Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bathing like a Roman: Publicly

Wiley doesn't like bath-time. He was an adult when we got him, so we have no idea what his previous bath experience was. However, trying to give him a bath in our small cramped bathroom at home was painful, both mentally and physically. After Rosco's mom said she had tried the self-serve pet baths at our local Pet Supplies Plus,  I mentioned it to my husband, who was thrilled with the idea.

When we first got Wiley, his hair was cut short, it was pretty dull, and his skin was dry and flaky. He had little hot spots and was constantly scratching. A quality low-grain diet, herbs to manage anxiety, and just a happier life in general have cleared up most of his hair and skin issues.   Here he is at the beginning:

It was hard to appreciate his beautiful cinnamon color.

When we give him a bath, we take care to use high quality products. Although Pet Supplies Plus has their own shampoos,  we were excited to try the new soap he got from Leroy for Christmas.

The Rocky Top Soap Shop, whose web address is printed above, also has an etsy store than you can visit by clicking the picture. I was dubious at first about using a bar of soap rather than a bottle, but it actually turned out to be much more convenient! You'll see when you get to the pictures.

So we got Wiley to the store, which he is only gradually getting used to. New things take him awhile.  The set-up is very convenient. There are pull-out stairs to get him into the huge tub, even though he was a bit too reluctant to use them and required some gentle prodding.  Then we slid the door closed, seen below, and secured him with a slip knot. He's quite a jumper; we've seen him in action.

After that I put on a long plastic apron and went to work.  First I sprayed him from top to bottom, which was so easy in the generously sized tub. At home we don't even have a removable shower head, so it's almost impossible.

In this picture you can see a lot
of suds under my fingers from 
just the gentlest scrub. It's not good for the 
dog to scrub vigorously down into his skin.

The bar of soap eliminated trying to balance the shampoo bottle, squeeze it, and control the poured amount without wasting it. 

The next advantage to Dog 'Poo is that it washes out very easily. I didn't feel any sticky residue, and for Wiley the whole experience was over quickly.

Of course, even more devastating to him than the bath is the blow dryer. However there was no way that much wet dog hair was going back in the car without drying it at least partially.  So he had to endure the horrible air monster.

Here he is doing his best pleading look.

Once he was mostly dry, we called it quits. We took him around the store so he could pick a reward. He was interested in some treats near the counter, but we got him a number of different things just because he was behaving so well.

He let strangers pet him, which used to be a majorly scary experience for him. He sniffed the rawhide with interest, whereas when we first took him a year ago he wanted to leave immediately. Pet Supplies Plus has a lot of products that are made in America and of good quality, so we tend to treat him well, pun intended.

Once it was all over we headed home, much to Wiley's relief.  I'm really glad we decided to try the self-pet wash.  With his fear of strangers and new experiences, I'm not comfortable taking him to a groomer and leaving him there. For less than ten dollars we can get the job done, expose him to new people and places, and teach him the world can be a safe, if wet, place. 

"This is my dignified look."
 Here he is a few days later, when I told him to pose to show everyone how lustrous and shiny his clean coat was.

"Do I look dignified?"
"Get my good side."

There are links to both the soap shop and the pet store in the post above, but I'll also link to them here in case you want more information.  How does your pet handle bath time? Tell us about it, show us some pictures, share some tips. Be interactive! 

 Email me at pabibliophile@gmail.com to tell me your rescue pet's story and I'll feature it here on the blog. Don't forget to follow us on social media too!

Pet Supplies Plus

Purchase Dog 'Poo*
*if in stock-remember it's handmade and sometimes supplies have to be replenished

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