Dog snuggling equals happiness, we all know that. Especially so if your dog is nice and clean (BLISS!), not stinky and oily (YUCK!).
But bath time with dogs can be a major pain in the fur, especially if your dog isn’t so keen on the idea. Not to mention that over-bathing can dry out the skin, causing new issues like dry, flaky skin, itchiness, and allergies to come up.
The truth is, some oiliness is actually helpful for your dog’s fur, just like in your own skin and hair. The sebaceous glands produce this oiliness, as a way to keep the skin healthy and moisturized as well as acting as the skin’s first line of defense in fighting bacteria. So in a way, oily is healthy! But as the sebum builds up, that can turn into a greasy coat and a stinky one at that.
Your typical dog might love bathtime or may have a strong aversion to water. There are also numerous reasons a dog might not be able to have a bath.
Here are 5 reasons a dog might be suited to a dry shampoo experience.
- Elderly dogs. Older dogs sometimes have a tough time standing for too long, so a bath could be difficult or even painful for an older dog with medical issues. Add winter conditions to the situation, and it’s even more difficult.
- Incontinence. If you’ve ever had a dog suffering from incontinence, you know that urine stinks. Really badly. And when it sits on the fur because Pooch had an oops moment, the fur gets gross and fast. Rather than taking the poor guy outside for a good old house party, dry shampoo can make the cleanup so much quicker and easier. And that’s good because Pooch doesn’t much like being wet all of the time.
- Naturally stinky. Some dogs get stinky. Maybe he is over-producing the sebum which we discussed earlier, which is the naturally-produced oiliness giving that dog his signature stench. Maybe he gets into everything and needs extra attention in the grooming category. But he stinks!
- PlayDates? Why is it that if you put a bunch of relatively clean dogs together for an afternoon, they all end up smelling like they just finished Iditarod?
- Post-surgical. Can’t get those stitches wet for how long? Wash the smell of the veterinarian’s office away with a spray and a brush.
But sometimes, it’s just time for a spruce up. And if the dinner guests are about to arrive, you may just want to sweep the stink under the rug. Or maybe your dog got to rolling around at the park, in who-knows-what, and shortly after having been bathed. That’s where dry shampoo comes into play.
There are really 4 different types of “dry” shampoo; foams, powders, gels, and mists. Not all of these are created equal, and some have the potential to be dangerous.
4 easy-to-spot warning signs of a product to avoid are:
- Non-disclosure of ingredients. This is sometimes done to protect proprietary ingredients, but can also be a way to hide ingredients too. Steer clear!
- “Surfactants” without a proper name. If it’s a safe surfactant, it’ll be listed by name and won’t be a chemical composition. Dry Clean Dog contains Soapwort Extract, which is a natural, safe, and mild surfactant.
- Pore cloggers. Powders and foams can stick to the fur or skin, clogging the pores and doing more harm than good.
- Fragrance. Unlike essential oils, which (if used correctly) can be beneficial to the skin as well as smelling fabulous, the fragrance is artificial and has been linked in many cases to cancer.
Now that you’re hip to the things to avoid in a dry shampoo, what should you be looking for?
Find a company you trust, with full disclosure of safe, natural ingredients. Remember, this is the fur, but it’s also very much the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs like nobody’s business. And always ensure that the ingredients are safe if the dog licks them because we all know they can’t resist a little lick.
Lastly, make sure you’re a fan of any aromatherapies built into the products. After all, you’re the one snuggling with her!!