In addition to the fantastic grouping of Thousand Trails Parks in Oregon, we love to dry camp with our two, 3 year old Springer Spaniels, Dover and Sam. Both dogs are usually a hairy mess and cleaning them before they hop into the RV is quite a challenge. We want to be water savvy all of the time and not just when we are off the grid without hook-up’s. Knowing that you full time with your two Boston’s, what tips can you share that might help us? Right now we have a big towel by the front door and the dogs know that is where the wipe-down begins!
Thanks, Austin and Kami
JENN: Hi, Guys! Yes! Keeping the Fur Kids clean is a daily chore even in the best weather conditions. Add a longer hair coat and the task can really become like that “dirty” 4-letter word we all go camping to try and escape… Since you don’t show your dogs, I suggest keeping them closely shaved down, especially on the legs, belly and chest areas to help cut down on collection of mud and dirt. Look into purchasing a animal specific clipper so you can do this jobs yourself to ensure it gets done as needed and doesn’t break the bank! I suggest a brand name like Andis or Oster. We keep a large washbucket filled with water- we call it the “Swimmin’ Hole”- and regularly dip the dogs front feet in to really rinse off the grime. Sometimes, I stand the dog’s entire body in the tub to really clean them up! With your larger dogs, you will need to clean each end at a time! Also, I love my medium bristled, synthetic mud brush and keep it within arm’s reach by the front door. It’s great for quick grooming for dog’s and dusty hiking boots and pants alike! Check any store in the cleaning department for a brush that isn’t too hard bristled and be sure you keep the brush off sensitive areas like the face and ears. I hope these suggestions are of help to you and thanks for writing in!
Jenn, I worry that I wash my dog too often. I wash with dog soap every other week and my Bessie is still itchy. He skin in dry and flakey and I even tried Head and Shoulders Shampoo but that seemed to irritate her even more. Bessie is a 4-year-old Lab/Greyhound mix that I rescued from the shelter about a year ago. Her feet are red between the toes and her ears always stink a bit, even after I clean them with a baby wipe.
I travel frequently and she loves to ride in my Sprinter Van and is most definitely the very best co-pilot a single Gal could ask for.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
Thank You, Amber
JENN: There’s no doubt about it- Dogs are the BEST co-pilot’s! When I hear of your concerns, I think Bessie might have an overproduction of yeast in her system more than shampoo issues. Keeping in mind that frequent washings can lead to stripping the skin of it’s natural oils and cause more irritation. Try to wash no more than once a month and use less soap and add in a few tablespoons of Coconut, Almond or Olive Oil to the shampoo to help add back in some moisture. Coconut Oil has a TON of healing properties for the inside of the body, too! Start giving your dog a ¼ teaspoon each day and be committed to reading the labels of what you are feeding your girl. Dry, smelly and itch point to diet issues, first and foremost. Feeding the most biologically appropriate way to best support an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory dog is simple, but you must pay attention and be ready to read labels! Eliminate corn, by-products, wheat, dairy, soy and grains. Sugars, not just the white cooking type, are building blocks for yeast to grow so be sure to avoid foods and treats that contain honey, high-fructose corn syrup, potatoes, corn and rice. Think a grain-free diet, even better, a raw diet! I feed and love everything made by Primal Pet Foods! Addressing our pet’s diet is the #1 cause and solution to help keep Bessie at a healthy, normal flora level inside her body to ward off the problems she’s experiencing on the outside. Good for you in noticing that there just might be a bigger problem lurking here that just a “stinky-itchy dog”. I’m confident that if you commit to making all of these positive changes, Bessie will be on the track to feeling a whole heck of a lot better in no time at all.