Washing a dog: far from being a cat-lick!

Do you want to create a beautiful and healthy coat and skin in your dog? Then it is important to pay sufficient attention to washing. Everything starts with a good wash. This is the basis of everything and will help determine your finish and end result. If the washing process is not optimal, this will have an impact on the process of drying and brushing out and therefore on the final grooming result. Washing the coat seems like a simple task at first glance but if you want to do it right, it is not always easy. There are a few things to bear in mind if you are to achieve the best possible washing result. In this blog post, we will explain to you how best to wash a dog's coat and what products and tools can help you to make the washing process easier.   

No time for petting  

Washing a dog in the perfect way can be an intensive exercise for your arm muscles. Students and novice groomers sometimes have the tendency to stroke more than wash. They do not use enough force or do not dare to wash the dog thoroughly. By washing too carefully, they do not get to the skin, leaving dirt, sebum and grease behind. Therefore, the washing result is anything but good. When washing, it is important not only to degrease and clean the coat but also the skin. Physical strength is certainly of great importance when washing dogs. By developing a good technique and massaging thoroughly with the tips of your fingers and going through the coat, you can get to the skin and remove all impurities well. With some dogs this is easier than with others. For example, if you have a Newfoundland with a thick, woolly undercoat, washing the coat and skin efficiently and thoroughly can be quite a job!  

Fortunately, there are good tools that can give you a helping hand and save you time and effort. A mixing bottle allows you to dilute the shampoo properly and apply it evenly. If you prefer not to use a bottle and work directly with your fingers, you can also use a basin to dilute your shampoo and dip the fantastic foaming sponge into it.   

By working with this super-foaming sponge, you can create much more foam than with any other sponge. This ensures that the shampoo is evenly distributed over the coat and can do its job optimally. The foaming sponge is also ideal for people who are more sensitive to joint problems; it largely takes over the work of your hands and fingers. Rubber brushes are also extremely effective for short-haired dogs. They help to apply the shampoo to the skin. Use this type of brush to massage against the direction of the hair growth. In this way, you can better reach the skin. Meanwhile, the dog enjoys a well-deserved massage. Mmm, pure wellness!   


Fixed routine 

In addition to sufficient strength, a routine is also important. When washing, try to maintain a certain routine so that you do not miss any spots. Often, parts that are more difficult to reach are skipped. Less attention is paid to them or they are simply forgotten! This is especially true for the belly, inside the paws, under the armpits, between the toes and under the ears. Washing can sometimes feel like drudgery. By thinking out a good washing process and sticking to this fixed order, you stay focused, won't forget any spots and the dog's coat and skin will be thoroughly cleaned. If you don't pay enough attention to this, the rest of the grooming process will naturally be affected.  

An example of a good routine is to start on the back, wash one hind leg (don't be afraid to hold the hind leg and lift it), between the toes, one side of the diaphragm and one front leg. Then, turn the dog on its other side and wash the other hind leg, the butt, the tail, the other side of the diaphragm, the other front leg, the belly, neck and the entire head. It is best to end with the head as it will then be rinsed first after washing. This way, there is little or no chance of shampoo accidentally getting into the dog's eyes and causing stinging, irritated eyes. By doing this in the same way for every dog, you create your own fixed washing routine, and you cannot forget any parts!   


The perfect products for the best result  

Not only the right technique and a good routine are essential. To achieve a high-quality grooming result, you obviously need the right coat care products. Using effective shampoos and conditioners facilitates and optimises the washing process. The fact that the market has grown tremendously in recent decades has led to the availability of a wide range of good products. Moreover, shampoo product development is not standing still. At Transgroom, we are constantly working to optimise our formulas and make them as efficient and natural as possible. Of course, it is important to choose the right shampoo for the right dog and to take his coat and skin into account. There are hypoallergenic shampoos, shampoos that repair the coat, nourish, moisturise, deep clean, create volume and so on. Sometimes it can be a real search to find the right shampoo. You cannot find the most suitable one straight away and expect immediate results. In general, it takes two months to evaluate whether a particular shampoo is doing what it should for a particular dog, taking into account a weekly rinse and the exclusive use of this shampoo. Give it time. No matter how effective a shampoo is, you cannot expect it to restore, optimise and save the coat immediately. Also, when it comes to conditioners, finding the right one can be a daunting task. Conditioners play an important role in the condition of the coat, in the brushing and drying process and thus in the end result. Transgroom will be happy to help you find the right product for your dog.  

Professional shampoos are generally more concentrated, which means you have to dilute them. Some brands need to be diluted more than others. In any case, every professional shampoo needs to be diluted! If you do not do this, the skin can become irritated by the strong, undiluted active washing agents and the dog can become very itchy. So always carefully read the instructions for use on the packaging and observe the stated dilution instructions. The more you can dilute a shampoo, the more interesting it is for commercial use. A bottle or container of very concentrated shampoo allows you to do more washes. If you, as a professional dog lover, want to wash optimally and economically, use the Groom-X Power Bather. This pump and washing system ensures that you use less shampoo and water and need to exert less force yourself when washing. For busy grooming salons, this product is definitely a must-have, especially for the first, deep cleansing wash that removes dirt, grease, sebum and odours. If you prefer to use your fingers, but want a powerful and time-saving shampoo, then Show Tech Super Clean 40 is simply indispensable! Especially if you are a busy groomer and have a large number of dogs to wash each day, this efficient shampoo is your ideal solution.

Create a moment of wellness

Just like when going to the hairdresser, dog grooming is much more than just a treatment; it is an experience. This also applies to washing. By keeping the experience as pleasant as possible for the dog, you can add value as a groomer. Try to connect with each dog during the process and create a moment of wellness, which basically is enjoying and promoting good health. Offer your clients a relaxing and health-promoting treatment for their dogs. This can be done with professional products like the Hydra Pet Spa Senses Serenity set or by using the Nagayu washing system and the CO2 tablets. The latter will give the skin more oxygen and thanks to the natural coconut oil a dry and damaged coat and skin or skin conditions will be treated.  


Useful tips & tricks for washing 

To conclude, here are a few tips that can help you make the whole washing process more efficient and enjoyable:  

  • The right technique and sufficient strength are essential. Wash with energy, precision and preferably with your fingertips. You can also use aids such as a spongerubber brushmixing bottle or pump system. Also make sure that there is sufficient water pressure. If the water pressure is not sufficient, you will not be able to get through the coat to the skin.  
  • Are you a professional and do you have to wash many dogs every day? Then it is crucial to have the right, ergonomic equipment to work with. After all, washing dogs is an intensive task.  
  • Offer optimal customer service by giving the entire grooming experience a personalised, unique approach and by creating a wellness moment for your four-legged clients.   
  • Use the right dilution for shampoos. You can use a mixing bottle. Also, always use warm (but not hot!) water to dilute your products. Note: diluted shampoos can be stored for a maximum of 24 hours. After that, they become acidic and very susceptible to mould and bacteria.   
  • Give each product time to work. Rinsing shampoos and especially conditioners immediately or shortly after application will have little effect on the coat and skin. We recommend an average of 5 minutes for the product to soak in and take effect.  
  • Do you want to achieve a beautiful coat and a great grooming result? Then we strongly recommend washing the coat twice and treating the coat with a conditioner afterwards. The first wash is for cleansing, while the shampoo for the second wash should be specifically adapted to the needs of the coat in question. Finally, the conditioner serves to moisturise the coat and help finish it off.  
  • Wash your dog at least every 2 weeks depending on the kind of dog you have and his or her coat type. If you have a show dog, it is better to wash him or her weekly. Would you like to know more about the recommended frequency of washing per coat type? We will explain it to you in a future blog post.   
  • Always use the appropriate products for a specific coat. We have a professional team ready to assist you with advice, both during the purchase and afterwards.  

Hopefully, this will get you started. We wish you a lot of washing fun!  


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