Just wondering if anyone has any good suggestions on a good shampoo for a Westie. I understand that Westies can have sensitive/dry skin. Both the vet and the breeder mentioned this to me. I took a quick look at Petsmart, and I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount and variety of shampoo products out there! I tend to just freeze and not buy anything when I'm hit with so many options, and I would prefer something that comes with a personal recommendation. I saw a shampoo that claimed to be specially formulated for white-hair dogs... not sure if that's just a marketing gimmick, or if in fact I should be looking into white-hair shampoo? Also, the breeder, as well as the Westie Club of Canada website recommend that Westies be bathed only 3 or 4 times a year! The reason is, again, because their skin could lose its natural oils if bathed frequently. yikes. I don't think I want my Molly to wait for a bath every 4 months. Anyone out there have any thoughts on this? are there such things as moisturizers/conditioner to prevent the dryness if I were to bathe her more often? I don't plan to give her a daily bath, but maybe every few weeks, depending on how dirty she gets when going outside. Right now I just wipe her down, and sometimes use baby wipes. She has only had two real baths, and I used shampoo for infants (human infants). Any tips would be welcome... thanks.
I have white dogs (when they're not rolling in the mud) and have used Tropiclean Awapuhi White for years. My guys have wonderful coats with no skin issues. The most important thing to remember is to rinse thoroughly, then rinse again. No matter what you choose, major issues with skin problems can be caused by leaving residue from the shampoo.
***Edited By: pyrmom on 8/22/2008 4:43:42 PM*** Reason: *
"Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant". author unknown
I can only speak of my expieriences. I am a groomer and I bathe alot of Westies! The one's with skin problems usually once a week,(per vet's orders) and most others once everyother week. I use "SAFELY" a non-drying,natural flea killer (eucalyptus),gentle enough to use everyday shampoo. I do add Snowy Coat (keeps their whites, white). Pyrmom is very right! The most important part of a bath is rinsing, you should rinse for at least 5mins. and the water should run clear. If you are useing a vegetable sprayer on your sink or an attached sprayer in your tub, you may want to wrap a washcloth around it when doing the face. It muffles the sound of the sprayer (which can scare some dogs) and makes the spray more gentle and easier to rinse the face without getting water in their nose or mouth. Also do not forget to use an earwash to dry up any water you may have gotten in the ears. You can use a Hypo allergenic shampoo if your dog turns out to be sensitive. Remember to always use warm water when bathing your dog. They have a slightly higher body temp than we do and do not like lukewarm bubble baths! You should try to make bath time enjoyable to them. WE give a massage while in the tub and scrubbing, it gives the shampoo a chance to kill a flea if per chance it's present. You can use a good conditioner if you want but be sure to rinse good or you will end up with a greasy look and a scratching dog.
It really is best not to use people shampoo on your dog. It is ok in a pinch but you should'nt make a habit of it. It is not the right ph for their skin. I know alot of people do it and say I have done it for years, they were lucky and had a dog with a great immune system and no allergies. I know others that used people shampoo and it led to Yeast infections on the body. Yeast is very hard to get rid of once it starts.
Don't forget the toe nails keep them clipped so that your pet does not breakdown their feet from walking on the toe nails.
Also always brushout and comb (line brushing is the best method for making sure your dog is thoughrly brushed) before you bathe and again after you dry them.
Tip - Always try to act excited about bath time, like it's a game instead of a chore or something to be dreaded. Your dog is very smart and they will pick up on the fact that you dislike this chore so maybe they should'nt like it either. Start them out using it as a bonding expierience (if you have time, if not, that's where we come in )they will grow to love the extra attention and you will both enjoy bath time.
Tip - If you are not the one bathing your dog, I would suggest you take your own shampoo in when bath day arrives. I am sorry to say it, but not all groomers are honest about the shampoos they use and alot of them use dishwashing liquid. This is old school about killing fleas and such but it is really drying to the skin and coat. Anyway I know I said a mouthful, but as you can tell I love dogs and I love my job. Hope this helped a little.
Earthbath has one that is lavender for brightening white coats. I use the Mango Tango shampoo and conditioner and the Creme rinse and love it. I like their products because their natural and gentle and safe for the environment.
In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland
Thanks for all the great info! wow, dishwashing soap? that sounds awful. I will head out to the pet store tonight and look for some of the products that you guys have suggested. Thanks for all the professional tips too! ;) At least now I feel a bit better knowing that giving Molly a bath every couple of weeks will not be harmful to her... after a weekend of rolling around outside, I couldn't imagine waiting three months to bathe her. It will be bath time tonight! I did find in her last bath that warm water settled her down and she seemed to enjoy that. I also put an old bath mat on the tub, so she wouldn't slip and slide, and I think that cut down on some of the anxiety. I'm going to try a massage on her! thanks again.