How often do you shower your dog?
How do you clean their paws after walk?
How do you make sure that they are clean?
Over time, these are the questions that we get the most from fellow and new westie owners. Though we have mentioned it a number of times to different owners, we thought the easiest way to share is of course, write about it.
Most people know that our dogs adore the great outdoors, they go out at least twice a day, they roll in dirt, mud, grass, they walk in the rain, they eat grass and they do so many unimaginable things that many will consider to be dirty. So what many people want to know is how do we keep them clean?
The dogs are being brushed once every two to three days, at the same time we check them for ticks during brushing. We don’t fancy tropical or oral fleas&ticks prevention. Instead, we believe in using a very strong but natural repellent and we believe in maintaining good immune system. Once a month or twice a month, it really depends on how rowdy they get, we fluff them with a dry cleaning powder to rid any excess debris, dirt and others that we cannot remove during normal brushing. Are the dogs sparkling clean? – ABSOLUTELY NOT. If we soak any one of them in a tub of water, we’d bet a million dollars that the water will turn greyish black. So why don’t we just shower them? – read till the end to find out.
When it rains, the dogs still go out. Yes, we try to avoid the rain as much as we can. If there is no other option, they put on simple raincoats before we head out. If they are dripping wet when we get back, we dry them either with a hair dryer or with allow them to towel dry. If they are still damp after towel drying, we spray them to make sure that they don’t get any bacteria infection.
Paw pads are checked everyday simply because these dogs are no gentle dogs. Many of you have seen them with 1 sock, a bandage on their paw, limping on 3 legs, the list goes on. They are so rough and out so much that they get injured from time to time. We check them for injuries and make sure the pads are ok. If its cracked or if we are going on a hot and possibly dangerous route, the pads are ALWAYS protected with a layer of wax. We don’t wash their feet, we don’t scrub their toes, we don’t soak their legs. Once in awhile, we spray them or wipe it clean if needed.
We own terriers and more specifically, westies and cairn – two wired coated, rough hair dog breeds. These are self cleaning dogs. Why don’t we shower them? – while it is not harmful to shower the dogs once in awhile (say once every 3 months), there is no need to unless they roll into extremely nasty stuff. These dogs have harsh coats they are fully capable of keeping themselves clean and protecting their own skins. We have heard so many professionals in Singapore and so many groomers telling us that we have to shower them at least once in awhile because of our climate. Our dogs are living, breathing proof that you don’t have to. Wired coats can take days and some times weeks to recover once its being washed down with soap. Before the coat recovers, there are little to none repelling ability against dirt and pest. If you shower frequent enough, the coat structure changes and overtime, the only way to keep your dog clean will be to continue showering it because the coat no longer possess the ability to clean itself.
Dogs walk on their paws, the paws will get dirty and this is also the reason why many owners soak or wash the paws everyday. Signs of yeast are common and very normal. Signs of yeast and yeast infections are two totally different matter. Just like human, dogs too have yeast present on their bodies. A healthy dog can have a healthy amount of yeast on it’s body and prevent yeast infection. Constant washing and soaking of a westie’s feet can result in discolouration of it’s coat around the paws and also discourage the growth of new coat around the paw.
What we do to maintain the dogs are very simple and very straightforward. While we cannot and may not recommend the same for every dog and we cannot say for other breeds, we have to say that less is more. We do not encourage you to follow blindly. A good understanding of your own dog, it’s breed and coat type is a good solution to understanding many care taking methods.
A westie is an earth dog for a reason. If they are squeaky clean, you might as well call them an air dog. #justsayin
Items that we use:
Dry Cleaning – Fur Refresh Dry Shampoo
Tick Spray / Anti bacterial spray – Fat Boy Tonic’s Shield 4 Thieves
Paw Wax – Fat Boy Tonic’s Wax My Pad
Raincoat – EBay