Tips for Washing Your Long Haired Dog

Washing your Long haired dog? You’ve come to the right place! Long haired breeds are some of the most beautiful breeds around. From the fabulous Afghan Hound, the dread-locked Bergamasco, through to family favourites like Bernese Mountain Dogs and Border Collies. There are few pleasures greater in life than watching a long-haired pooch bound through the park as their hair sways and bounces with every stride.

However, with great hair comes great responsibility. As most long-haired ladies know, dealing with that much hair can be a chore, and it’s just as true for dogs. That is why we've compiled our top tips for washing long-haired dogs: we know you want to pamper your pooch and leave them sparkling clean, but with as little hassle as possible. Read on to find out more.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?

Washing your long haired dog is more than a quick scrub. Like an annual vehicle check, it's a chance to inspect for any abnormalities, odd scratches, bumps or fleas, appraising their overall condition. When the hair is wet, you'll find it much easier to get a proper look at them.

However, that doesn’t mean you only need to bathe your dog every year, nor do you need to do it every day or week. For most dogs, a good wash can take place around four times a year, or every three months. But if you’ve got an especially mucky pup, you can do it as often as every other week. Just make sure to use a gentle shampoo.

There are a few factors to consider when washing your long haired dog:

  • How long is their hair? For especially long-haired dogs, washing should be more frequent, as grime is much more likely to build up.
  • How active are they? If they are incredibly active, then you may want to increase how often you wash them, as digging holes or swimming in the local lake will all require a good cleaning.
  • Do they have any allergies or skin conditions? If dogs have skin allergies or other health conditions, then they may need to be washed more or less frequently. Have a chat with your vet to find out more.

You don't want to bathe too often, though, as the natural oils your dog produces promote hair growth and protect their skin. If you wash your long haired dog too much, then the shampoo and soaps can cause dryness and irritation.

How to Make Washing Your Long Haired Dog an Easier Experience

  1. Be Consistent

If you find a good spot for washing your long haired dog, stick to it. If your dog gets comfortable bathing in one location, don't switch to another. Ideally, you want a bathtub with a handheld shower spray, though, for smaller dogs and pups, a sink will always work. Add in toys or a lick pad, to keep them occupied as you wash.

  1. Brush Before You Bathe

Wet hair sticks together, clotting and tangling into knots. Therefore, before you get in the tub, remove all the mats and tangle with a slicker brush. It’ll make the whole process a lot easier once they get wet.

  1. Be Prepared

Get all your equipment assembled and ready. You don't want to be dashing back and forth, trying to find the shampoo or a clean towel while your dog thrashes about in the water. You'll only have to clean it up later. Naturally, long-haired dogs will shed a lot during bathing. While you will remove some excess hair with a brush, even more will come off in the tub. One top tip is to fill the plughole with steel wool or a plughole cover. That way any excess hair will be caught, and you won't be phoning the plumber to de-clog your pipes.

  1. Be Methodical

When washing your long haired dog, it's tempting to wet, soap and rinse but massaging the shampoo into their fur is crucial. Also, the bigger the dog, the more ground you've got to cover. As such, work your way from bottom to top, starting with their feet and ending with their face. Then rinse them down from their head to tail. This will help prevent soap from gathering into the already rinsed areas.

  1. Consider How to Dry

Throwing a towel over your dog will keep them warm, preventing excess water from going everywhere. However, if you rub and scrub, you're not likely to remove all the water from their fur. If all you have is a towel, don't let them out until they're completely dry. Otherwise, all the dust and dirt will immediately cling to the newly cleaned, damp fur.

If your dog's hair is exceptionally long, consider investing in a blow dryer, it will speed up the drying process and will save you oodles of time.

What to do in Between Washes?

As we already established, you can't wash your long haired dog every day, as you would yourself. You can brush your dog regularly, however. Giving the coat a daily brushing will help remove excess hair, keeping it in excellent condition and loosening up the tangles. It will allow much of the dirt and dust to be shed, as the dog’s hair is naturally coated in oils to prevent grime from sticking.

What about Squishface Tear Stain Paste?

When applying Squishface Tear Stain Paste the aim is to get as much paste as possible against the skin and not just onthe top of the fur. Squishface Tear Stain Paste creates a water-repellent barrier preventing moisture, fungust and bacteria from accumulating and creating tear stains. However, a good scrub will remove some of the paste and dampen its abilities. We recommend using the paste once daily for 6-7 days continuously in the beginning. We would advise holding off from washing your four-legged friend until after the treatment has been completed and the tear stains are removed. Then feel free to give your dog a rub-a-dub-dub; applying a fresh coat of paste in the following few days.

For more tips on washing your long haired dog, tricks, and favorite products, roll over to the Squishface Blog. Don’t forget to check back in very week for even more canine content!