by Janine DeVault
Sure, a simple shampoo will do, but if you feel like your pet needs more pampering (after all, they are the best, right?), treat them to a doggy day spa experience at home. From bathing to paw care, ear cleaning and beyond, here’s how to truly pamper your pup so that they can look and feel their very best.
The first item on your dog spa day agenda is a full-body bath. While you likely know that regular baths help keep your pup’s skin and coat clean and shiny, free of any unpleasant odor, are you using the right shampoo? Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo not only provides a premium grooming experience, it also helps protect their skin microbiome. The gentle formula soothes pets who suffer from skin allergies and itchiness and leaves behind a healthier, more beautiful skin and coat. Containing avocado oil and topical probiotics, this shampoo helps maintain a healthy microbiome on your dog’s skin, preventing itching, dryness, hotspots and other unpleasant skin conditions.
Once bathtime is over, continue your at-home dog spa day with a thorough brushing. Keep treats on hand throughout this process, as some dogs may grow impatient with brushing. Work from head to toe, brushing out tangles and removing extra fur. If your dog has bad tangles or mats, use our detangling solution to loosen them up. Formulated with avocado oil, this product helps soften the coat so you can brush out mats more easily without causing discomfort for your pup.
Next, it’s time to clean your pup’s ears. Ear cleaning is an important component of bathing a dog and it is often overlooked. Your dog’s ears should be pink, odorless and free of dirt. Cleaning your dog’s ears is quite simple, but some dogs may be very uncooperative. Again, it’s always wise to have treats on hand to reward your pup for their patience. Use a Natural & Probiotic Cat & Dog Ear Cleaner to flush the ear canal. Then, gently massage the base of the ear to help dislodge any debris within.
Your dog will likely shake his head to get the liquid out of his ear canal. Once he finishes, use a cloth or cotton ball to wipe the ear canal, removing any residual dirt. Don’t use much pressure, just wipe gently. If your dog’s ears ever have a foul smell, appear red or are emitting discharge, it could be a sign of infection. In this case, have your veterinarian assess the situation.
Keeping your dog’s nails clipped will make it more comfortable for him to walk and prevent him from unintentionally scratching you. If your dog will tolerate it, make nail trimming a regular part of your pup’s bathing routine. Assessing your pup’s nails regularly will make it easy for you to catch any irritations such as nails that are torn or cracked.
To clip your dog’s nails, hold his paw firmly in one hand and use canine nail trimmers to clip the nail straight across the tip. You never want to clip too short or you could hit the nail quick, which will cause bleeding and pain for your dog. If in doubt, be conservative and clip a tiny bit off the end of each nail.
A doggy spa day allows you to give your dog a thorough once-over to ensure that he doesn’t have any unnoticed injuries or hotspots. The paws are a really important place to check for wounds. Examine each of your pup’s paws, checking for cuts, punctures, heat, painful spots and odor. Check between the toes, as sometimes burs, twigs or thorns can become trapped between the paw pads. Clip away any matted hair on the paws so that it doesn’t become painful. Check that the paw pads are hydrated, not dry and cracked. To help keep paws in tip-top shape, apply a paw balm, designed to hydrate and protect your dog’s paws.
Since dogs can’t speak to communicate their ailments, it’s wise for us to check in with them regularly to ensure they are feeling good. Bathing your dog is the perfect opportunity to give him a physical once-over and spot any potential issues before they become serious. As you bathe your dog, look for things like hot spots, skin irritation, unusual odors (especially in the ears and paws) and any signs of injury or pain.
Janine DeVault is a pet writer, animal rescue advocate and former celebrity dog walker. She has worked with a variety of pet-industry clients and specializes in writing pet lifestyle content. Janine lives in Canada with her rescue cat, Kesi.