Doggie Spa Day – Give Your Pooch the Westminster Treatment
by Taylor Malowney
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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