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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Doggie Spa Day – Give Your Pooch the Westminster Treatment

Affordable Pet HealthCare Insurance - Your Pets Deserve it
Doggie Spa Day – Give Your Pooch the           Westminster Treatment
by Taylor Malowney

A bear-like pooch gets groomed before the Westminister DogShow.  Image via
The Westminster Dog Show airs  on NBC, with the finals on USA. The Westminster Kennel Club is hosting its 139th annual All Breeds Dog Show, and dog lovers are in for a treat!

These pooches are considered the best of their breeds, so the competition is fierce. Give your own pet a doggy spa day worthy of Westminster with these easy, at-home treatments.

Set the mood

Human spas are relaxing environments, full of tinkling waterfalls, oddly calming gongs, and pleasantly scented. Recreate a doggy version of this in your own bathroom at home! Dim the lights for a soothing atmosphere and put on some nature sounds. Lavender and lemongrass are pet-safe smells guaranteed to soothe the most savage beast.

Your body language and demeanor are also important to a home dog spa. Move slowly and use gentle movements. Some pets aren’t comfortable in baths, so make sure to give Fido plenty of TLC.

Most dogs love a good old fashioned brushing.  Use a rubber-tipped massage brush for extra luxury.  Image via Creative Commons license on Flickr

Do a pre-bath brush

Most pets find a good brushing relaxing! Removing excess fur before a bath cuts down on shedding as well. Pick a brush best suited to your pet’s coat length or style. Dogs with fluffier fur should use a comb, while flat coated pets can use a wire brush. The Furminator is a miracle brush with rave reviews; however, it is a tad on the pricey side.

When brushing your dog, use long, slow strokes for max relaxation. For the ultimate dog spa experience, invest in a massage brush, which as rubber-tipped bristles that stimulate healthy coat oils.

Test the temp

Dogs are very sensitive to temperature; too cold water results in pathetic shivering, while too hot can scald paws. If your pooch is a temperature Goldilocks, err on the side of caution and fill the tub with lukewarm water. Too chilly? Fill a pitcher or large cup with warmer water and use to rinse off Fido as you go.

Water can cool quickly in a chilly bathroom, so it’s important to maintain room temperature as well. Consider using a space heater to warm small rooms during and after the bath. If you think the room is too hot, your dog probably does too! Again, the key is to follow Goldilocks – not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

The pooch loves to rub a dub dub! Pick an all-natural shampoo for sensitive skin.  Image via Creative Commons license on Flickr.

Select a shampoo

These days, there are almost as many dog shampoos as human ones! The options can be overwhelming, but focus on your pet’s fur type or skin needs. Dogs with sensitive skin should avoid scents and bubbles; hypoallergenic dog shampoos often have oatmeal or aloe in them. 

There are plenty of all-natural dog shampoos in pet stores and online. Recipes for DIY dog shampoo are plentiful on Pinterest and pet lifestyle blogs. An easy mix is one cup baking soda and one cup oatmeal; mix with four cups of warm water and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Don’t worry, Dawn and similar soaps are very gentle – rescuers often use it to clean sea birds after oil spills.

Toss in the towel

Finish off your at home dog spay day with a gentle yet firm toweling to remove excess water. Beware of your pooch’s own method of drying – the ol’ shake and drench. Even dogs can appreciate a fluffy towel; save the rags for cleaning and put your pet in the lap of luxury! Using a high quality towel also reduces drying time and how much your pet drenches you – win-win.

As an extra amenity, give your dog a dental chew for a minty fresh taste. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, brush your dog’s teeth with a flavored toothpaste. 

Thinking of insuring your furry friend.  Explore the cost at