UPDATE 5/1/23:Regarding Skouts Honor product mentioned below, I have decided to stop using their products due to the inclusion of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone in their new shampoo + conditioner formula.
Regarding Warren London body lotion, I have also decided to stop using their products after reviewing their ingredient list.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU BATHE HER?
On average, Miso is bathed every 3 weeks. Sometimes sooner and sometime later. It ultimately comes down to when I think she needs one and when I can fit it into my schedule. She will rarely need to get bathed more than once a week and she will rarely go more than four weeks without a bath.
IS IT TRUE DOGS SHOULD NOT BE BATHED OFTEN BECAUSE IT'S BAD FOR THEIR SKIN?
I’ve heard this comment a lot, but unfortunately I have not come across any concrete evidence that supports this general statement nor have found any supporting research providing specifics as to exactly how often they recommend a dog be bathed. If you have any research to share, please feel free to do so.
For our family, we try to bathe her as often as necessary, but no more than that. If Miso has been mostly indoors, she will get bathed less often than if she spent all day outdoors. If Miso rolled around in the mud today and got bathed 4 days ago, you can bet I will be giving her a bath when we get home.
I saw this post earlier this year by celebrity vet, Dr. Lisa Lippman, and found it to be helpful. Link.
WHAT BATH PRODUCTS DO YOU USE FOR MISO?
For shampoo and conditioner, I use Skout’s Honor Probiotic Shampoo and Skout’s Honor Probiotic Conditioner in honeysuckle scent. They have other scent options and a fragrance-free one, but I think this one smells lovely.
I like this product because it seems to be a fairly clean brand.
- PH- Balanced for dogs
- Paraben and Sulfate-Free
- Soap and Tear-Free
In addition, this product contains avocado oil and topical probiotics which according to their website can “help support a healthy microbiome to defend against common skin problems such as itching, odor, dryness, dandruff, hot spots, yeast, and excessive shedding.”
I can not personally attest that this product is or is not doing all the above as Miso thankfully does not have any skin issues. That being said, I try to take a proactive and preventative approach when it comes to Miso’s health. I hope that by using quality ingredients I can help maintain her healthy skin for life. Overall, I am pleased with this product. Her skin looks healthy and her hair feels great.
For Miso’s face, I use a separate product. We have tried several products, but currently we are using TropiClean Oatmeal and Blueberry Tear Stain Remover.
While Skout’s Honor shampoo and conditioner claim to be tear-free, the label says, “Apply product from back of ears to tail…, avoid the eyes.” So I decided to be extra cautious and look for a cleaner specific for her face and under eyes.
TropiClean Oatmeal and Blueberry Tear Stain Remover is specifically formulated for your pup’s face and under eyes. It is an extra gentle formula with a short ingredient list that I can understand. I use this product simply to clean Miso’s face. I do not use this product with any expectation that it will remove her tear stains. I have not witnessed any improvement with Miso’s tear stains after using this product.
WHAT OTHER TOPICAL PRODUCTS DO YOU USE ON HER?
In the colder months, I will apply Warren London Hydrating Butter on Miso. I started using this product last winter when we first moved to Chicago. The dry and cold air turned her hair super frizzy. The frizziness wasn’t just annoying, it created more hair mattes and discomfort. I had to find a way to help rehydrate her hair and skin. Warren London Hydrating Butter has been great for the job. I was skeptical at first thinking this leave-in moisturizer would leave her hair super greasy, but it did not. I started with a little bit and would comb it out so that the product could spread. It will take some time for the product to dry and soak in, but Miso’s hair comes out feeling soft and hydrated shortly after the product is applied. Note, this product when first applied has an incredibly strong scent, but as it dries out the scent also calms down to something much more manageable and pleasant. I tend to apply this product on her at night, so by the time we wake up the product has done its job.
HOW DO YOU KEEP HER FACE AND FEET CLEAN BETWEEN BATHS?
We use grooming wipes for in between maintenance. The ones we used are from earthbath. Link.
WHAT IS YOUR BATHING ROUTINE FOR MISO?
- Clean sink (Miso gets bathed in a basin placed in our kitchen sink.)
- If the AC is on, I turn it off.
- Check water temperature with my elbow to make sure its not too hot or too cold.
- I check her anal glands. If they are full, I will help her express them.
- Place and fill the water basin with a few inches of warm water and add shampoo.
- Soak her feet in a few inches of shampoo water mixture.
- Wet her face and begin to work-in her face shampoo. Let it soak and leave rinsing for later.
- Wet her tail and lather with shampoo.
- Drain the (now dirty) shampoo water mixture that was used to soak her feet.
- While the basin finishes draining, I wet and lather the rest of her body with shampoo.
- Re-plug the basin.
- I now go back to rinse the shampoo off her face while filling the basin with water so that her body can soak for a few minutes in a shampoo bath. I will also use my tangle teaser at this time and run it over her body while she is soaking.
Miso has long and fine hair. I find it hard to ensure the shampoo gets evenly distributed in and around each hair strand as well as on her skin with just the use of my hands to lather. I find the best way is to have her soak in a shampoo bath for a few minutes to ensure no hair gets left behind. = )
- Begin to drain the basin again.
- As the basin is draining, I will start to rinse off the shampoo starting with the body, tail, legs, and then feet.
- Once the water is drained and the shampoo has been rinsed, I will re-plug the basin and begin to refill the water.
- As the water is refilling, I will work quickly to apply the conditioner. Starting with her legs this time and working upward as her water basin is filling up at the same time.
- Once the basin is full, she is now soaking again in water, but this time in a conditioner water mixture. I will let her soak for several minutes.
- When she is done soaking, I will start to drain the basin again.
- As the basin is draining, I will rinse her face a second time to ensure there is no product residue left behind.
- Finish rinsing rest of her body.
And that’s it! Miso will get lightly blow dried and brushed out afterwards. There are pet blow dryers you can buy on chewy.com, but I feel comfortable using my personal blow dryer on her as it comes with an extremely low heat and low air setting that I am comfortable with.
Update 1/3/22: I have replaced the use of a blow dryer with these shower gown and gloves for Miso! These are made of ultra microfiber and are 4x more absorbent than cotton towels. She enjoys this more than the blow dryer and her hair comes out super soft as the blow dryer can dry out her hair especially during the colder months.
SOME OTHER QUESTIONS I GET ASKED…
HOW DO YOU KEEP EARS DRY DURING BATH TIME?
It is simply not possible for me to prevent water from getting into Miso’s ears during bath time and that is okay. When she is done with her bath, I will dry her ears out to the best of my ability with a thin cloth or Kleenex. If I want to do a little more, I use a little ear cleanser as a preventative. I use Zymox Ear Cleanser. This product is non-toxic with no harsh chemicals, inhibits bacterial growth, and is for use on non-infected ears as a preventative.
WHY DO YOU KEEP A TOWEL ON TOP OF HER BODY?
It’s actually I really neat trick I discovered! When she has a wet towel draped over her, she does not try to shake off all the water. It helps to keep me dry while I bathe her and I’d like to think it helps keep her warm as well.
WHAT IS THE BASIN YOU USE TO WASH MISO?
I use this one! It’s actually a party tub I found off of amazon. Link.
NEXT UP… HOW DO YOU GROOM MISO AND WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
Stayed tune, I’ll be sharing my experience on how I groom Miso and what tools and products I use next.
YOU CAN FOLLOW MORE OF MISO'S ADVENTURES ON HER INSTAGRAM
This blog post is meant for readers who are interested in Miso. It is neither advice nor recommendation for any of the products mentioned or linked. We do not have a professional background in dog training or veterinary medicine. All thoughts and opinions in these posts are time stamped as of the date posted and may change at any time. Thank you for your readership.
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