For about 9 years, I worked with dogs in kennel environments and as a groomer. Although, I thoroughly enjoyed working with dogs, I struggled to continue working with them following my trauma. When the dogs would bark, it would trigger my PTSD. Even when my own dog, Cash, would bark it would put me on edge. I have been working on addressing this trigger through daily exposure therapy. Sometimes I miss being able to work with new dogs every day and show them some love. I also miss being able to groom dogs and beautifully transform their look. Fortunately, I now get to groom and transform my own dogs!
If you have read a few blog posts ago, you know that I just got a new puppy, Maggie. For Maggie’s introduction to Cash, it was very important that Maggie smelled like me and not an unfamiliar scent. Dogs will remember your scent before they will hear or see you. For this reason, many experts have cautioned owners not to bathe their puppy for a couple weeks after bringing their new family member home. I let about 3 weeks go by before giving Maggie a bath. http://terranewell.com/2019/03/28/meet-maggie/
When puppies are younger it’s important to build baths into their routine. This type of routine helps puppies easily adjust to regular bathing by owners and groomers when they become older. It’s very important for the owner to not have the mindset that this is a chore or pesky task. Owners should ease into this routine with a positive mindset in order to create a positive experience for their puppy. Dogs can pick up on peoples emotions and energy, so if you have bad energy, the dog will reflect on that. This is also a moment that owners should cherish and remember as a fun experience!
At my apartment complex, they just opened a new dog wash area. There had not been many dogs in the complex previously, so I thought that would be the perfect place to bathe Maggie for her first time. Since I was a dog groomer before, I had a lot of equipment that I brought with me to groom her, along with Cash.
To help prep Maggie for her first grooming experience, I would play with her paws to make her comfortable getting her toe nails clipped as well as wash her paws to get her used to water. Cash went first to get groomed while Maggie watched. After I finished grooming cash, it was now Maggie’s turn.
I placed Maggie into the tub, then turned on the water slowly and made sure it was a warm temperature before streaming it on Maggie. I aimed for the bottom of her feet and then moved the water slowly towards her back. I soaked her whole body before getting her head wet. After Maggie was all wet, I lathered her in Chris Christensen Day to Day Shampoo. I made sure to scrub Maggie down, shampooed her, and rinsed her well.
Now that Maggie was all clean, it was time to towel dry her as much as possible before receiving a blowout. When grooming a dog, I usually use a high-velocity pet blow dryer. However, since it was the puppies first time, I used a regular blow dryer, so that it could get her use the the high velocity for the next time. Maggie was a good girl, she just snuggled in my other arm while I blow dried her. I was a very happy to have a clean puppy, as she was starting to really smell from potty training. As a side note, puppies can be bathed every other week to prevent their skin from drying out.If you have a puppy, I hope you enjoy your first bath with them as much as I did Maggie.
XOXO Terra Newell