Remember back when you used to go swimming every day during summer… until your hair turned green from all the chlorine? And then you learned – always to rinse after swimming (good), wash (better), or pre-condition your hair before taking a dip (best).
Just because your dog may not be mortified by suddenly morphing locks of green, this doesn’t mean you can (or should) ignore summer swim coat care for him, just as you wouldn’t ignore proper summer hair care protection for yourself!
If your dog loves jumping in the lake, cavorting on the beach, or even diving into the pool, that summer splash factor can wreak havoc on your dog’s shiny coat and itch-free skin unless you take some simple grooming precautions.
For Pool Pooches:
Chlorine is notoriously drying – and dogs aren’t immune to its parching effects either. Dogs who join you in your backyard pool are likely to be more prone to itchy, dry skin and a dull, dry coat because the pool chemicals strip the skin and coat of their naturally protective oils. Remember, too, that a dog’s skin is more sensitive than human skin, with a pH that is nearly neutral (like pure water) – human skin pH is much more acidic, so we can tolerate the harsher acidity of chemicals (like chlorine) much better than our dogs.
Chlorine could even change the color of your dog’s coat: it could affect dark coats by dulling and even bleaching them out, and even turn those platinum blondes (hey golden retrievers, yellow labs, and snow white malteses – we’re talking to you!) green!
How to avoid these pool pitfalls? Just follow these three simple things:
1) Spray down your dog with a coat conditioner like any of our earthbath spritzes before he hits the pool. This conditioning spray will help create a barrier of protection for both his skin and coat from the drying effects of the chlorine.
2) After every swim, rinse him down thoroughly with pure, cool water. Rinse well longer than you think is necessary just so you ensure all pool chemicals and chlorine is completely gone. Towel dry, and then, if you have time (for an even better protective effect), follow with another spritz of earthbath conditioning spritz in your favorite scent! Comb through to get out any mats before they worsen, and to distribute the conditioning spray evenly.
3) Once a week, comb your dog out completely and bathe him thoroughly with any of earthbath’s gentle shampoos and follow with a conditioner. This will ensure any remaining chemical residue is completely washed out, and will also re-moisturize his coat.
Bow Wow, Beach Dog
Though saltwater and a day in the sun can create perfect “sun-kissed beach hair” for us girls, that same sun, salt, and sand can result in nothing but an itchy mess for your dog unless you prep with a few key items:
1) Prep with a moisturizing conditioner or conditioning spray to protect his skin and coat.
2) Before you leave your day at the beach, make sure to give your dog a thorough brushing to get all the sand and grit out of his coat. Brush against the direction of hair growth, and then with it. Then give him a thorough rinsing in those beach showers – rinse him down completely to get rid of any remaining sand and rinse all of the salt out.
3) If he’s still itching later, or perhaps feels a bit grimy or sticky… it’s time for an earthbath! earthbath oatmeal and aloe or tea tree and aloe shampoos are perfect for itchy dogs, as these natural healers will help to soothe itchy spots and areas of discomfort. Generally, if your dog is spending a lot of time with you outdoors and especially at the beach, lake, or pool, a bath once a week as a necessity to keep him clean and comfortable. Definitely make sure to condition, so you’re protecting his skin and coat every time you shampoo. A perfect spritz for hot, itchy dogs is SheaPet’s Herbal Hot Spot & Itch Relief Moisturizing Treatment with Shea Butter & Tea Tree Oil Spritz, a great leave-on herbal skin tonic and coat conditioner.
4) Keep in mind what hot sand does to tender paws! Apply a soothing shea butter balm like SheaPet Aloe and Treatment Balm which is great to heal cracked pads, sun-sore noses, and hot spots.
Unfortunately, freshwater streams, lakes, and rivers are not quite as pristine as you’d like to believe. Which doesn’t matter to your dog – who (we know from experience) would relish any opportunity to roll in a mud puddle – or to you, if you’re one of the majority of us who live near a body of water that is not an ocean. Lakes, rivers, and streams are a blast to play in, but many of them contain fairly high levels of algae, sludge, pollutants, bugs, and even leeches!
This means – any dip in the lake should be followed by a full-fledged earthbath afterwards. Take care to observe all of the usual steps you’d take prior to bathing your dog – comb him out thoroughly to remove any mats or tangles, wet him down thoroughly, and scrub him to the skin with a gentle but effective shampoo. Remoisturize with conditioner.
If you’re hitting the pool, lake, or ocean frequently, it’s more important than ever to be using products that won’t strip away the natural oils of the coat and skin – which could do even more damage than not bathing your dog at all. That’s why, if you’re armed with earthbath, you can bathe as often as you like, and never have to worry about irritations! The only thing you have to concern yourself with, is which of our 11 delicious fragrance options to use… this time!
And with that, the sun’s shining so… we’re off to the beach!