It just occurred to me as Lily and Rosie were sitting on my lap that I have not given them a bath in close to six months. Neither of them stinks and smells doggy (which is why I normally bathe them- in fact, after the past three months of freezing temps, my dogs smell like the fabric softener on the blankets they lie on and under), and they don’t feel oily and their coats are fine (actually, their coats both look great), so I’m thinking I will just leave well enough a lone. After all, dogs don’t bathe themselves in the wild, do they? We only bathe them to get them up to our standards of hygiene and to get rid of infestations when they were abused.
Am I looking at this wrong? Let sleeping dogs lie, and all that. I’ve checked their armpits and other places where rashes might form (hell, that’s where I got them when I didn’t shower in the army, so I was just thinking…), so is there any reason to bathe them? Or should I just roll with it?
Beagle guides used to advise not bathing unless the pup got into something dreadful.
Suggested letting the pups air themselves out by running through dew on grass.
Not so easy in WV this week. But if your girls are happy and not stinky, why bathe them?
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Many, many decades ago a vet told me not to bathe dogs unless they need it because it’s harmful. The latest mutt to the family has needed it. My son’s SO blamed the latest smell on bear poop. I’m not sure how she knows that but whatever.
Right now it’s me versus the black widow I discovered under the piano today. And the spider is winning.
Maybe you’re used to it. Strongly suggest you ask for a second olfactory opinion.
Never bathed any of my dogs. eva. Lots of river time was the reason. OK, when one or two of them got skunked. Nothing works with that except to leave them outside, hose them down as often as possible and use plenty of air freshener spray. Lilac works well. And time. Plenty of time. Honestly, JC, are you for real?
Most dogs who are fed appropriately never need bathing unless they got themselves in filth. A lot of what you perceive as “doggy” smell is rancid coat oils from poor diet.
Most dogs don’t do well on corn, soy, and wheat, but you’ll find those in most big name dog foods.
I go back and forth on this one myself. I tend to only bathe my Maine Coon when he has something nasty stuck in his fur, but I love how extra fluffy he is after a good bath ( I use Earthbath hypoallergenic pet shampoo). He doesn’t like baths, but he is polite about it. I haven’t bathed him for a couple of months because I would have felt selfish about it, since there was no reason for the bath other than extra fluffiness. But I think I’ll bathe him after I get over this flu that I have, he spends so much time cuddled up next to me that he’s almost an extra Kleenex….
We only took our late great German Shepherd Lulu to the groomer when she assaulted our nostrils.
Growing up we bathed our JRT farm dogs frequently, always as the direct result of an encounter with something dead and wonderful to roll in or a live skunk.
maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor
Maybe Steve is giving them baths.
Would my landlord mind if I used a hand grenade to get rid of it?
@NotMax: Seconded. Leave well enough alone.
Cliff in NH
Molly smells ‘sweaty’ when she runs a few miles, also she is fast (I can’t stop her in time) and loves rolling in any smelly pee or poop she comes across.. bathe as the stench requires, i say.
At least Lily and Rosie can’t get into goose dung and aren’t likely to encounter skunks in the back yard.
And they get brushed a lot?
My little terrier is suddenly itchy scratchy this past two weeks, but the household was packing up and there was dust everywhere. I thought about a warm bath with a oatmeal shampoo, but I’m not sure if that will make things worse. One area on his back thigh is reddish, scratched, but that’s happened once before and I used a cortisone spray from the vet that fixed it right away. I may try that until the weather warms up.
Cliff in NH
It gets clumped up under the collar when they roll their shoulder thru it.
@chopper: what about a high pressure hose?
I’ve been washing Boomer’s paws after our walks. Some neighbors are putting calcium chloride and other chemicals that release a lot of heat when they dissolve all over the sidewalk because they’re too lazy to shovel. This crap burns his paws and he tries to lick it off when he gets home which is really bad for him.
I just roll with mine. He’s got a thick, soft coat of fur that his Shiba half likes to keep clean. Haven’t washed him in probably a year and he’s fine.
You’re more fastidious about your pets than most of the males I’ve encountered are about themselves.
Cliff in NH
Since Molly loves rolling on dead things, poop and pee I give her a good wash once a month or two with Hartz ultra guard plus; with a pre-wash of johnsons baby shampoo.
it smells ok too.
I know guys that resemble that remark.
With the drought in CA I may have to resemble that remark myself. Hope not.
@Ruckus: Ditto on that. I’m already careful about laundry costs.
Cliff in NH
Dogs and cats shed, basically, to keep themselves clean. So if the dog smells clean, it’s probably fine. Since you brush them a lot (I think), that’s probably more than good enough.
I wash them, but that’s only because I don’t brush them. They hate brushing what with the short coats.
[‘It’ll be fine.’]
I did that on the one I caught hanging under the grill the other day. Fucker up and his in the leg tube so I had to tilt it over and hose it out. Can’t do that with a piano tho.
Guess I’ll just have to wait for it to spin another web and try again.
I used Earthbath on my cocker but only about every 4 months. Any longer and his coat would start to mat up and have to be trimmed and that was not for the faint of heart. Had to muzzle him and hold him with my legs and free arm on the floor. My vet could not be paid to do it and the groomer next door politely asked me not to bring him back. He was an ornery bastard but he and I got along just fine. Wonder what that says about me?
I bathe my boxers a few times a year. They’re pretty clean, but every now and then they’ll roll in something gross, go mud-bogging or just become a bit odiferous.
@<a href="#comment-"Maybe you’re used to it. Strongly suggest you ask for a second olfactory opinion. "
Seconded – do visitors wrinkle their noses, and pause in the doorway?
@Betty Cracker: How’s your mum?
I’ve lived in So Cal for over 20 years and have never seen a black widow. But I’m also arachnaphobic, so it’s entirely possible that my brain is protecting me from seeing them since I’d probably have an instant heart attack if I did manage to identify one in the vicinity.
@Betty Cracker: Hey, Betty! How’s your mom doing? How’s the FIL. Hope you get some rest.
@chopper: yikes! You have my sympathy. I’m stuck in bed with a high fever but I’d rather have flu than black widows! ( or brown recluses) have you seen this? You probably have but I’ll put it here just in case: http://m.wikihow.com/Kill-Black-Widow-Spiders
John remarked about not showering in the army but we had the same thing in the navy. If the ship could not make enough fresh water the first thing to go was showers, then laundry. 80 guys in a 40×40 closed room with no showers for 6 weeks in the summer in the Caribbean. Now that’s refreshing.
@Ruckus: Surely there was water for washing of armpits and private parts?
Higgs Boson's Mate
I was aboard the U.S.S. Lexington (An old aircraft carrier) when she suffered the loss of one of the converters that made fresh water out of salt water. Because we were launching aircraft the steam catapults had first call for the fresh water. The showers,, sinks and johns were operated with salt water. The heads were stocked with salt water soap. A salt water shower left me feeling even more sticky and uncomfortable than I was before I took it.
One other thing, you could get drinking water at chow and the scuttlebutts (Navy for drinking fountains) were turned on for a few hours each day.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: These sorts of things were factors in my choice of Army over Navy.
Meh. Widows are tough motherfuckers. You have to lay on them with the spray and if they’re in a hidey spot they run off and hide before you can douse them fully. They also like to build their nests down low to the ground under stuff so it’s hard to get a spray back there.
SoCal is sick with em. What happens is you find one somewhere, freak the fuck out, them you find them everywhere because you’re now looking for them.
I would care a bit less if I didn’t have two kids, one a baby, in the house.
@WaterGirl: Not necessarily. Life can get pretty grungy in the field. We aren’t Jewish but when my son was born my father called up and strongly advised circumcision in case the baby grew up to be caught in a war. Seems that in the filth of the field, the uncircumcised guys often contracted serious, even life-threatening infections.
Higgs Boson's Mate
When I joined the Navy in 1968 some of my friends said “Well, it’s four years but. at least you won’t wind up carrying a machine gun and wearing a tin pot somewhere like the Mekong Delta.”
Two years and a handful of months later I was in the Mekong Delta wearing a tin pot and a flak jacket. I was carrying an M60A1 machine gun. What is it again that goes oft a gley?
@Cliff in NH: Ordered. Thanks!
@Pogonip: Yikes. Warning: flashback! Flashback to the summer I was reading the textbook I was assigned to use for the “women’s health” course I was teach in the fall at the university. I had never heard the word smegma before, but it is one of those words that sounds like what it is.
@WaterGirl: @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
WaterGirl, Higgs got it right. I was on a tin can(destroyer to y’all) with steam turbines, which the Lex had as well and fresh water was frequently hard to come by. Any water at all for other than eating and operating the ship, which always came first. Towards the end of my time on that ship someone informed the boiler techs that if they threw away the manual on how to operate the desalinaters they could make all the fresh water any one could want. After that we were pumping fresh water overboard because we could make so much. Funny aside is that in colder sea water it is much easier to make fresh, while in warm sea water, say in the Caribbean, not so easy. Above the Arctic circle in winter, all the fresh you could stand.
@WaterGirl: @Violet: Thanks for asking. They’re hanging in there so far. We’ll have more info later in the week. I’m hitting the hay soon!
@Higgs Boson’s Mate:
I was lucky, I got sent to the east coast on a tin can. Lots of hot, and lots of real fucking cold. But no shooting at me, no having to shoot at someone else.
Hopefully you discovered it through some means other than being bitten.
Don’t bathe them, just shave their asses.
(Fifty comments in, and I can’t believe I’m the first to say that!)
saw a web, decided to check it out in the evening (they’re nocturnal). looked underneath and saw the fucker.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate:
Heh. Nice Burns/Wodehouse ref.
I never bathe unless something stinky or big-time itchy is happening. This is based on 60 years of dog care. When, in nature, do dogs bathe? Never. You bathe them, and they lose natural oils and bacteria that protect them.
J R in WV
Hey. In the Navy, you get a bunk. In the Army you get a mudhole. At least when I was a deck ape.
I was on a sub tender, which made the water for a whole squadron. So we could shower. Occasionally. As needed.
You remind me of a woman I knew in college.
J R in WV
Regarding bathing the dogs, only when they’re vile.
Environmentalist cure for skunk:
1 qt hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup arm and hammer baking soda
some high end shampoo.
Mix and dissolve the soda in the peroxide, then add the soap
Wet the dog(s) with peroxide mix. rinse and repeat. If they got it in the face eye drops help them feel better sooner.
If you like a final shampoo (we use Dr. Bronner’s or Mane and Tail) that’s OK, but it’s the peroxide and baking soda that does the job. It neutralizes the chemicals in the spray.
Skunks aren’t that common in So W Va, so we’ve only used this once so far.
@chopper: Oh for goodness sake…if you’re feeling murderous, use a shoe. Otherwise, get a really long piece of toilet paper and get her to climb up on it and then run like hell outside before she can climb all the way up and let her go…black widows usually only attack to defend the little ones. OTOH, you might want to get a flashlight out and see if there is an egg-sac, so you don’t have keep re-living that battle. If you are feeling like a total wuss, just use the vacuum, and then get rid of the bag right away. I consider spiders my friends, unless they are actually crawling on me. They do good work – kind of like bats that way.
@J R in WV: I’ve used that successfully over and over again with my sweet departed golden Seamus. HOWEVER, one night – just after his bath (because he was smelly and needed one), I had just finished bathing him and giving him a good blow-dry (so every hair follicle wide-open) he went outside and promptly got skunked. We used the remedy, but poor miserable pooch – just bathed and then tied up outside sopping wet again with the remedy….it took a couple of months to get the smell out of that just blow-dried fur of his.
Can’t fit a shoe in the inch under a piano leg.
It ain’t that big a deal. I deal with them all the time here. I’ll kill the fucker next time.
@chopper: vacuum cleaner. Use the crevice tool.
@chopper: What Opie Jeane said.
That was the first thing I tried. The wily fucker got away.
It’s okay, I’m trying again today.