has been all..."oohhhh...you're stinky. You need a BATH!" WHAT? WHY? I'm very much pawfect as is. Sigh.

Anyways, I make sure to make it as hard on mom and dad as pawsible so mom usually has to get in the tub with me, too. If I gotta get wet, she's gotta get wet, too, by golly!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Benny and Lily said...

Mom gives us a treat before, during and after our bath. It works a little bit. When Lily was a baby she use to jump in the tub and wait for a bath. Nutty. Now she would prefer to stay dirty,
Benny & Lily

Laura and Hans said...

Wilbur may like to swim but he does not like a bath! But at 50 pounds I'm sure he's much easier to bathe than the divine Miss M. There are a couple of places close by our apartment that offer their tubs, towels, etc... and you can bathe your own dog. It's a bit cheaper than paying someone else to do it.

Wyatt said...

We have a self service pet wash, about 15 minutes away. We love it because we can just leave the mess behind! Also, twice a year we go for a pro grooming and Aire-cut.

We have used our own tub, but it's never pretty!

Wyatt

Sarah F said...

My girls get regular baths. Maggie because of her allergy and skin problems. Sadie because she behaves better in the bathtub and is a good example for Maggie. Surprisingly, when Sadie is all fresh and clean, Maggie doesn't object to the bath as much. Because I've had to bathe them so frequently, both are pretty well behaved...plus, I've honed my handling skills. Both girls even let me dry them off with a hair dryer.

rescuedinsanity.com said...

Shiva HATES having a bath. HATES it. She is even now terrified of coming near the bathroom as she thinks we are going to catch her unaware and soak her. Poor dog. Her expression is very similar to Ms M's in that photo. Since her fur is pretty good at keeping itself clean, we don't do it very often. But I know just what you mean about the post-bath zoomies. Fun and yet not so fun for my furniture.

I would take her to a facility but she is scared of strangers. Having someone she doesn't know put her under the water is probably not going to help easer her fears. For now, we'll just have to suck it up. And so will she.

Princess said...

Mom wanted me to tell you we haven't bought the pink crate, she wants to get it just because the price is so good. But I already have one so dad says no. :o(

brooke said...

surprisingly Darwin is pretty good about bathes. She hates toenail clippings and getting wiped down with wipes, but she'll tolerate getting in the tub and letting us bathe her. In fact, I can bathe her on my own if needed. We got a rubber bath mat so she doesn't slip around much and she seems happy with it.
Our favorite dog park also has a wash station right at the parking lot ($8 or $9 for a bath) which is so handy.

loveandaleash said...

we start by smearing plenty of peanut butter along the edges of the tub. this keeps the dogs occupied long enough to get through maybe a third of the bath, and by the time they have refocused on the torture that is being inflicted on them, they are usually sopping wet and covered in shampoo, which makes them act kind of bovine. we also give everybody a rawhide type treat after the bath, and i'm not sure if they associate that with the bath itself, but they sure get frisky and excited for it as soon as they have been dried off!
in the summertime, we bathe outside using the hose. it doesn't seem to bother them nearly as much.

aleksandra
follow our foster: loveandaleash.wordpress.com

rustbeltrebel said...

Dog lamb jerky is my accomplice for bathing Stella who Hates water. Since the dogs are both half husky we don't get the smelly dog even when they get wet. However, on a day like today when it is raining and the city sidewalks are dirty the girls come in from a walk and they are black from the yuck - kinda makes me wonder what is that stuff. In the tub they go and then to the kitchen to dry off. I have found no easy way to keep them clean during Northern Ohio weather changes.

houndstooth said...

Well, with Greyhounds, they actually need very few baths, maybe twice a year unless something gross happens. If we've been out hiking and bring home muddy dogs, we hose them off outside. In the winter, we do not bathe them unless they get sick or something and need it.

Around here, there are places where you can go in and bathe your dog in professional place's tub, you just have to bring your own shampoo and grooming tools. Another thing we like to take advantage of is when adoption groups do baths as a fundraiser. Five dollars to a rescue for not having to bathe the dogs is a great deal to me!

jen said...

We give the boys a bath about every 6 weeks, sometimes longer.
They get washed in the garage because they are too big for my tub!

loveandaleash said...

another interesting i read somewhere . . . the dog should never be called to come for bathtime. it can seriously mess up the strong positive association between coming when called and good things happening.
interesting, eh?

xo
aleksandra
follow our foster: loveandaleash.wordpress.com

Gofer said...

Im lucky my pups either love or have learned to live with the bath. Maybe feeding them treats while they are in the bath to hold their attention. Or if Mr. B is better in the bath have Ms. M be in the bathroom while you bathe Mr. B and give him losts of atta boys and then when its her time give her tons of whatta good girl with Mr. B in the bathroom as well(that way she can have that HAHA i can be a good girl to feeling) and I always shut the door when I give them baths cause usually the first thing they wanna do is rub up on any furniture (thank god they are short haired quick dry dogs)

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

Mickey (small one) is really easy to bath- I could do it myself if I had to.

Kayloo on the other hand is a nightmare. She howls and wiggles and is a big pain in the butt.

We wash the dogs ourselves... and they don't get washed that often- once every couple (few) months? When they smell funky or roll through something gross they get their bath and every now and then they get a soapy wash of the "sponge" variety, without going right into the tub.

Bath time is not a fun time at our house.

Gofer said...

Oh and I bathe them once I can smell them.

Liz said...

Giving Bogart a bath is also a major task for me. I have to go to my ex-boyfriends to do this because he has one of those showers that's just a shower and not bathtub--whatever they're called. He hates it so much but I've made it a little better by giving him treats as he's in there. I give him a bath about every 2-3 months.

Kitty+Coco said...

Mine get bathed about once a month. Any more than that and Kitty gets dandruff. I get in the shower with them. Much easier that way. My husband hands them to me, and also has drying duty. The tag team approach is working well for us (minus the scratches I come out of the shower with). Kitty hates baths, but just has to do it anyway. Coco loves the warm water and even flops on her back in my arms. Funny. She is however, very slippery, so I have to make sure I hold on tight.

Sam said...

Nothing beats a good drenching in water. Does your apartment have a hose out back that they wouldn't mind you using? I realize it is cold right now, but this might be a summertime solution. Other than that, maybe one of those do-it-yourself dog washes. Good luck! Let us know what you decide!

Sam

Mr. Pip said...

I have my very own tub, but I don't think either of the pooches would fit in it. I usually have a bath once a week. I don't spend much time outside, but I do spend lots of time on the couch so mama likes to keep me pretty clean.

Your pal, Pip

RED said...

i probably bathe zeus too much - about once a month in the tub (we have a clawfoot bathtub in our house - that only ever gets used for dog baths! he HATES baths (all water, actually - puddles, pools, rain, snow, etc). it's so sad, but he's actually really good in the tub - he just freezes and doesn't move until it's over. i always give him a high value treat after, but he still runs away when he hears the tub being filled. and then a few times a month, betwene baths, i'll do dry shampoo/wipes. they seem to work well between baths. my inlaws complain about his smell every time they see him - so i try to make sure he's recently bathed (in one way or another) before we see them. (doesn't matter though, MIL always comments on how he stinks and needs a bath) (he doesn't stink, really, and he keeps himself very clean, but he does smell like a dog, you know?)
as for the nails - we took him to petsmart one time to have them ground down. his nails are black and i'm too afraid to clip them myself. luckily, it's not really much of an issue for us - our daily long walks on the concrete sidewalks of Philly are good for something!

Jess said...

Early on, we bathed the boys often and with lots of praise and treats. Now, though they don't LOVE baths, they tolerate them. And we've reduced the frequency of bathing to what's probably about once a month... really only when they get dirty or stinky.

We're having a bit tougher time with Airlie... but I think it's because she's 3x as big as Zorro or Rat. It's probably not the most fun for her when we have to hoist her into the tub...

T2 - My life with pit bulls said...

We bathe T2 about once each month. We tried to cut back a little, but my allergies started to kick (as did the dog stench), so we're back to once each month. Toni is fantastic (imagine!) and will even hop in and out on her own. Poor Téa kind of droops into the saddest, wettest, most pathetic whisp of herself and looks at us as if we've just told her that she will never, ever have fun, treats or snuggles again. I think it ends up being worse on us than on her, which seems fair when I think about it.

Kari in WeHo said...

even though they hate it the big pups (I can pick up Big Carl) are trained to get into the tub on command

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Suze's WCAC Stories said...

Your story reminded me of bathing my first dog, Sugar, a Chow Chow. I too went the swimming suit route and the bathroom was soaked ... we tore up two shower curtains. Going to a groomer is the only way.

We had great luck with a mobile groomer - the van comes right to your home.

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