Dog Wash DIY
Ah, glorious sun! Kitimat has been enjoying the most wonderful spring-like weather! The sun is shining, the air is warm, and, wait for it! the snow is melting!!
As the doggies and I were enjoying the sun streaming into the living room this morning, I noticed that they were looking a little grubby. Unless they're really dirty, we try not to wash them too much in the winter as they can catch a chill so easily. Molly in particuliar has an incredibly thick coat (washing her is akin to washing a sheep) and it takes a really long time for her to completely dry, even after using a hair dryer. And while Molly is probably rugged enough to handle being a little damp, Tinky Wink definitely can't risk a chill. And so, I decided to take advantage of the mild temperatures and bath the dogs.
I initially only planned to bath Tinky Wink, as he was looking less and less like an adorable pup and more and more like a greasy old man. Despite my best efforts he's always getting gravy in his beard! However, after his grooming was complete, he looked so beautiful and fluffy that I decided to fix Molly up too!
Here's what I do to make the process and smooth as possible. If you can, plan to do this BEFORE you scrub your bathroom, floors, etc, because you'll almost definitely have to do them once you're finished bathing your dogs. In the winter, even if it's mild out, I make sure the heat is going so the house is nice and toasty. Check to make sure all windows and doors are closed and take note of any drafty areas. Get a clean dry towel and have it and any grooming items ready. For the Yorkie, I wash him in the tub, give him a towel dry, and then carry him, wrapped in a towel, to the washing machine (relax, I'm not going to throw him in the dryer). There is a plug for the hair dryer beside the washer, and it's the perfect height for me to work, plus, he won't jump down (this is just Tinky, be sure that whatever area you use is safe for you and your dog!!! I would NEVER put Molly up there, for example). Using a hair dryer, I dry him thoroughly (Yorkies are susceptible to colds, they don't just wear those sweaters for fashion!). While you're drying, make sure you check the heat of the dryer from time to time as they can get quite hot; if it feels too hot on your hand it's safe to assume it's uncomfortable to your dog. I also like to groom him a little, using a tiny set of trimmers designed for detailing. I just tidy up his feet, his beard, and his ears. I finish with a good brushing.
For Molly, I follow pretty much the same procedure, except with her I use the clippers to remove any matts before I start (since matts get worse when wet). Molly is a true Terrier, so while she is eager to please (she hops right into the tub) she is also willful (tries to angle herself so I can't work). So for her, it's easier to keep the door shut so she can't run away. The other advantage to this is that it contains the mess to the bathroom. Make sure to rinse well! Molly has an extremely thick coat that holds suds and takes forever to dry. We take her to the groomers in the spring and get her clipped quite short (as you can see in the photo at the top, which was taken after her last visit to the groomers, she looks great in a schnauzer cut!).
Be sure to follow up bathtime with lots of snuggles (if they want to be near you) and cookies, to make up for any scolding and for the whole experience in general! If you have pups that love to be bathed and enjoy the tub, that's a bonus. Even if your dogs are more like mine, the clean fluffy fur and sweet smell will be worth it! And hey, dog washing has GOT to count as a work out!!