By Morieka Johnson, MNN
Q: I’ve tried cutting my dog’s grooming sessions from our family budget. Unfortunately, my dog is big, hairy and sheds a lot. Bathing him at home turns into a major ordeal and the whole bathroom gets soaked. How can I save money without driving up my water bill or my blood pressure?
A: Bath time for my pooch Lulu used to resemble scenes from “The Miracle Worker.” But that was before I discovered do-it-yourself dog washes. With Lulu safely and somewhat solemnly tethered to the wall inside a waist-high tub, I could scrub away to my heart’s delight. This option saves me the headache of chasing her around the tub, and it saves water because I rely on a doggy “spa” that uses low-flow aerators to conserve water. It’s a much cheaper option than hiring a groomer, and it works well for my short-haired pooch.
Since you have a super-size grooming issue on your hands, I paid a call to my friends at Dogma Dog Care. Groomer Nancy Rector has a few insider secrets that will help you cut costs and conserve energy while caring for your dirty dog.
Gather your gear before you get the dog
Make sure all the tools you need are within reach. That includes your towels, shampoo and dryer. Also, make sure to brush the dog before bath time. “This is essential for a long-haired dog because bathing can tighten up mats,” Rector says. “If you are going to use a Furminator shedding tool, dirty hair comes out more easily, so do it before the bath.”
She added that a bathmat inside the tub is essential to helping prevent your dog from slipping and potentially getting injured. It also helps panicky dogs feel more secure in the tub. Leashing a nervous dog gives you two free hands to bathe it quickly.