Monday, April 12, 2010

The next best thing-shampoo or not to shampoo

Okay, since I can actually sit upright, figured that rather then watching more tv, I would type.

Each and every year, the students start asking questions about keeping their dog clean. How often should I wash them? What should I wash them with? Or is it okay to use my mom's expensive shampoo on them? Oh and they get more interesting as the class goes on.

Here's my take on some common misnomers about dog shampoo.

Cheaper is not better. Walmart, Target, or the dollar stores cheap shampoos are just that, cheap. Many are watered down, contact products that dry out the skin or in some cases-yes I read this some where, they are just colored and scented versions of human products.

Human products are not ph balanced and made for dogs or cats skin types. Your mother's expensive redkin product, just because it's expensive, is not created for your dog's hair, but you mother's.

So what do you use? Go through my cabinet and it's a nightmare. \

First off I have products from the vet-specialty items for specific skin conditions. I think it's always important to have an iodine shampoo handy, especially for cleaning up a dog after it's had stitches out, had bandages on or has some sort of skin issue. We use the same one for the horses and the dogs. My old horse gets rain rot each spring, the clydes get scratch from all the creek water and Pete and Merlot-yeah every now and then they roll in something that makes them itch.

Then there's the show shampoos.

When you have dogs that love mud, muck, clay and horse goodies, well they get stains. Whitening shampoos are great for that. And this is one of the few times that I will state that a Horse product works great for dogs-Cowboy Magic. But over the years Alec and I have tried so many different products that white the whites but don't dull the other colors. #1 Professional whitening, White Lightening and Crystal White Enzyme Shampoos are bought by the gallon. We've even gone to using the Crystal White on the clydesdale's feathers!

We do have a few shampoos that help to draw out a specific color-Black Star White, formerly Wahl's black shampoo for the blue and black dogs helps their color to pop. Frankie gets a little Red/Brown conditioner if he's starting to sunbleach-it's got UV filters in it too to help keep him from washing out. Most of these will have some sort of light reflecting technology that helps the color pop.

But everyday use, oh there are sooo many out there. I love Plush Puppy products but never can find the vendor at the shows to get a gallon or two of shampoo. I've also got stuff over the years out of raffle baskets, show samples or in the mail. Right now-Clean Start from Chris Christenson is great for getting just gunk out of coat. I also love the Isle of Dogs Puppy shampoo. Or I even just use the #1 Professionals Whitening. All rinse clean, smell great and are good the dogs coats.

So did that help? Don't by grocery store or cheap brands. Hello, even some of the stuff at Petsmart or Petco or where ever are not that great for your dogs.

Oh forgot--how often? Granted we humans have a thing for hygiene and love to shower ever day. Our dogs though, are designed to go the distance between baths. Granted some breeds do need to be attended to more regularly-toys, long haired dogs, those that can mat. The majority though, as long as you brush weekly, wipe with a damp towel afterwards, will stay clean and fresh. I usually bath the non-show dogs, well, no more then every couple of months. If it's mud I'm battling, I might not bath, but rinse off in the shower, then mist with a conditioning spray(Isle of Dog Repair diluted). I do bath more regularly for those blowing coat and that's just to get the dead coat out and help promote new coat growth.

There you go, my suggestions on the whole shampoo subject---anyone got anything else they prefer or use instead? I love to learn about new products!

Later gators....


Frink Lemur said...

Hrm, here we use a dog-specific hypoallergenic contains nothing, no perfumes, dyes, UV brighteners, bleaches, etc dog shampoo, and as we aren't in the ring everyone averages maybe a bath every three to six months, more in the summer. Kodi and Chdoe the Samoyed Laikas, they just kind of stay white automatically but it is almost tiring when you get complimented on their coats - and I always downplay it, trying to tell them it is simply the dogs' coats that are well designed. Just brush out loose fur.

I've ended up using the dog's shampoo for myself as it is less harsh and drying, I suspect that is a good testimony- not that I remember the brand. :)

Joanna said...

The whole "pH balance" thing is a myth - very effectively used but nonsense. You can use any human shampoo you want; the show-dog shampoos are very, very close (if not identical) to daily-use human shampoos. The toy-dog people used Pantene for years, usually still do, and then all of a sudden there were pet products with panthenol and "vitamins." Pet products follow human products; if pearlizers are big sellers in human products you can bet that there will be pet "pearl" shampoos in a year or two. Same with the new greenwashing trend; it's no longer sodium laureth sulfate, it's "gentle natural cleansers made from coconut."

I've always felt that clean hair grows better (and lies better) than dirty hair, and I don't like it when dogs smell or are greasy. Ours are bathed once a week, two at the most, using (human) whitening shampoo from Sally Beauty; the merles get it all over and the others get it on their whites. Body coat is either a very diluted Plush Puppy or Chris Christensen. I DO agree that you don't buy cheap brands, but that's because they're very harsh, designed for dogs who get bathed once a year. I use Thick N Thicker foaming protein before shows and ALWAYS use After Bath. Love that stuff.

I had a dog have a bad reaction to Isle of Dog and so now I use it only very carefully and dilute it a ton. The good old Sally Beauty shampoo has never failed me.

ClassyChassy said...

I found a bath bar created by someone on etsy for their dog with allergy issues. It has tea tree oil and oatmeal in it, among other things. Works great for my itchy Corgi during her allergy season, and I have even purchased some bars of it for myself! Smells great, and is gentle, and refreshing!

Cindy said...

And I've always had dogs react to human products. Dry skin, itching, etc. Even with a thousand rinses. A lot of human shampoos contain too much alcohol for a dog's skin. Ph might be a little fictious, but lots and lots of reactions to human hair care products, and this is talking to a vet who also has a side in dermatology.
Now conditioners, very rarely use other then then the Repair product and a Kenzi item.
Pantene, and this from a gal who studied these types of things in college, is actually one of the worst ones to use on humans and dogs. Lots of waxes and such. Yeah it's great to keep a coat smooth and flat, but in the long term it does a lot of damage.
As for smelly dogs, a dog that gets amble exercise, outdoor on good surfaces, good diet, keeps itself clean. They are designed for that. I think part of it depends on the climate and area where you live also. Up here, lots of grass and snow. Dogs love the rain and other then a couple of my older dogs who like my old horse, have a harder time with blowing coat, they smell clean, fresh and never greasy.

Thanks for input!

Joanna said...

I think most people who see a "reaction" to shampoos, whether human or canine, are not rinsing well enough. Any shampoo will burn dog skin if you don't rinse. Human products tend to be thicker (not stronger - they're actually much weaker) and require more deliberate rinsing, so people don't do a good enough job and the dog gets burned.

One of the reasons I like the Sally whitening shampoo is that it has gentler detergents - TEA laureth sulfide instead of Sodium, for example - and rinses very fast because it's not hyper-thickened. Most dog shampoos don't even let you know their ingredients, usually because they're cheap!

I just checked six human shampoo bottles and none have alcohol in them. If you're talking about cetyl alcohol, that's not "alcohol" - that's a fat. It's used as a moisturizer. Waxes are good at hydrating and softening hair. If you want a proper Yorkie coat, waxy ingredients are great. If you want to deshed a coat, waxy ingredients are great (they soften the hair and skin and the skin will let more hair go). If you want a harsher coat, waxes are bad. It's pretty much that simple; you tailor ingredients to the needs at hand.

But trust me that every cleaning/detergent product in the cosmetic industry is basically using the same ingredients. Ivory dishwashing liquid is almost identical to the Pet Edge Top Performance ProClean shampoos. After Bath (as much as I love it) is very close to several human conditioners.