A to Z Challenge: B is for Bath

This is the second post for the A to Z challenge I’m participating in this month.

When racking my brain for ideas for “B”, I went through random words like Ball and Balloon, before it finally hit me, Bath!

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One of the things that all first time dog owners face – giving their new puppy a bath. Many people choose to send their dogs to groomers, but we prefer to bath our dogs ourselves. We don’t bath our dogs more than once a month, as that is known to dry out the coat. However, we bring our dogs out hiking and to the beach frequently enough, that we do have to bath them monthly. Especially QQ, who frequently looks like this after a beach outing.

qq sandy

do you still love me?

A Japanese Spitz is known for its “Teflon” coat, in that  it has a non-stick texture and can be easily brushed to rid mud and sand etc. once dry. Therefore, although QQ looks positively dirty above, when we allowed him to dry off and give him a good brush, he usually looks as good as new. Most of the information I found online said that Japanese Spitz only need to be bathed once or twice a year.

However, after multiple beach visits, QQ’s coat tends to take on yellowish tint. And then there are those times when he felt it was perfectly okay to scent roll over a dead bird or dried poop or icky looking seaweed…. Imagine rubbing your face into white fur, knowing that prior to that, it was rubbed against the above mentioned items.

Yep, a bath is definitely in order. Maybe two. Or three.

When we first picked QQ up, he had pee stains on his fur. That is perfectly natural. Puppies get pee stains everywhere, especially if they live with a litter. So soon after bringing him home, we had to give him his first bath. He was so tiny then that we could bath him in the bathroom sink! Here’s a short video.

Since that day, we had to graduate to the bath tub as QQ grew out of the sink baths. Over the course of the year, we used various types of doggie shampoo. We strive to use natural shampoos, at least to the best of my knowledge.

These are the three different dog shampoos we have tried

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We started with Cloud Star’s Buddy Rinse Conditioner. This was actually a hand me down from our previous foster dog. It’s not really a shampoo, more like a conditioner. I don’t think it really cleans, it detangles and softens the hair. The main attraction is the scent – it’s lavender and mint scented and after using it, QQ smelled really good.

We got Organic Oscar Shampoo with Organic Oatmeal in one of the petboxes I tried out. How cute is that bottle?! This is supposed to be good for sensitive skin dogs. Neither QQ nor Chyler have sensitive skin, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. The oatmeal scent isn’t strong but the doggies both smelled nice after a bath.

However, as I previously mentioned, QQ do tend to have a bit a of yellowish stain because of our frequent beach jaunts. I find that the Oscar Shampoo do not seem to help his coat return to the gleaming white it used to be, so I decided to see if I could find a shampoo for just white dogs.

I did a search on Amazon, and found Makondo Pets’ All Natural Whitening Shampoo for Dogs and Cats. There’s no dyes in the shampoo and it’s sulfate and parabens free. And best of all, it worked! QQ’s coat is much whiter after using this shampoo than when we used Oscar Shampoo. Therefore, now we use this shampoo for QQ and Chyler uses the Oscar Shampoo. Chyler do not have the habit of playing in the waves and getting entirely drenched, then proceeding to dig and bury herself in the sand as QQ does, so she never gets as dirty as QQ when we go to the beach. Also, her coat isn’t pure white. So I don’t see the need to use the whitening shampoo on her.

Our process for baths are pretty simple. One of us sit in the bath tub together with the doggie and uses a showerhead to wash the doggie, making sure that no water gets into their eyes and ears. The other waits outside the bath tub, towel in hand, and also help to squeeze or pump out the shampoo. Both QQ and Chyler are pretty resigned to the fact that they are getting a bath when they are carried in to the bath tub. They don’t struggle too much, Chyler still struggles a little more than QQ. But if the bath goes on for too long, both of them are apt to start whining or even short wails. QQ has no issue whatsoever getting drenched with ocean waves, I don’t know what he is so upset about getting drenched in the shower.

After the bath, we blow dry the doggies

QQ looking sad

QQ looking sad

They usually look quite miserable at this point. Chyler isn’t very comfortable with the blowdryer so we usually have to hold her. QQ is better because he grew up with us blowdrying him after every bath. But if the process takes too long, he starts to get impatient. QQ has a double coat so it does take a little longer to get him fully dry. If we aren’t careful, his undercoat remains wet and it’s not good for him.

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poor little wet dog

We brush them out, give them treats and then we are done! I love the first few days after a bath. They are so fluffy and have that clean smell, I just can’t stop hugging them. I wish they will learn to appreciate baths more, but no matter how many treats we shower them with after the bath and blowdry, they still hate it. But I guess that’s dogs for you!

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