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Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's Been a Year Since My Dogs Have Had a Bath

It's not because of neglect.  I have made a conscious decision to not bathe them. (maybe not never but definitely less often).  It wasn't a decision that I came up with all at once. I just sort of evolved into it:

Last year, my oldest dog (now deceased) started biting at the water stream as I sprayed him.  In the five years that I had been bathing him, he had never done that before. I assumed that the water hitting him was painful. At that point, I decided not to bathe Matt-Matt again, but I was still bathing the other dogs.

Over the past couple of years, I have been trying to eliminate as many chemicals out my dogs' environment as possible.  I searched high and low for gentle, limited ingredient dog shampoos.  I found a couple of brands that appeared to be very gentle so I tried them on myself - and they hurt my skin.  I don't know if the shampoos hurt my dogs' skin as they did mine. My dogs can't tell me. But perhaps one of the things they hated about bath time was that the shampoo made their skin uncomfortable. (I have been told that dogs' skin has a different P.H. balance that hours, but I still have no way of knowing that the shampoo is comfortable for them.)

I started experimenting with ways to clean my dogs without using any type of dog shampoo.
I'll write more about this in another post.

From there, it was easy to transition to just rinsing my dogs with plain water.

Then I realized that they didn't really need rinsing. We had been working hard on grooming procedures and brushing them was becoming easier to do. Brushing removes a lot of dirt, and it's a lot easier than bathing.

So for the past few months, I have just been brushing them.  Occasionally I might wipe them with a damp cloth to remove allergens

The dogs look and smell fine (even though Puddin often rolls in things). I just took this picture of Puddin yesterday:

Murphy used to get greasy, but I changed his diet. Now he isn't greasy anymore.  We will talk a bit more about stinky dogs in another post.

Finally, in addition to the above, one of the things that made me decide to bathe my dogs less often was that they don't enjoy baths.  Coming up, we will talk about how to help dogs feel a bit better about baths.

More to come on baths. Future posts will be here.
What's the longest time that your dog has gone without a bath? Tell us in the comment section below.

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  1. Let's see ... we've had our dog for 6.5 years, in which time she's had one bath with shampoo (we saw a flea, and the man of the house freaked :-) and one hosing-to-remove-excess-mud, which wasn't really a bath. And she doesn't have a "smell" at all -- kinda smells like warm dust, if anything.

    1. Warm dust. Great description! I think my dogs smell like that sometimes.