Portable Dog Showers
Are you looking for a great way to keep your pooch clean? Save your lovely carpets from those unsightly paw prints? And your kids from the risk of picking up a parasite from your favourite pooch?
Well, the answer isn’t as extreme as sending Fido to the groomers for a costly makeover every single week; instead, you can get the same hygienic results by investing in your very own portable dog shower to use at home!
How to Choose The Best Dog Shower & Why it’s Important to Bathe Your Dog
All canines love getting into mischief, whether it’s just snuffling around your own backyard on the lookout for that cheeky little Squirrel that always seems to be just out of reach, or rummaging around the undergrowth in your local forest.
Dogs love to explore their surroundings and to do that; they have to get right in there, with their paws and their noses - the consequence is that they pick up a lot of dirt, grime, bacteria, and parasites along the way.
For us humans, getting dirty is no big deal, we just hop in the shower when we get home and ta-da - as good as new! And now, for your four-legged-friend, a dog bath makes the same possible for him.
Problems with Over-WashingYou may have heard experts talk about the issue of over-washing canines and how bad that can be for their skin. But allow me to shed some light on this because we’re not talking about problems arising from merely rinsing off dirt from your dog’s coat - skin issues such as dry skin, dandruff, or a rash are usually caused by the natural pH balance of the skin surface being thrown off-kilter by excess shampooing.
So, fear not, you responsible dog owner, you! Because while minimal “washing” is advised, you’re welcome to “rinse” to your heart’s content (well, within reason!).
Health Risks of Under-WashingAs well as the possibility that over-washing your pooch might cause him skin problems, so too can under-washing. I know what you’re thinking, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t - but don’t worry, once you get the hang of spotting when your dog does need a bath you’ll be A-OK!
So, what are some of the common skin complaints of an under washed dog? A build up in the oil, and dead skin cells not only run the risk of causing hot spots, but it also makes the ideal environment for parasites to not only survive - but thrive.
Many dogs have parasites on their bodies, but it’s only when their bodies become overrun that there are problems such as itchy skin, hair loss, anaemia, and mange.
What to Look for in a Pet Shower?
PortableOne of the best things about having a portable pet shower is the fact that you can use it anywhere, many fixed place showers, especially when used outdoors - leave your garden with one area sopping wet. But with the portable shower, you don’t have to wash them off in the same place every day which will save your lovely lawn from ruin!
But portable also means that you’re not restricted to your home! Heading to the stables for a muddy hack through the fields? Now you don’t have to leave poor little poochie locked in a stable - instead, let him leap through the mud to his heart’s content and then whip out the shower when you’re back at the yard - and voila, shiny dog ready to load up into the car.
Water PressureA dog shower with decent water pressure doesn’t just make the job of washing your pooch quicker, but it makes showering your dog good for his overall health, and I’ll explain how.
Mid strength water pressure will not only rid your dog’s body of dirt and grime, but also provide a gentle massage to his skin, improving blood flow which helps to keep him strong and healthy for the long run.
Hot or ColdWe all know that bathing your dog outside in the chilly UK winter is pretty much out of the question, it’s far too cold to turn the hose pipe on them, especially for older dogs who may be at risk of developing hypothermia from something as simple as a quick rinse.
But, did you know, that this can also happen in the summer months with cold water too? Yep, that’s right, using freezing cold water to wash your dog can make him sick, and leave him susceptible to a long list of potential health problems, and it’s not just the old dogs at risk.
Bathing your pooch year round in warm water is the healthiest, most comfortable, and the best way to do it.
Having your dog in your bathtub is incredibly risky business, not only for your bathtub which is likely going to get scratched to smithereens but Poochy McPooch Face could slip and really hurt himself. His paws and claws just aren’t designed to balance in a slippery surface like a bathtub, least of all when it’s wet - and there have been cases of healthy dogs tearing ligaments, and breaking bones when they panic in the bath.
Setting up an outdoor shower with a doggie bath tub (or big bucket with a piece of old carpet for traction) can give your dog a comfortable setting, and also save your home from not only bathtub destruction, but fluffy escape artists that might run through your home sopping wet - trying to evade recapture!
Having a decent length hose makes any dog wash set up much easier, it allows you to move around your dog easily while washing him so that you don’t have to move him around while bathing.
Many times, dogs who are unsure or unaccustomed to bathing once they find a comfortable position, they will happily stand stock still, but if you risk moving them - their anxiety could grow again, and cause them to become unhappy.
Many pet showers are suitable for different animals, including horses - so having a reasonable length hose can make this water sprayer multipurpose!
When buying your own outdoor pet shower, you want to make sure that it has the right features for your requirements. There’s no point spending your hard earned money on a dog shower that doesn’t have the right functionality!
Here are a few things that you might want to take into consideration before picking the right one for you:
1. Gas, electric, battery, or pressurised
2. Portability, weight, size
4. Water pressure and temperature
When you’re buying anything, you want to make sure that it’s fit for use - for that reason, it’s a good idea to buy a dog shower kit that comes with a warranty from the manufacturer.
This not only shows their confidence in the lifespan of their product but also means that if there are faults - you won’t be out of pocket.
How Often Should You Shower Your Dog?
Most dogs are easy, they don’t need daily showers like we do, but as the person wholly responsible for their well being, you do need to figure out some kind of routine!
The frequency that you need to wash your dog depends on a few factors, from breed and lifestyle to medical conditions.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet to make your life a little easier:
Oily coated breeds - Once per week.
These include the Basset Hound, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd.
Short Haired breeds - Once per month.
These include the Beagle, Australian Cattle Dog, Jack Russell Terrier, and Rottweiler.
Double coated breeds - Once every other month (extra grooming required).
These include the Siberian Husky, and Hungarian Kuvasz.
Water Breeds - Once every other month.
These include the Newfoundland, Golden Retriever, and Portuguese Water Dog.
What Shampoo To Use
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and each species - for example, humans, and canines - each have their own specific pH levels that their skin should maintain in order to be of optimum health.
An unbalanced pH level can cause redness, rashes, dry skin, hot spots, and an overproduction of oil - to name but a few symptoms.
Each shampoo is therefore created to match the pH level of the desired recipient, and that’s why you should only use canine specific shampoo when bathing your dog, or if you’re bathing a pup - buy a puppy specific shampoo.
Puppies, much like babies, have far more sensitive skin than their grown-up counterparts - so a milder shampoo will reduce the risk of skin irritation which could have the severe side effect of teaching your dog that bathtime means pain and discomfort.
The Importance of Healthy Skin
Sometimes we forget that the skin is the largest organ of the body, instead of thinking of it as an impenetrable covering, we need to remember that it’s porous and anything that touches our skin can actually end up inside of our bodies.
The problems that come along with not looking after your dog’s skin correctly are numerous, and can be severe, they include:
- Hot Spots
- Dry Skin
- Hair Loss
Any of these problems are a weakening of the body's first defence against infection, and when the skin is weakened in any way and not treated immediately - your dog will not only be in severe discomfort or pain but can end up costing you thousands in vet bills.
Other Grooming Necessities
Bathing your dog is very important, but it should always be part of a larger grooming routine that includes:
- Clipping Hair
- Trimming Nails
- Brushing Teeth
Necessary Equipment For Your Pet Grooming Routine
- Dog Shower
- Grooming Brushes
- Nail Clippers
- Hair Clipper
- Doggie Toothbrush
How to Bathe or Shower a Dog Properly
With so much information available on “the best” way to bathe your dog, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, and just what you’re supposed to be doing.
It doesn’t require overthinking, just a quick checklist, like this one below:
Groom your dog to remove any tangles or large pieces of undergrowth. If you find matts in the coat, you can spray in a conditioning spray to help you brush through, or carefully cut them away.
Shampoo - Spray your canine all over to wet his body, now apply a dog shampoo and lather.
Rinse all shampoo thoroughly off of the body, leaving any shampoo can cause dry skin and irritation.
If you want to apply conditioner, you can do this now, but it’s entirely optional.
Every month or so, you can include this step - to rewash with an antifungal and anti parasite wash, this will not only help to kill any little invaders to your pooches body, but also help to deter new parasites from hopping aboard!
Towel Dry by patting dry, never ever rub the towel over your dog’s body, this causes heat, friction, and matting of the hair.
If you’re bathing your dog in the winter, you might like to use a hair dryer to give him a more thorough dry so that he doesn’t get a chill. Be sure to only use the cool setting on your hair dryer, remember, dogs can’t sweat so they can overheat incredibly easy - even in the winter!