Washing and grooming your long haired dog is very important to keep their coat clean, mat free, and smelling good. It also helps their skin stay healthy. Long haired dogs have different grooming needs and typically require more grooming compared to short haired dogs. So what’s the best way to wash and groom your long haired dog?
How to Wash your Long Haired Dog
When it comes to washing your long haired dog, you can do this in the bath, shower or even outside on a warm day. First,
Give them a good brush, using a slicker brush, to detangle their coat and remove knots, dirt and loose hair.
2. Fill the Bath or Sink With a few Inches of Lukewarm Water
It’s important you use lukewarm rather than hot or cold water. If washing your dog in a bath or shower, ensure the surface isn’t slippery by placing a towel or non-slip mat down for your dog to stand on.
Avoid overfilling the bath, as some dogs get nervous when the water is too deep.
3. Place your dog in the Bath
Then use a cup or hose attachment to gently pour water over them starting with their back and rump, then moving to their neck, legs, tail, chest and belly. Avoid pouring water over their head or on their ears or eyes.
You can place a cotton wool ball in your long haired dog’s ears to prevent water dripping into their ear canal and causing an ear infection.
Use a damp cloth or face washer to gently clean your long haired dog’s face, mouth and eyes.
4. Shampoo or Dog Soap
Using your hands, lather the shampoo into your dog’s coat including their back, legs, chest and belly, feeling for any lumps or bumps as you go. Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly until the water runs clear. A coat conditioner can then be used to support skin and coat health.
Use a towel to dry them off, starting with their back, neck, legs, tail and belly. On nice warm days, you might like to let your dog’s coat dry naturally but watch your dog as some like to roll in dirt and grass after being washed!
A hairdryer can also be used to help dry your long haired dog’s coat. This is fine if your dog isn’t scared of the hairdryer but make sure you have it set to warm, not hot, and hold the hairdryer away from your dog to avoid accidently burning your dog’s skin.
Choose a shampoo specifically formulated for dogs. Avoid shampoos and soaps designed for humans, as these can contain irritants and may dry out your dog’s skin.
How to Groom your Long Haired Dog
Long haired dogs are typically higher maintenance when it comes to grooming. This is because their coat can matt and get dirty more easily. Most long haired dogs will need several brushes each week to keep their coats healthy and clean.
Choose a brush designed for long coats, such as a slicker or pin brush. If your dog has a double coat, you may find they shed more at certain times of the year and benefit from a daily groom with a de-shedding brush.
Begin by brushing them gently along the back and then down the legs, tail and chest area.
Be gentle when grooming your long haired dog, especially when removing knots, to avoid causing pain.
Check your dog’s nails regularly to ensure they are not overgrown. Trimming the nails may be necessary from time to time if they’re not being worn down naturally. Depending on the size of your dog, you may need a nail file, nail clippers or an electric nail filer to do the job.
Make sure you only remove the tip of the nail. If you remove too much, you might catch the quick, which can cause bleeding and pain. You can ask your vet or groomer to show you how to trim the nails. Your long haired dog may also need their coat trimmed every so often, especially the fur around their paws.
Help! My long haired dog doesn’t like being washed or groomed
Some dogs don’t like being washed or groomed, either because they’re not used to it or because they’ve had a bad experience in the past. If you find that your long haired dog is avoiding or fearful/anxious when being washed or groomed, you can help them learn to enjoy it.
Take things slowly and introduce your dog to the process gradually. Use high-value treats to build a positive association with being washed or groomed. Soon they'll look forward to being washed and groomed because they associate it with positive experiences.
You can also take your long haired dog to the groomer to be washed, clipped and groomed if you’re short on time or prefer to leave it to the professionals.