The myth that you shouldn't wash your dog's hair too often is still alive and well. However, dogs have become an important part of our family. In the past, they were usually not allowed inside, but now they run around the house, chill with us on the couch and often sleep in our bed. Nobody likes a smelly, dirty dog in the house, do they? That is why good coat care is necessary. Exactly how often you have to wash your dog depends on the type of coat, the breed and on whether or not he/she is a big dirtbag. In any case, you should wash your dog at least fortnightly or weekly. However, it is important that you wash him or her properly and with the right products.
Washing correctly with shampoo
As with us humans, there is the right shampoo for every dog, every breed and every coat. Use the most appropriate professional shampoo for your dog and wash him with the correct washing techniques and products. Every professional shampoo in our range needs to be diluted. By diluting the shampoo with warm (but not hot!) water, you can distribute the shampoo perfectly and evenly over the coat and skin. Do you still have diluted shampoo left over from last time? Then be sure to dispose of it in time! Diluted shampoo that is left for more than 24 hours can lead to serious itching and skin fungus in your four-legged friend. Fortunately, the formulas of professional shampoos are composed in such a way that they are very concentrated and economical in use, so you can easily make a dilution many times. We strongly advise against using our shampoos pure and undiluted.
In addition to using the right shampoos and applying the correct dilution ratio, the correct washing technique is also important. In order to wash the animal properly, you have to shower it and not bathe it.
This means thoroughly wetting, washing and rinsing the dog. Soaking it in a bath is really a no-go, except for a conditioning bath (where you also rinse the coat thoroughly afterwards). After you have washed the hair with one or more shampoos, it is also essential to always use a conditioner.
Conditioners: crucial for a perfect coat
Maybe you think that a conditioner is not necessary for your dog? Wrong! A good conditioner is an essential product to get a beautiful and healthy coat and keep it in optimal condition. Shampooing the hair opens the hair cuticles. A good conditioner or an effective hair mask helps close the cuticles and nourish the coat. The formula of a mask is somewhat more concentrated and contains high amounts of oils and vitamins, whereas a conditioner is an already diluted version. Regardless of whether you use a mask or conditioner, the result is a shiny coat with smooth, healthy and easily brushable or combable hair. Tangles are avoided and if they do occur, they are much easier to comb out thanks to a conditioner. Each conditioner has its own effect and is designed for a specific type of coat. Some conditioners are designed to create or add volume, others have a revitalising effect, protect the coat from harmful external factors, prevent hair loss and so on.
Finding the right conditioner at the right time is a matter of trial and error and experience. A dog groomer will know that for the same dog you may need a volume conditioner during one grooming session and then a nourishing or revitalising one during the next session. It all depends on the actual condition of the coat. Not sure about the right shampoos and conditioners? Then be sure to get advice from a groomer or from our team. It may be that for optimal results, it is best to use a shampoo from one brand and a conditioner from another.
In any case, every dog will benefit from a conditioner treatment. Always give the coat, no matter what kind it is, 2 washes (a first, cleansing one and then one with a coat-specific shampoo) and finish the wash with a conditioner or hair mask, depending on the kind of coat and the coat condition. Is the dog's coat not in the best condition, for instance after having a litter of puppies, during puberty or simply due to external factors? Then it is important to recondition the coat. You can do this by massaging a conditioner or mask undiluted into the hair. Do not use too much product and massage it into the coat with your hands. Apply the same amount everywhere and rinse after about 5 minutes. This gives the product time to work.
Is the coat in good condition? Then you can apply the mask or conditioner diluted by filling a mixing bottle with the product and adding very hot water. Doing this dilutes the conditioner well without forming lumps. The dilution is then to be applied evenly to the coat by massaging it in well. By applying the mask or conditioner diluted, the hair gets enough nourishment without being heavy or feeling greasy, which is perfect for a dog show or competition, for example. With oil-rich conditioners, it sometimes happens that they are not rinsed out 100% during the weekly wash or between shows and are used as a kind of leave-in conditioner. Using this technique protects the hair in the long run and allows the nourishing ingredients to fully soak into the coat between washes. If you use this technique, please note that the hair may feel greasier and heavier.
Finding the right products and washing routine can sometimes be a real quest. Here are a few tips that will help you on your way:
- Give each shampoo and conditioner time to work and do not rinse them out immediately. A good average is 5 to 10 minutes. Not every product gives the intended effect immediately. In order to see the desired result, we recommend using the product consistently for at least 2 months. This is provided that you wash your dog or cat every week or every 10 days, and dry and brush with each wash. If you have a dog with a long coat that requires intense grooming, you can double the effect of the conditioner or spray! A good technique is the wet towel technique. You can read more about this in our blog about drying with towels under 'Spa treatment'.
- Adjust the cosmetics and coat care products to the coat. Always use the best professional shampoos and conditioners and certainly not baby shampoos!
- Speaking of babies, what about washing puppies? Our advice: the sooner, the better. As soon as the puppies start to leave the nest and walk around, you can wash them. Starting in time is important to get them used to the washing routine. That way, everything will go smoothly and more quickly for the owner, the dog and the person washing the animal. Always use a mild, neutral shampoo that gently nourishes the skin and coat. A human shampoo or a shampoo for babies is not suitable because the pH values are different, which can lead to allergies and skin irritations.
- Always use a conditioner, regardless of the type of coat. Shorthaired dogs need it too!
- Please always rinse the coat thoroughly so that no product residue is left on the skin.
- Brush and dry your dog's or cat's coat sufficiently, without exception and with the right brushes and combs after washing. This reduces the risk of hair tangles and mats.
Hopefully these tips will help you get started. Do you still have questions? Feel free to ask us below in the comments or contact us.