Review

Review: earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

It’s that time again!  Review time!  Today is all about the earthbath Hypo-Allergenic shampoo.  As always, I will be going over the ingredient deck list, the pros and cons, and where to buy.  Like my previous shampoo (and conditioner) reviews, I am going to be referencing my bottle that I purchased for this review.  earthbath is designed to be natural, non-toxic, and environment-friendly.  Quoting directly from my bottle, “This product contains no: DEA, parabens, phosphates, synthetic dyes, or perfumes… The sudsy runoff is completely safe and will not harm kids, lawns, or other living things.”  earthbath is also a cruelty-free brand, which believe it or not is hard to find in pet products, so YAY!  One more side note, I purchased this product myself, with my own money.  No one is paying me to give this review, this is 100% my own opinion. 🙂

Now, let’s talk ingredients.  This so far is the shortest ingredient deck list I have seen on a product, and I could not be more thrilled!  Again, using the bottle that I purchased we have purified water, extra-mild renewable coconut-based cleansers, aloe vera, xanthan gum, and olive oil squalene as a preservative.  That’s it.  Nothing else.  For those wondering xanthan gum is a thickening agent and is also a stabilizer to help prevent ingredients from separating (Google).

Moving on to the product itself, there is no fragrance, in my opinion, it literally smells like nothing.  It is mostly clear, with a slight, slight yellow tint, and is on the thicker side for consistency.  The directions on the bottle explain to shake well to mix the natural ingredients together before using, and once spread onto the coat, it does not run off easily, giving plenty of time to lather the product into the coat.  It suds up nicely, and washes the coat well.  I have no issues rinsing the product and do not feel any residual product on the coat.  I do notice, however, that after drying, the coat feels soft and plush, but again, I don’t feel any residue or greasiness.  Also, with this shampoo, I feel I don’t have to use a conditioner.  Having used quite a few hypo-allergenic shampoos, none of them left the coat feeling super soft after drying.  One last thing to mention is the coat smells clean, but not fragranced, after the bath.  My dogs do not have any odor, just clean.

Overall, I do not have any cons for this product.  I tried to be as critical as possible, but I cannot give a negative remark for this product.  It cleans beautifully, lathers perfectly, has a short and good ingredient deck list, is biodegradable (forgot to mention that earlier), and is cruelty-free.  My most sensitive dogs have not had any negative reactions to this shampoo, and I could not be more pleased.  I have yet to try other shampoos from this brand, but they are for sure on my list!  This has to be one of my favorite shampoos that I have tried not only for my own dogs but for clients dogs as well.  What are some of your favorite dog shampoos?  What do you think of earthbath, and have you tried this shampoo?  Let me know in the comment section down below!  Also, any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them as well!  I would love to hear from you!  Till next time!  PS. I’m trying to shorten my posts, but let me know if you like the long posts, or try to keep them on the shorter side like this one!

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Various locations to purchase, none of the following links are affiliate links.  And these are just base prices, not including shipping and handling.

Amazon.com

Chewy.com

Petco

Pet Edge

PetSmart

Ryan’s Pet Supplies

Review

Review: Lambert Kay Fresh ‘n Clean Oatmeal ‘n Baking Soda Shampoo

freshncleanoatmealshampoo001-0901The Lambert Kay Fresh ‘n Clean Oatmeal ‘n Baking Soda Shampoo is a shampoo that I have been using for YEARS, and have a strong loyalty to.  We are going to go over some of the pros and cons of this product, the ingredient deck list, some of the claims of this product, as well as the price and where to purchase this product.  Also, from my research Lambert Kay is NOT a cruelty-free brand.  Meaning, they either test their ingredients or the final products on animals.  Also, from 6 different sites, the ratings of this product was over 4.5 stars out of 5.

Referencing my bottle, which is the Gallon Professional Size, it claims that this formula “combines the soothing aid of natural colloidal oatmeal, the deodorizing power of baking soda, and the hydrating benefits of Vitamin E and Aloe for dogs with sensitive, itchy, or irritated skin.  Wheat protein strengthens, repairs, and protects the coat.”  Basically, it is great for dogs with dry and itchy coats.  It also claims that the Tropical Breeze Scent lasts up to 2 weeks.  Now, for me, the shampoo does not have a “Tropical Breeze Scent.”  It reminds me more of a fresh laundry scent, and other people that I have spoke to about this product agree.

Now let’s go over the ingredient deck list.  On the bottle it lists the ingredients as purified water as the first ingredient.  Next we have Natural Derived Cleansing Agents, which include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, Cocamide MEA, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine.  Now if you read last weeks First Impressions post, which I will like here if you have not, we have already discussed both Cocamide MEA and Cocamidopropyl Betaine.  Both of those ingredients are derived from Coconut Oil, and stir up quite a bit of controversy.  Without having to repeat what I stated in my First Impressions post, there has been evidence linking these ingredients to cancer during animal testing, you can read more about that here. “Sodium laureth sulfate, an accepted contraction of sodium lauryl ether sulfate, is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products. SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent,” (Wikipedia).  It has been deemed safe by the United States as well as Australia, and from my reading and understanding, can be a mild skin irritant.  Following that we have a thickening agent of Sodium Chloride, aka salt.  Next is fragrance.  Yep, just fragrance.  From multiple different sites, when a product just have “fragrance” listed on the bottom, it is usually a compound of many ingredients, and they do not have to specify what ingredients they used to make the fragrance.  Oatmeal Extract is used as an anti-irritant, and then Sodium Bicarbonate, or Baking Soda, is used as a deodorizer.  Soothing agents such as Vitamin E and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice follow, then Coloring Agents, Emulsifier, Natural pH Adjuster of Citric Acid, Coat Strengthener of Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, and lastly Preservative.  A slight cause of concern is the preservative ingredient.  Some preservatives contain a form of formaldehyde, which is very common in not only dog shampoos but human shampoos as well.  Again, with everything, do your own research and form your own conclusion on whether or not you would use this shampoo on your own pet or clients pets.

Now onto my thoughts.  As stated previously, the smell reminds me more of a fresh laundry scent rather than a tropical breeze scent, and it is potent.  If you or your dog is sensitive to strong fragrances, I would not recommend this product.  However, like the claims state, the scent lingers, helping your dog smell fresher, longer.  Now, I don’t agree up to 2 weeks, but my girls smell fresh for about 3 to 4 days after their bath.  The shampoo is opaque in color, and more of a runny formula, more viscous, but not watery.  It still has some thickness to the product, but is easy to work into the coat without dissipating.  Once on a wet coat, it lathers and foams beautifully, being able to work over the entire coat with ease.  Rinsing off the product, I have found no issues of residual product, the coat feels squeaky clean, but not greasy or heavy.  After drying, the scent is not as potent as the product in the bottle, but still strong.  Using just the shampoo, the coat feels clean, smells great, and soft.  The heavy fragrance to this product is really only my main cause for concern, or weariness for my dogs.  I have been able to use this shampoo on dogs with dry, itchy skin with no skin reactions or irritations, but I would not feel comfortable using this shampoo on dogs with sensitive skin.  Overall, I thoroughly enjoy this product, and have continually purchased this product throughout the years, and would recommend this product as long as you and your pet are fine with strong fragrances, and your pet does not have sensitive skin.  This shampoo is used at the grooming facility I work at, and it is a shampoo I need to order in large quantities and often, so hopefully that all says something about the product.

Lastly, we are going to go over the price points and locations to purchase.  Now, living up here in Seattle, I have been able to find it in a pet shop called Pet Pros for around $11, and I have also seen it in PetCo.  If you need to buy a large quantity of it, say you work at a grooming facility of some sorts, I would stick with more of a wholesaler type of shop such as Ryan’s or PetEdge.  I found some gallon sizes offered on Amazon, and I would NOT recommend purchasing those sizes from there.  They ranged around $50-$60 the last time I checked, when you can get a gallon around $36 on PetEdge and Ryans.

Ryan’s Pet Supplies

PetEdge

Chewy.com

PetCo

Amazon

I will mention, that if you are concerned about the fragrance, I would find a pet shop that carries the product in store in order to smell it.  If you end up liking the fragrance, purchase the product, and if it ends up not working out, it is easier to return the product.  Well, I hope this review was insightful and informative.  Any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comment section down below.  Till next time!

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First Impression

First Impression: ikaria Comfort Pet Shampoo

ikariaimpression0825-001This is an exciting day for me, because today I am going to do a first impression on a new shampoo.  Every time I have done a large order through Pet Edge, they have graciously sent out new products to try.  Well, today I am going to try out one of those products.  It is the ikaria Pet Shampoo in the Comfort formula.  Before we go into the impression, I will talk about some of the claims that are on the bottle, go over the ingredient deck list to see if there is any cause for concerns, and talk about the overall rating of this product by other users.  Also, one other side note, the I in ikaria is not capitalized for a reason, that is exactly how it appears on their labels and products.

Looking up this product, I was able to locate it on Pet Edge, Amazon, Walmart, and Jet.com.  Prices range from $8.99 to $16.99 for the 16 ounce bottle.  Pet Edge was the least expensive, while Amazon was the most expensive.  Looking at the ratings, this product ranged from 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5 from consumers.

Like stated in the title, I have the Comfort version of this shampoo, which has a sandalwood, vanilla, and basmati water scent, and this formula claims to calm dry, itchy skin as well as help prevent hot spots.  Going off of the back of the bottle, the purpose of the ikaria line is using essential oils and plants in the product, and use salon-quality and human-grade ingredients.  It claims to be safe for dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens over 8 weeks old, and contains gentle coconut cleansing and conditioning agents, oatmeal and silk proteins, aloe, Vitamin E, and Pro Vitamin B5.  It can be diluted for use as much as 6:1, but can be used straight.

Now, I am going to go over the ingredient deck list.  Now usually with any ingredient deck list, they are listed in order from the amount of each ingredient contained in the product.  The first ingredient is water, the next are some surfactants, both anionic and amphoteric. “Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants,” (Wikipedia).  On the bottle, the surfactants are said to be gentle coconut derived cleansing agents.  Next we have cocamidopropyl betaine and cocamide DEA, both of which are derived from coconut oil.  Here is where this can be a cause of concern for some.  “California listed cocamide DEA in June 2012 as a chemical known to cause cancer based on the assessment by The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which evaluated skin exposure tests on animals,” (CEH.org).  On both of these ingredients, Dogs Naturally Magazine claimed that these ingredients are dangerous in dog shampoos, 20 Ingredient’s You Don’t Want In Your Dogs Shampoo and 3 Dangerous Ingredient Groups In Your Dog’s Shampoo.  However, researching the FDA, or the Food and Drug Administration site, they see no cause for concern with these substances in products.  From what I have read and understand about these substances, is that they can be mild, skin irritating substances.  Other articles I have found on this subject are from Decoded Science and EGW’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. The purpose of these substances are for foaming and thickening in this product.  Next down on the list is glycol stearate, a conditioning agent/emollient, then oatmeal protein, silk protein, and aloe barbadensis, used for soothing, comforting, and moisturizing the skin.  Panthenol follows, which is a provitamin of B5, and is used for moisturizing and lubricating (EGW).  Then we have Vitamin E, Sandalwood with Vanilla & Basmati Rice essences, citric acid, DMDM Hydantoin, which is a preservative, and FD&C Yellow #5, which help gives it the yellow coloring.  Now, with DMDM Hydantoin it is an antimicrobial formaldehyde, but the purpose of this substance is to help prevent mold and bacteria from growing in the product, helping the product have a longer shelf-life, and with the ingredient being the second to last substance in the product, it doesn’t raise any cause for concern for me.  So after going through the ingredient deck list, the only cause of concern I have is dealing with the cocamidopropyl betaine and the cocamide DEA.  With anything, do your own research and come to your own conclusions.  I do know those substances to be in a wide range of products, not only for animals but as well as humans, and I have not had an issue, nor any of my dogs, so I feel comfortable using this product.  I do intend to find 100% natural and organic shampoos and conditioners to research and review in the future.

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Here is the ikaria shampoo on Xandria, and as you can see it suds up very nicely.

Alright, now that we got the base of the product information out of the way, let’s talk about this shampoo!  When smelling the shampoo, it has a light, clean scent.  Sandalwood and vanilla is detectable, but not overpowering.  It is not a super viscous product, it is slightly runny, but not so thin such as water.  The product is not very opaque, it has a light yellow tint to it, and almost a glossy, pearlescent appearance.  For today, I am trying this product out on a Bichon Frise, who has a nice dense coat.  When applying the shampoo to the coat, I used a small palm size amount, and noticed it spread and lathered easily.  It produced a nice suds that I was able to work throughout the body, without having to pour out additional product.  The shampoo rinsed easily and I did not feel there was any residue left on my dog.  I did not add additional products today to the coat, such as my normal conditioner and leave-in conditioner I use, for I wanted to see how the product would perform on its own.  After towel drying my dog, I proceeded to velocity dry his coat.  Dry time was about the same, I did not notice any lengthened or shortened amount of dry time.  After brushing out the coat, I noticed that the coat was nice and soft, and it was easy to brush out.  The residual scent on my dog is not overpowering, it is light and clean, but barely there.

Overall, first impression is that I enjoyed using this shampoo.  I have a few pet parents that do not like overpowering scents, but still want their dog to smell good, and I feel this would fit the bill.  Obviously since this is not a full review, I cannot determine whether or not this shampoo helps prevent hot spots, or if it soothes itchy skin.  The next time the Bichon comes in, I am going to take a look at his skin and coat, and check to see if there has been any change, I am also going to give it a try on Lillith, my own dog, because she is famous for getting hot spots and having really itchy, dry skin.  So, look for a full review in the future on this product to know my final thoughts.

Also, disclaimer, because it being 2017, we need a disclaimer for everything.  This product was sent to me as a sample from a larger order that I purchased from Pet Edge.  I did not know they were going to send me this product, nor did Pet Edge or ikaria pay me or ask me to do this first impressions.  This is all my own choosing and doing.  I give my honest opinion no matter what, because frankly I don’t give a damn what other people want me to do or say.  Another side note, the pet parent of the Bichon Frise knew I was going to try a new shampoo on her dog.  I asked her permission to try out this shampoo.  She is excited and hopes this shampoo works out.  Any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave them in the comment section down below.  Till next time.

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Basic Information, How To

The De-Shedding Treatment

FURminatorbeforeSo we have talked about basic bathing, now we are going to go further into bathing with the DeShedding Treatment.  It sounds more daunting than it truly is.  It is a technique using a de-shedding shampoo as well as a conditioner, blowing it into the coat, and doing a thorough brush out after fully drying.  This technique is recommended for double coated dogs that shed.  This type of service is not needed for dogs such as Malteses, Bichon Frises, or Poodles.  Examples of shedding dogs, Shiba Inus, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Siberian Huskies.

Now, there are several shampoo brands out there that carry de-shedding shampoos and conditioners.  For today’s reference purpose, I am going to use the FURminator Shampoo and Conditioner, because that is what I use for this treatment on my own dogs as well as clients dogs at the grooming facility I work at.  Side note: Not sponsored.  I purchase these products on my own and have been using them for years.  They work great for me, never had any issues with them, and will continue to use them unless something happens.

So, after you started the bathing process, click here if you need a refresher, the shampoo that you will use to lather would be the de-shedding shampoo, in my case, the FURminator shampoo.  Work it all over the dog’s body from the base of the head, around the neck, and back.  The FURminator shampoo is NOT hypo-allergenic, so if your dog has skin allergies, I would not recommend using this shampoo.  Most de-shedding shampoos are not hypo-allergenic.  The de-shedding treatment is still possible, at this stage just use a hypo-allergenic shampoo as the base.  Then, time to put on the FURminator conditioner.  The FURminator conditioner is hypo-allergenic, which is one reason I enjoy this product because even on dogs that have allergies but shed, I can still use this treatment.  Rub the conditioner in well, starting at the base of the head, around the neck, and back.  Make sure you get the tail, butt area, and sides really well with these products.  Now, it comes time to blow the products into the coat.  This is where a high powered velocity dryer comes in handy.  You want to blow the product into the coat, it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.  After that, let the product sit for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t have a high powered velocity dryer, just let the product sit for about 10 minutes.

After letting the product sit, it is time to fully rinse the dog.  Now, if you are using the FURminator products, it will take longer than normal to rinse out all of the product.  As I said in my bathing basics post if you think you are done fully rinsing the dog, rinse all over one more time.  Then towel dry, getting as much excess water off, eye wash, then optional, spray on a leave-in conditioner.  I then take the dryer and fully dry the dog.  You want the dog 100% completely dry, they cannot be damp for the next step.  If you have a velocity dryer, awesome if you are bathing them at home and need them to air dry, just wait till the next day.

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Image from FURminator, http://www.furminator.com/Products/Dogs/dog-grooming-deshedding-tools/how-to-stop-dog-from-shedding-medium-long-hair-dog-grooming.aspx

Now that the dog is fully dry, and like I said, they cannot be damp, it is time to brush them out.  If you were able to use a velocity dryer, you are not going to have to brush as much.  If you were not able to use a velocity dryer, you are going to be brushing for a bit.  Depending on the dog’s coat, you can either use a tool like the FURminator brush or some sort of Coat King or Rake.  FURminator’s tend to work best on shorter coat dogs, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Siberian Huskies.  Coat Kings or Rakes work best on longer haired dogs, such as Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and Border Collies.  A slicker brush and comb will also be helpful in this process.  One side piece of information concerning the FURminator brush, you do not want to run it over the same spot more than a couple of times, max 3 to 4 passes over one area.  The reason for this is the FURminator brush is like a blade, and it can cause irritation and brush burn on the dog’s skin if you press too hard and go over the same area too many times.  I like to do a few passes over per area then use a slicker brush and a comb.  Again with the slicker brush, dogs can get brush burn, so try not to press too hard on the dog’s skin.  After I have done both of those steps, I follow through with a fine tooth comb, and it will help find further thick areas that I need to work on.  If you were able to use a velocity dryer, most of the time about 10 to 20 minutes will suffice for brushing, but that also varies due to the condition of the dog’s coat.  If you were not able to use a velocity dryer, I would not do more than 30 to 40 minutes.  If you are at home and it is your dog, I would do 30 minutes one day, space out a few days and do another 30 minutes of deep brushing to break up the undercoat.

FURminatorafterNow, I do know with the FURminator treatment, I cannot vouch for all of the other de-shedding shampoos and conditioners, if you or the client is consistent about doing the treatment every 4-8 weeks, it has potential to help curb shedding up to 90%.  Consistency is extremely important for this service.  You cannot do this service one time and expect the shedding to be down by 90%, it does not work that way.  I have several clients that do this service, and we have been consistent with it, and their dogs hardly shed anymore.  Like I said, they are consistent.

Well, yet another long post.  Sorry about the lengths, but I am trying to be as detailed and thorough as possible.  Hopefully, it was easy to follow, and you learned something new!  Any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.  Also, like I stated earlier, this is not a sponsored post, I bought the products mentioned and shown myself.  I have been using these products for years.  Okay, enough for now.  Till next time!

leahsignature

Basic Information, How To

Bathing Basics

bathingbasics0809-001Today we are going to go over some bathing basics for dogs.  Now, as I have said before on this blog, every groomer and bather is different, finding their own ways and techniques.  This is just going to be my version of bathing.  It works for me, it’s simple, quick, and efficient, because trust me, when you have a full schedule on your plate, you need to be as thorough and quick as possible, without compromising quality.

Now, these techniques could be used whether you are bathing at home, or bathing in a professional environment.  The most important thing is that you find a routine and stick with it.  You want consistency, which helps improve time, as well as not forgetting to do anything.  One important side note of information, if it is a longer haired dog, make sure the dog is brushed out, or make sure there are no matts/tangles.  If you bathe a dog with matts, they will only tighten further, making it more difficult to brush out later.  Bathing a dog with matts also increases the drying time, because hair is more densely packed in those areas.

bathingbasics0809-002Before I start bathing a dog, I do the dogs nails.  I want this out of the way, and it is one last thing I need to be worrying about when finishing up my dog.  Also, it helps prevent the dog from getting their nails stuck in a grate, or cracking off from walking if they are too long.  Then I clean out the ears.  The only exception to this one would be if they had ear hair and I needed to pluck that out.  I would then wait to clean out the ears until I plucked out that hair, which I usually do after the dog is fully dried from the bath.  When you work at a company, this helps cut your finishing time on your dog.  I tend to trim nails and clean out the ears in the bath tub.  There will be a post going further into trimming nails.  Once that post is out, I will come back and link it in this post.

Next comes bathing.  You want to make sure the water temperature is nice and warm; not too hot and not too cold.  Now, if you are in a professional environment, with a machine that you hook up shampoos to, I put the lever on clean, bathe, or shampoo.  Basically, I want shampoo to start coming out along side the water, and I saturate the entire dog, head to toe, being mindful of blocking the eyes to not get soap in them, and covering the nose to not get water down the nostrils.  Use the shampoo that either the pet parent requested, or whatever shampoo you feel will work best for the dogs skin and coat.  If you are at home, you are going to wet your dog down head to toe, fully saturating the coat.  When the dog is fully wet, I will wash the face with appropriate face wash shampoo that is certified use for dogs face and is a tearless formula.  I personally either use the Spa Blueberry Face Wash or a Hypo-Allergenic Tearless Wash, depending on the dog and their skin needs, and really scrub it in.  You want to be able to break up any food particles, as well as dirt particles, again, be extremely mindful of the eyes and the nostrils.  I will let this sit while I wash the dogs body.

bathingbasics0809-003Now it comes to washing the body.  I have NEVER trusted a bathing system to fully wash my dog.  It has never fully cleaned a single dog, and I have tried multiple different systems.  The best bet is to also scrub in shampoos.  I use the soap side of a system to help start breaking apart the coat and breaking up dirt that is stuck in the coat.  It helps to aid in the full scrubbing.  At this point you want to determine what the best shampoo to use on the dog.  If you are bathing in a professional environment, sometimes the pet parent requests a certain shampoo, but if they didn’t, determine what the best shampoo would be for the dogs skin and coat, unless they need a hypo-allergenic shampoo only or brought in a veterinarian shampoo to use.  If using a veterinarian shampoo, fully read and follow the instructions on the back.  This goes about the same if you are bathing your dog at home.  Use a dog shampoo only, no human shampoos of any kind.  It needs to be a dog safe shampoo.  Dogs have different a pH than humans and react to certain chemicals different.  So please, please use a dog safe shampoo only.  One of my personal favorite shampoos to use is the Fresh N’ Clean Oatmeal and Baking Soda Shampoo, as well as the conditioner.  Start off with a small palm full, working it from the base of the dogs head, all around their neck, back.  You want to make sure you really scrub down to their skin, as well as get every crevice, armpits, tuck up, tummy area, feet and pads especially, as well as around the anal opening.  On the feet, definitely lift up the paws and scrub into the pads of the feet and in between the toes.  A lot of dirt and debris get trapped in the paws.  Also, around the rear end poop and poop residue can get trapped, so a good scrub back there helps with breaking apart the crud and alleviating the smell.

analglands
Image by Chinaroad Lowchens of Australia, http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/analsac.htm

Now let’s discuss expressing anal glands.  I always do this after I have washed my dog, but haven’t rinsed yet.  For me, I tend to do anal glands on request, as well as if my dog needs this.  I tend to avoid doing anal glands on medium to large size dogs.  The reason is because bigger dogs usually tend to express their anal glands on their own.  What are anal glands?  Well, it is gross, let me start off with that.  Underneath a dogs anal opening, as in directly underneath, there are two little sacs that reside internally underneath the opening.  These sacs have a tendency to fill up with a liquid discharge.  For a good consistency, you tend to want it to be light brown to brown in color, as well as very thin and watery. There is also going to be a pungent odor, usually smelling of fish or rotten eggs.  It is not pleasant in the least.  Some dogs need these expressed, usually smaller dogs.  Occasionally larger dogs need this done because they can no longer do it on their own.  Be forewarned.  If you start expressing anal glands on larger dogs who don’t need it originally, you are more than likely going to have to keep expressing them.  The reason being is that anal gland sacs can fill up, and not express on their own, leading to impacted glands, and possible causing the anal sacs to rupture.  If that occurs, surgery is needed to remove the sacs and stitch up the hole.  I have seen ruptured anal sacs and it is disgusting and I feel terrible for the dog.  So, in order to express the glands, you want to take your fore finger and your thumb, and find the two round sacs underneath the anal opening.  They should feel like tiny, hard balls.  It helps if with your other hand you lift of the tail, causing the anal opening to protrude out a bit.  Once located, if they feel full, you want to gently squeeze your fore finger and thumb together, slightly pushing in and up to extract the  glands.  Be mindful not to have your face in the trajectory of the opening, because I have seen anal glands be shot onto faces.  This will take a bit to get the hang of, finding the right pressure in order to extract the excrement’s, and every dog is different.  Some you need to use more pressure, some less.

bathingbasics0809-004Now after that fun bit, it is time to rinse.  This is where you want to be extremely through.  Any residual shampoo and conditioner can cause serious irritation on a dogs skin, causing them to scratch and form hot spots.  Rinsing my dogs takes me the longest, because I am immensely thorough on this.  I tend to rinse the dogs face first, covering the nose to not get water down the throat, making sure to get around the neck where the loop is sitting, then the rest of the body.  I tend to use my other hand to rub and scrub over the body to fully rinse out the product.  You want to make sure you are getting everywhere head to toe.  The ears, feet, the sides, the butt, everywhere.  After you think you are done rinsing, rinse the dog fully one more time.  Like I said, I am immensely thorough on rinsing.  I do not want any residual product left on my dog.  After my second rinse, I shut off the water and towel dry.  I try to soak up as much excess water as I possibly can.  With shorter hair dogs, I tend to just run the towel all over their body, starting at the head, rubbing the towel.  But if you are towel drying a longer hair dog, I try to squeeze the water out and not rub.  I do not want to create friction along the hair, so I just gently squeeze all over their body to ring out the excess water.  Lastly, I do a steady stream of dog eye wash in each eye, to help fully clear out any debris or shampoo that might have gotten in there.

At this point you are essentially done bathing.  I like to do one finishing touch however.  I spray in a hypo-allergenic , leave-in conditioner on my dog, while the hair is wet, so the hair follicles can absorb the product.  My favorite one to use is called The Stuff, literally, that is what it is called.  You can purchase it from Amazon, and here is the link if you would like to check it out.  I plan to be doing a full review on this product in the future.

So hopefully that was helpful for you and maybe you learned something new.  I will be talking about drying techniques soon, as a follow up to this post.  However, that will also be a long one, so it will take me a while to fully write.  Any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave in the comment section below.  Also, quick disclaimer, because we need them now a days, all the products mentioned in this post are products I have purchased, and have been using for years.  This is not a sponsored post, nor were any of these products sent to me.  Being a dog groomer, you constantly try new products to find the best ones.  Okay, that is all for now!  Till next time!

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