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To bathe or not to bathe?

January 20th, 2008, 10:45 AM
Sheeba is getting sooo big, and is now taller than one of her litter mates. (Sister-in-law has one of the pups also named Sasha, and Sheeba is way better behaved than Sasha.:evil:)

Don't have new pics, sorry. Hubby has been hogging the camera for his own hobbies and recording himself playing guitar and putting up the vids on YouTube. lol

Belle has no doggie odor of any sort, but Sheeba is beginning to get doggie odor. I call her my stinky bitch. lol It's not so bad yet, but there just a little bit.

So... to bathe or not to bathe? After a bit of tête-à-tête with sis-in-law, she seems to think baths totally unnecessary. But I'm thinking of the future. Dogs at some point will get dirty enough to warrant a bath. After all, the girls and I will be very active this summer in the "bush" around our home, which will definitely get them (and me) dirty. There's a few tiny brooks on the property, plus lots of muddy and mossy type areas. Can't forget the beach! But always too cold to go there until late July.

I'm not a fan of bathing all the time, but part of me still feels it's best to get Sheeba used to being in water as a pup. She is after all part Lab and water fun is built into her genes. :laughing: Would hate to put off the bath experience until she's older and a lot more difficult to control.

I want to "freshen" her up so to speak, especially since she has taken to sleeping and snuggling with us a lot.

Opinions? Am I right in wanting to acclimate her to a bath environment now?

January 20th, 2008, 10:50 AM
I know most people believe cats shouldn't be bathed either, but I give mine a bath once a month. It helps me with my allergies and every now and then they do start to get this little bit of odor.

I would imagine dogs might need baths often too. After all, they are outside a lot and get into stuff. And what of the day she gets into a messy muddy puddle or she gets something on her coat?

I don't think it would do her any harm to start getting her used to bathing. As long as you have a good shampoo that will keep her skin from getting too dry and keep her coat shiny.

January 20th, 2008, 11:00 AM
If you have a very mild doggy shampoo , why not. But you can also try the dry shampoo , you just spray the dog with it and towell dry. It cleans the fur but not the skin , that's what I use in between baths. My dogs only get 2-3 baths a year. More than that , I consider too much. Their skin produces oil that they need . If you give them too many baths , they'll could get dry and itchy skin and dry fur.

January 20th, 2008, 11:09 AM
Yeah I have some mild shampoo, but I also have unscented/uncolored veggie oil soap that I made. I don't get dry skin from it. Only part of my body that gets dry is my hands because I hand wash dishes in probably too hot of water. But the rest of my skin hasn't seen a drop of lotion in years because of my soap.

Well maybe I'll just do the washcloth thing on her for the cleaning/freshening, but I still want to get her into some plain water for the experience.

January 20th, 2008, 11:35 AM
i rinse Mister off every few weeks (ok so just when i feel like it or i forget to shut the door when i get a shower myself.... :rolleyes:) but i dont wash him but maybe twice a year (or thats been the trend so far!). i get him in there and let him dig the tub, get a nice hard-ish spray going to make sure i get right down to the skin but no soap. though i will say we have never had a doggy smell. he has a faint odor but nothing that i can smell standing over top of him. i have to really stick my face in his fur to smell him. he routinely gets muddy and rolls in the leaves and dirt outside but once he dries it just shakes off.

what sort of food are you feeding her? i know i get stinky when i eat lots of garlic. :laughing:


January 20th, 2008, 11:36 AM
But the rest of my skin hasn't seen a drop of lotion in years because of my soap.

pishaw, i wanna know what kind of soap you are using too. i drink mega gallons of water, take luke warm showers and still get dry skin in the winter time. :yell:


January 20th, 2008, 12:07 PM
I make my own. Here's a short version... well, as short as I can make the explanation.

I have a collection of oils like coconut, palm, castor, olive, almond, shea butter, cocoa butter, soy and canola. These are all melted down if not already in liquid form and a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water is added to warm oils. This mixture is whizzed together via my hand blender until the consistency of pudding, then it is poured into molds and let set for 24 hours. After 24 hours, it's turned out of the mold and sliced into bars. Bars are set out to "cure," or to evaporate any remaining water and to guarantee total saponification. It's ready to use in about a month after curing. It is safe to use before that, but when it's a softer bar, it will disappear a lot faster down the drain.

A natural by-product of the soap process is glycerin, which commercial soaps squeeze out, then sell as a separate product in lotions. Plus well-known commercial soaps base the majority of their recipe on tallow, or cow fat. I forget the percentage, but the fatty acids in the oils and fats react chemically to the sodium hydroxide which create a certain number of soap molecules and a certain number of glycerin molecules.

This is why I think after WW2, there was a mass move from natural soaps to detergent soaps. I think the war industry was hogging all the oils to create glycerin. I could be wrong though... just a hunch. :shrug:

In the old days the Lye was made by leaching wood ashes in water. That's why old fashioned soaps were frowned upon because recipes would differ with each batch because the concentration of the lye was never the same. Today, they use electricity with sea water, which makes the sodium hydroxide with a side of chlorine gas. Hate the idea of the chlorine gas part, but there is a consistency with sodium hydroxide today that can be relied upon for cottage industry soapmaking.

I gave some bars to Pat and her hubby from Rosie's Adoption. I haven't heard whether they like it or not.

Head to local craft fairs. There are tons of people that also make these kinds of soaps. Ask for Cold Process soap. They'll know what you mean. Not the melt-n-pour stuff, that's alcohol based, which is why it's clear.

I don't sell, but have given them as gifts over the years.

Here's what the bars look like

The funky looking orange stuff in one of the bars is Calendula Officinalis petals, which are good for the skin. They are infused into olive oil which is used in the recipe and the petals are just thrown in to look pretty. That's my unscented/uncolored soap.

January 21st, 2008, 09:52 AM
I have to make the same decision. Our pup is 14 weeks old today, also a Lab, and I like to get them used to bathing while they are still little and I can control them easily. I don't find that being a water dog makes them like baths any more than any other dog. But he is toileting outside and it was -16C here last night. I worry about getting him completely dry before he needs his next outing. For sure I won't do it this week as it is supposed to stay cold all week. I don't want to have a little black pupsicle. :)

January 21st, 2008, 10:03 AM
I'd let them (since there are two stinky-pups on the thread now) have a bath, if for no other reason than to get them used to it. It's easier to handle a puppy in water the first time than an adult!

Main concern : dry them VERY well afterwards. Use the blow dryer, the pros do after all.

I have no trouble getting Sheba to have a bath (as long as I can manouver her into the tub, she's too lazy/stiff/scared of slipping to get in by herself, but once she's there she just stands there and lets me have my way with her :evil: doesn't even shake herself dry! Well, not before she is OUT of the tub and in the bathroom :frustrated: I'd prefer it if she shook behind the curtain!

Dani? Honestly, I won't even try!

January 21st, 2008, 10:13 AM
I give Bree a bath with very good mostizing shampoo every four weeks.. when she was tiny she was very sick, soo I would have to wash her regulary in warm water.. it seemed to calm her down, I then would blow dry her fur until she was complety dry.. her coat is not dry far from it, and she is very shiny.. she loves the water, jumps right into the bath. she sleeps with me when my hubby go to work so I like when she is clean.. in the winter I would wash her at night when I know she is not going outside any more.. this way she has time to dry her undercoat over night..(I still use the blowdryer on her)
she now comes sits beside me when I am blowdrying my air and waits for me to use it on her..

January 21st, 2008, 11:00 AM
I have one of the types of dryers that you can press a button to turn off the heat and it just blows regular air. Thought about trying that first on her before a water experience to see how she reacts.

Ford Girl
January 21st, 2008, 11:59 AM
I bath Dazy every 2 months or so, I would like to do it more often but with day care and play dates and the dog park, it's really not worth the effort to do it more often, she's just as dirty the next day.

I would bath the pup for sure, I don't see why not, and ensure you dry them good, altho we towel dry only and have never had issues, they say to completely dry them to avoid hot spots but if your dogs are not in water all day every day you don't have to worry too much, if you don't want to use a dryer, just watch for areas that stay damp longer...we have never had issues.

Oh, and steal the camera from hubby for bath time, and be prepared for major zoomies after the bath!! LOL!

January 21st, 2008, 12:03 PM
The odd bath wont' hurt and by all means bathing a pup will get them used to the idea if they need it in future.

I'd recommend a wet cloth first all over the body then on the feet.
Then a little bit of water in the bottom of the tub to stand in and again the cloth all over the body. Make it happy, no soap for the first time and give treats and happy talk. Just some nice warm water.

If you want to bath with some soap I'd of course use something mild.
Good luck!:thumbs up

January 21st, 2008, 01:43 PM
My golden, Kass, is a 'mud-puppy' and will lead our JRT into anything stinky and smelly ...

Kass gets bathed and groomed professionally every two months. Its also because of my families allergies, but its cut down on Kass's itching :)

Our JRT gets a bath every time he gets into something smelly ... which can be weekly or stretch out to a few months. I just stick him in the bathtub, since he's so small ... and he's shorthaired, so I'm able to dry him off easily :)

My only concern when bathing any animal (dogs or horses) is to get ALL the soap residue off, or else the animal will get itchy and possibly rub hair out. I always use a really mild soap (its one that we wash delicate quilts in too!) and I have yet to have a problem, through all the various animals ...

So, go for it!

-- zztopp

January 21st, 2008, 02:12 PM
Just an FYI

overbathing (every two weeks or so) can actually aggrivate a dogs skin and strips the dogs hair and skin of natural oils needed. This can then cause a chain reaction of itching, scratching, dry itchy skin or allergy type reactions and then make you think the dog needs more bathing ..when infact needs 'less'. Soaps 'remove and strip' the necessary oils from the skin and coat. IT's not the oil people are allergic to it's the dander.

Since it's dander that causes human allergic reactions one may want to decide to just use a damp cloth to wipe down the topcoat which the dander will stick to. And vacuum regularly.

January 21st, 2008, 08:14 PM
If at all possible skip the hair dryer, with the intense cold outside and dry air inside you could cause severe itching, sore spots where she's scratching and over shedding. After the bath towel dry wiping backwards, brush out and towel again. I put an old blanket on the floor and they roll around on that and dry off very quickly naturally.

the gang
January 21st, 2008, 09:26 PM
god i feal like a bad mom, my mini pincers get a bath 2 times a yr, just 2 weeks ago had to give one to my sr, did not let her out for 5 hrs,i fed her first than put her out, when it was time to go out , again ,put her coat on and i went out with her, never given the pins a bath in winter brenda and the pins.

January 21st, 2008, 10:19 PM
Don't feel bad I only bath a couple times a year max unless there's skunk involved or something. Actually last year Sadie only had one bath and it was because of a skunk situation. Cleaning her face, paws and butt is different. Baths ahhh she's got great clean skin w/o the sudsies to dry her coat/skin.

Now us on the other hand... LOL we'd just stink and have no friends.
I guess I should bath myself more often :crazy:

January 22nd, 2008, 07:20 AM
is there anyone else who just rinses their dog?? i havent used soap on Mister in months. not since he was a pup anyway!


January 22nd, 2008, 02:33 PM
I think it depends completely on the lifestyle and breed. We have a Wheaten who needs daily grooming and a professional cut and blowdry every few months.

She runs off-leash in the park for an hour every morning as well as three other short walks around the block throughout the day, so is exposed to a lot of mud, leaves, rain etc. Sometimes comes back from the park COVERED in mud from head to paws. In this case a bath is mandatory :-) We use puppy shampoo with her standing in shallow water. We rinse with a bucket- and that seems to work.

Our neighbor's Lab however has a very different coat, although the same experience outdoors, and needs only an occasional spray with the shower head if the mud has not come off by the time he comes home.

January 22nd, 2008, 03:02 PM
*chuckles* thats our lab. HIS yard is covered in mud. sometimes its frozen mud, mostly its the best ever wet and sloppy mud. a few minutes on the back porch to dry off, a big shake and its all better. sometimes i chase him around with my hand broom. more often than not he ends up with the hand broom and he is still a dusty muddy. :rolleyes: a mom cant get no respect!!!!


January 22nd, 2008, 03:11 PM
i think it's necessary to introduce bathing to a pup incase you ever really NEED to bath the dog. at least it's not a foreign concept to the dog at that point. That said, I think bathing depends on breed. my dog gets a bath about 2x a year. he very rarely ever smells (half basenji - very clean dog). although I don't bath him often, I did give him baths as a pup just to get him used to the idea. even if i didn't actually wash him, I practiced putting him in a tub of water and tolerating it.

just like nail clipping - I often put the clippers to the nails even if I didn't actually CLIP them. just to get him used to the idea.

January 22nd, 2008, 04:02 PM
i think it's necessary to introduce bathing to a pup incase you ever really NEED to bath the dog. at least it's not a foreign concept to the dog at that point. That said, I think bathing depends on breed. my dog gets a bath about 2x a year. he very rarely ever smells (half basenji - very clean dog). although I don't bath him often, I did give him baths as a pup just to get him used to the idea. even if i didn't actually wash him, I practiced putting him in a tub of water and tolerating it.

just like nail clipping - I often put the clippers to the nails even if I didn't actually CLIP them. just to get him used to the idea.

I agree completely. Our breed needs to be combed every day to prevent matting, but it is not necessary when they are very young. Luckily, we were told that we should comb her daily regardless to get her used to it. In the same way, I think it is useful to touch the dog's teeth, ears, paws etc regularly even when unnecessary so that when there is a problem they won't freak out!

January 22nd, 2008, 04:42 PM
If at all possible skip the hair dryer,

My dryer has a setting for just air, no heat, which was already mentioned in a previous post. I'm sensible enough to not use direct heat on a pet, for I know all too well with my sensitive skin and would never inflict that irritation onto another creature. It is helpful to read entire posts before replying, not merely skim.

We heat this old house with a wood burning stove, electric heat in some areas, and a furnace for the rest. I think there's enough heat to dry any fuzzbutt in this household with or without a dryer. Plus I have a really great "towel" for dogs that soaks up many times its own weight and is washable. It comes in quite handy. Well worth the expense.

But still, introducing many new sounds is excellent development for a pup. As well as what was mentioned in previous posts, about acclimating a dog to examination of the ears, paws, rear end, and especially nail cutting.

March 1st, 2008, 05:44 PM
i normally bath my 3:cat: every 6 months and clean there ears every3 weeks . my Maltese and my bigger dog is an different storie Maltese i bath every2 weeks because she white and i use oatmeal and conditioning spay. bigger dog every 8 she short hair lol