Monday, August 1, 2011

DIY (Dog) Bathtastic

After paying for Clifford the Big Black Dog to get bathed at the local big box pet store, and at the vet's office, and being only marginally happy with both, I decided I'd take the bull by the horns or, in this case, the dog by the collar. With the vet's grooming center, I had to drop him off early in the morning and not pick him up until the evening. For an older dog who's slightly quite neurotic, being in a kennel-type situation isn't great for him. Add in the fact that I have to sign off on a 'senior citizen' waiver each time and you can see why I'd rather just bathe my pooch in the back yard for a little peace of mind.

Later this month will mark our one-year anniversary with dear Mr. D, and I'm still learning a lot about being a pet owner. When I last purchased his food from my favorite local pet supply store, Wags to Whiskers, I asked about at-home bathing. I love the owner because her guidance has helped me have joyful walks with Dailey after being fitted with a proper pinch collar, and trouble shooting horrible gas issues and other fun things that come with having what amounts to a gigantic hairy old man living in your house.

She steered me toward a gentle shampoo that wouldn't irritate his skin and didn't have any funky ingredients or fragrances. In addition to the earthbath Oatmeal and Aloe shampoo, I got ear and eye wipes from the same line and I was off.

...That was a month ago, and I was a little nervous to do it because I could just imagine a marley-esque sopping wet dog. No, I didn't try to bathe him in my tub; I'm not that unaware of my own limitations (or those of the our indoor plumbing to handle the amount of hair that would surely shed during the bath).

With just over 15 minutes of work, I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results. A thorough brushing, followed by wetting him down and applying a small amount of the soap, a good scrub, and then rinse, rinse and rinse some more and we were done. I had our oldest towels on stand-by, but as you can see, he gave me a good head-start on drying and after wiping his ears and eyes, he was more than ready to burst back into the gentle clutches of the air-conditioned house. The extra added bonus was that I didn't have to lift him in and out of the car, or worry that he'd leap out of the car into the parking lot before I was able to get his leash on at the pet store. Best yet, it was another chance to bond with Mr. D.
Sittin' pretty in the sun. 

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