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Easy Dog Grooming

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I have a weakness for taking in animals that are in need of a new home. My dh tries to protest, but when I come home with "just one more" he laughs and embraces our new family member with open arms. We are landlords to several retired horses, 4 dogs, a macaw, chickens, mice, snake, and fish. As if balancing the normal routine of daily life isn't enough, these residents all have their own needs and desires. I have found sticking to a routine helps to ensure no one is left out.
Grooming can be a very time consuming task even for a single animal. Brushing, shampooing, and nail trimming are just the basics for a pet. During the hot Summer months I like to bathe the dogs outside in the cool water of the hose. They appreciate the cool down and I have to admit I enjoy it myself - when I have the time. Usually I bathe them in the tub and end up just as wet by the end of it all and the bathroom is annihilated with remnants of sumo wrestlers in a bubble bath. Sprinkled with hair and shampoo I always need to take my own shower when done.
I had one young lab in particular that just wouldn't sit still for her bath. She constantly tried to jump out, and her anxiety grew worse instead of better. I decided to reassure her by getting in the shower with her since I knew how it would all end anyway. It worked like a charm! In an instant her whole attitude changed.
Since then I have started bathing all the dogs in the shower with me. I have very long hair and use a lot of shampoo so I rinse my shampoo off onto my dog, rinse and repeat with conditioner. I'm not spending any "extra" time bathing them, I'm not spending any extra money on shampoo and conditioner, they stay much calmer and enjoy the attention, and even the mess stays in the shower instead of being splashed all over the bathroom.

Trimming their nails I usually do while relaxed watching TV, or enjoying the front porch. Usually healthy active dogs won't need their nails clipped. In the pictures the tan dog has never been trimmed, the black one is now old and arthritic and needs trimming. If they are difficult about getting their nails trimmed its OK to do a couple at a time. Be careful to just tip the nail and not get it too short, this can be painful and cause bleeding. If the nail does start to bleed you can use corn starch as a coagulant or purchase a coagulant at your pet store. Grooming can be a bonding experience, you want to make this as stress free as possible so it becomes a task to look forward to and not dread. It also helps to reward them with treats and lots of praise.

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