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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
You may notice this looks really similar to a post I left on the Attention All Members section... its the same question but now that I can post here I've removed it form there.

Hi :wave: I'm Sabrina, and we own a 4 month old sheepadoodle (Kayla) and I have a question about bath time....

How do you wash, but not wash a dog? Now this probably makes no sense but please allow me to explain.

Background:
As Mom/Owner I am extremely allergic to fragrance, so any time she's handled by someone that's wearing any scented product it can trigger a very serious (hives / swelling / migraine / asthma attack) type of issue for myself. Her first trip to the vet resulted in hives on both my hands, and the second trip I got puppy kisses after the Vet did and my lips swelled up (not so attractive by the way.)

My husband can't take her to the vet by himself because he's SEVERELY allergic to animals in general, it only happened that we saw a doodle and played with him to realize that he could handle the cross breed so we could get a dog. He went horseback riding once when younger, within 2 hrs his eyes swelled shut for 3 days, his reaction to cats is very similar.

Grooming Situation:
The vet advised that Kayla, as a doodle breed, should only be bathed about every 6 weeks. She's gone to the vet twice in ten days, about twenty people have loved and doted over her during her two trips (she had a wellness exam that turned up Giardiasis and now she's got a cough. :redface:) Oh, and she loves to eat or roll in poop if she can find it, I leash walk her in our back yard to avoid the eating of the poo and clean it up immediately after.

I don't want to damage her coat, or cause her unnecessary itchiness from excessive washing, but I can't have my allergies triggered and still be a good Mom/Owner at the same time. I've bought her an oatmeal based shampoo that I can handle the scent of... Is it OK to wash her more frequently? I also read something online last night that said I could use baby wipes on her coat, would that be alright to avoid the bathing if not necessary?
 

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It's alright to wash her more frequently as long as you're using a gentle shampoo and make sure to wash it all out so it doesn't create irritation on her skin. What was the vet's objection specifically? I don't know of anything about a poodle mix coat that would make them handle bathing frequently differently.

Baby wipes are okay to use for 'spot cleaning' and you can also buy dog specific wipes if you wanted to. I like baby wipes because they'll often be formulated for sensitive skin with no fragrances because babies can have such sensitive skin.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi ireth0 thanks so much for taking the time to respond!

I'm using Top Paw Fresh & Clean Dog Shampoo, it has both baking soda and colloidal oatmeal in it. I picked it up at Petsmart. My Dad recommended Pro-Sense Oatmeal Vanilla that he uses on our family English Mastiff's but my local Wal-Mart doesn't sell it.

The baby wipes I'm using are from wally too but I can't recall the brand for the life of me, it's not a large name brand its one of those that's on the lowest shelves and you get 100+ wipes for $2 if I recall. Pure 'n Gentle Softly Scented Wipes, 120 sheets

I believe that the Vet was concerned about me drying out her coat by over washing, but I'm not sure to be honest, the Top Paws says 'it is safe for frequent use'. The breeder said to wash her when she gets stinky, lots of help there!
 

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I think you will be fine. There is a fairly new line of grooming products and they have a hypo shampoo that I LOVE (no fragrance or color). I got some to try in my grooming shop and it is terrific. It's called Tenda-Groom, and it cleans really well without drying. Amazon carries it in 16oz sizes.

Has she been professionally groomed yet? When it's time, you should let the groomer know about the situation and possibly even send your own shampoo. The only time I would suggest you wait on bathing is if any mats develop. Mats that get wet, then re-dry, will get even tighter and harder to remove. Good luck with your baby!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Boleyn: Thank you for your response and suggestions! I will have to pick up the Tenda-Groom to try it out, if it has no scents that would be amazing and as a groomer you'd know if it cleans well or not.

Kayla has not been groomed by anyone other than myself in the 11 days we've had her. I have to brush out her fur 3 times a day as our yard has stickers and she tends to get get them in her pads and everywhere else. I am trying to condition her to allow touching of her pads and nails to make life easier when we go to cut her nails, the Vet's office did it for me last week because they were so long I think that the breeder never cut them before. I think she'll end up going to the groomers specifically for a haircut when she needs it, but due to my sensitives I'll be her primary groomer.

Sidenote: Washing her with fragrance free shampoo doesn't do too much good if the groomer wears lotion or something with fragrance. I find that a large portion of people think that my sensitivity is in my head until the hives or asthma attack starts. Even then they look at me like I've grown a second head.


Oh ya, if anyone's interested in the aloe baby wipes, they are called Pure N' Gentle.
 

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I totally understand your issue, DAz. I developed a fragrance allergy at 35, ended up in the hospital and have had lots of issues since. I find it's helpful to use a small, locally owned groomer, as opposed to grooming at a big box store like PetSmart. I tell the groomer up front that I am highly allergic to fragrances, so the dog can't have any on him and if she has any on her hands, I'll have the same problem. I'll even bring a sample size fragrance free lotion (I buy in bulk) and ask that she use it. Most people are willing to humor me, at least, and I tip really generously in return.

I use fragrance free baby wipes on Kabota to spot clean after people touch him. It works for me, but you may be more sensitive, so ymmv.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Amaryllis: Thanks for the response. I'm both happy and sad to meet another person like myself. I wish you never had to go through this but its nice to have someone other than my Dad that can relate. I've had this sensitivity since I was in my early to mid teens, but it got significantly worse when I hit my late twenties early thirties (33 now.)

Thanks for confirming the wipes after exposure helps! I did use one on Kayla last night after our trip to the vet's office. The suggestion about sharing lotion with a groomer is genius, I've never thought of that. How do you package it, do you buy tiny bottles for them or put them into a Ziploc bag?
 

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You can bathe far more often than every 6 weeks. It's a myth that you can't bathe frequently and many dog show people do it at least weekly if not more (that's how they get dogs with long beautiful coats). If you use a good shampoo formulated for dogs, and make sure to rinse fully (diluting it will help) it will be fine.

For cleaning between baths I love waterless shampoo, though if you are allergic to fragrance you have to be careful which one you buy. I buy Cherrybrook's brand and it doesn't have a strong odor (or any odor, really) and it does a good job.
 

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I bathe Charlie at least once a month and as needed. After a bath I massage a bit of olive oil or coconut oil into his fur and skin and that seems to prevent dryness as well as give him a shiny coat. That's assuming you aren't allergic to those oils. The added benefit is that it gives him a nice hint of fragrance naturally without being synthetic or overwhelming.
 

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Poodle owner and fellow over-sensitive-to-fragrances person here! I'm not as bad as you are, but artificial fragrances can affect my breathing (asthmatic), and Samwise's current conditioner gives me hives. I'm stubborn and don't want to throw out perfectly good conditioner, so I keep using it, but in my case it's only while we're doing the bathing, not after he's rinsed.

To answer your question! Yes, many people bathe their dogs more frequently than every six months with no issue. It sounds like you have a high-quality shampoo designed for dogs already - that's your biggest ally in preventing a dry coat! A good-quality conditioner is great, too. My poodle has an awful soft, limp coat that tangles if you look at it cross-eyed, and conditioning is the difference between me shaving him bald and not, some months. Like pinksand said, natural oils like olive or coconut can also work as conditioners, and might be less likely to set off your allergies. Adding an oil to your dog's diet - usually salmon oil - is also a great way to help keep a shiny, healthy coat, if you think your doodle might need a little extra boost in that department.
 

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Manna gets a bath on Sundays. Yup once a week because well, she likes to get into things.

Just choose a gentle shampoo and you can bath a dog multiple times a week, show dogs are often bathed multiple times a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, everyone is so helpful thank you all so very much!! Kayla would give you two paws up!!

elrohwen: Thank you for not letting me believe in the myth! My nose, and probably Kayla's too, will thank you once she's had a bath... Well she may not thank you, she doesn't like bath time, but your feedback is still appreciative.

pinksand: Coconut oil, I've been giving it to Kayla in her breakfast. Considering she's only 18.6 lbs as of 10/6 I've given her about 1/8 tsp daily. Luckily enough I'm not allergic to the oils, I wonder if Kayla would try to lick it off though. Do you do all of it during bath time, while in the tub? Trying to think of how to keep it off the carpet...

DaySleepers: I'm happy sad again to have another kindred spirit, I wish you luck on never getting to be extremely sensitive!! I'm stubborn too when it comes to buying stuff and using it up. Poor Samwise at the easily tangly coat, luckily he has a person to give him frequent brushing. Thank you for the suggestion on the conditioner and salmon oil.

Flaming: Thank you for your suggestions on using a gentle shampoo, hopefully what I've got will fit the bill.
 

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I bathe Meeko every month. He is fluffy and small so he picks up a lot of dirt lol.

I don't bother with oils. I just use natural shampoo that is not damaging to his fur. I use Earthbath, Tropiclean and Nootie. His fur is always silky smooth after baths :)
 

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pinksand: Coconut oil, I've been giving it to Kayla in her breakfast. Considering she's only 18.6 lbs as of 10/6 I've given her about 1/8 tsp daily. Luckily enough I'm not allergic to the oils, I wonder if Kayla would try to lick it off though. Do you do all of it during bath time, while in the tub? Trying to think of how to keep it off the carpet...
I massage it in after the bath when he's mostly dry. I usually brush him to help him dry more quickly and that's when I use the oil. I don't use much and don't think it would be an issue with the carpet. I don't personally have carpet, but he lays on the couch and I've never noticed any residue.
 

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I bathe my Aussies every 2 weeks. I would suggest that you brush well before and after (once completely dry!). To get your pup completely dry I would recommend getting a force air dryer, they are a wonderful tool to have around! I would also recommend a good hydrating shampoo and maybe a conditioner as well.

I am very sensitive to fragrances as well. I use Tropiclean Aloe Moist Deodorizing Pet Shampoo, and Nature's Miracle Hypo-Allergenic Dog Conditioner. I have never had a problem with either of these products (not saying other people might not!). I also know they have a new one that has both a shampoo and conditioner in one that I want to try called Nature's Miracle Supreme Odor Control Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo & Conditioner.

A big problem some people see when bathing to much is dry skin, but using the right shampoo with stop that problem. You can also give Coconut oil or fish oil in the food to help with a nice hydrated coat. Remember though if you use fish oil you must use vitamin e as well since it will deplete it in their system. Or you can use something like this that has vitamin e already in it. I alternate days for my boys, one day I will give coconut oil in their food, the next I will use the fish oil I linked to.

Good luck with your pup!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you again everyone for your responses, Kayla got a bath this morning after our morning routine. I got glared at the entire bath but once she was clean and semi-dry she was running through the entire house playfully so I think she's probably happier now that she's clean.

I had no idea that there are so many owners that are fragrance sensitive with pets, it makes me feel less lonely so thank you all for your wonderful feedback and suggestions.

I think I'm going to go with baths every 2 weeks, unless she catches a roll in muck. Baby wipes between bath time if its easy cleanup, or just once a day since we have to use it on her rump anyway for the Giardia. Of course I forgot to buy a conditioner on my weekend so I'll have to wait a bit on that one.

Coconut oil, well she's not eating it in solid form but she liked it when she first got here. Maybe I'll melt it down into breakfast or dinner to try it out. If not we'll go with the Fish & Vitamin E oil combinations.

If I can find all the recommended shampoo's on Amazon Smile or Petsmart, I'll buy a small bottles so we can try it out over the next couple months and see how it works.

Again thank you all for your support! Kayla and I appreciate it:whoo:
 

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Hi there, I agree that frequent grooming is fine if you do it correctly. Getting the dog completely dry is very important. Damp areas can lead to nasty hot spots. If you are grooming at home a forced air dryer is worth the investment. Or most do it yourself dog washes have them.

A word of caution as a groomer though. Many doodles have the type of coat that can become horribly matted with in home bathing. You must get all snarls and tangles out beforehand. When they get wet it tightens them into full fledged matts. Brush the coat thoroughly with a slicker, then comb through to the skin with a fine toothed metal comb to make sure you got all the snarls out. This holds true for dogs that swim regularly too.
 

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You can bath as often. So as long as it's a natural shampoo.


Don't put the coconut oil in her cost this will make her very greasy and very hard to give hair cuts too.

At 4 months I would find a groomer now and start taking her in.


The coats on this mixture of dog are going to be a nightmare to keep up with when she is older and she will need regular grooming every 6 weeks or so
 
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