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Now here’s a post I never thought I’d write! Since we’ve been in lockdown, I have had quite a few questions about how I’m keeping Archie fluffy and beautiful now that I can’t take him to the groomers. Well the truth is that I have never taken him to the groomers, and the way I am about being a beauty DIY-er for me, also applies to him. I have become quite the expert on washing your dog at home and so I thought I’d put together how I do it and what I use.
So Archie is a very, very fluffy and very very big Pomeranian and his fur is completely ‘au naturale’. We have never had him cut but we are really on it when it comes to making sure he is fresh and groomed. I understand that a Pom’s double coat keeps him warm in winter and cool in summer, so while you don’t need to cut or shave the fur, you do need to make sure that you keep their undercut free from as much dead hair as possible.
Washing Your Dog at Home – What I Use
I have a concise little tool kit I always use:
- Groomers Undercoat Rake – like this one*
- The Wet Brush – available at Cult Beauty*
- Kiehl’s Cuddly Coat Grooming Shampoo*
- Kiehl’s Cuddly Coat Grooming Rinse*
- 3 old towels
I’ve tried a tonne of different doggy shampoos and the Kiehl’s products are the absolute best. I love them. I want to say Archie loves them too but he prefers to smell like fox sh*t!!
Also, if you order from Kiehl’s right now, you get three free skincare samples, even if you’re shopping for your doggy.
Washing Your Dog at Home The Steps
The prep stage is key especially if your dog is fluffy like Archie. Pomeranians have a double coat and so it’s important to make sure that the majority of loose, dead hairs from the undercoat are removed.
Step 1 – Prep
I use an undercoat rake (an example of which is linked above) but these are a weapon so make sure you go really easy with it.
I gently comb this over Archie’s coat and am very careful to apply minimal pressure. This grabs the loose hair. Don’t overuse this as it will start to pull out too much hair.
Next I back comb his coat with the Wet Brush to further detangle in a more gentle way. Archie enjoys this bit more.
Step 2 – Shampoo
Top tip throughout: if your dog starts to shake off the water and is about to spray the whole bathroom with water, gently hold him or her by the neck from above.and this minimises the carnage!
I pop Archie in the bath and spend a long time getting his full coat thoroughly wet. Once I think he is completely soaked, I wet him some more!! It definitely helps to have lots and lots of water in the fur.
Then I go in with the Cuddly Coat shampoo* and pump on a fairly generous amount directly on to his coat.
I start to lather this up, then add a bit of water, and then massage some more. This wash loosens dirt and also leftover loose hair.
I give this a quick rinse and then go in for a second shampoo. I use about half the amount this time, and gently brush through with the wet brush to help detangle and really move any dirt while there’s a good lather.
I then rinse this away thoroughly making sure there is absolutely no shampoo left, including his chest, underbelly, bottom and tail.
Step 3 – Conditioner
Next I use the Cuddly Coat conditioner, which is also called the grooming rinse, and pump a generous amount directly onto this coat. I focus it on the areas that he gets most tangly, like his neck and behing his ears.
I gently brush all this through with the wet brush again, massage a little and then rinse it all away.
Step 4 – Drying
I then try to remove as much excess water from coat as possible by firmly stroking and gently squeezing where I can before lifting on to towel number one. Be careful, there’s a major coat shake and spray risk at this point, so be ready the gently hold the neck from above!
I carry him downstairs in towel number one which gets soaked pretty quickly, and then wrap him up in towel number two and gently start to rub his coat. Once that towel is wet, I transfer him to towel number three.
Step 5 – Fluffing Up!
When Archie is in his last towel, I go back to the wet brush and pull back the towel and gently start to brush his fur forwards to aid drying. Archie hates the hairdryer, so this isn’t an option, and luckily for us, it is nice and warm in the UK at the moment.
I brush through his whole coat in a light fluffing action to get air into the coat and speed up the natural drying process.
Then Archie can have a nice break from it all, run around like a maniac, roll on carpets and grass and basically get over it all!
Step 6 – The Finisher
A couple of hours later when he is completely dry, I gently go in again with the wet brush and give him a soft back comb for ultimate fluff!! And the whole process is complete. I actually really enjoy it but it’s pretty involved so make sure you start early enough in the day to ensure your pup is completely dry by bedtime.
I really hope this helps with washing your dog at home. I know most of you would prefer to leave this to the professionals, but sadly that really isn’t an option right now. One day soon, but maybe you’ll get to love it like I do! I always feel so accomplished when it’s done.
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