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Woof Wednesday: Ask Amy, Puppy Baths & Skunk-icity

Posted on
7-22 magic & hose
Magic loves water–for play! Bathes are a different story.

Last week during a ramble through the 13 acres of our Rosemont homestead, Magical-Dawg emerged from the treeline and scared my husband half to death. He threw himself on the ground (the dawg, not the hubby!), and rolled-rolled-rolled and scrubbed his face in the grass and dirt. Mahmoud thought he’d been bitten or stung by something, said Magic even seemed to foam a bit at the mouth and was nearly impossible to motivate him vertical so they could head back to the house.

I checked the boy over for bites and stings–one side of his jowls did seem a bit swollen–but Magic didn’t act tender and seemed fine. The repair folks arrived shortly thereafter to fix the oven/stove (that’s another story!) so Magic kenneled-up in our bedroom for the duration. An hour later when they left and I opened the bedroom door and released Magic from his kennel–

Ginger, the Morkie, can’t believe she’d ever need a bath! Copr. eamylove

WHEWIE! I hadn’t noticed it before, but confinement increased Magical-Dawg’s pungent-icity. Not a bug bite or sting at all–nope, my inquisitive fellow had a close encounter with a skunk. Luckily it wasn’t a direct hit or we’d have noticed much more quickly. So today, the Magical-Dawg will get a bath with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap–a bubbling miraculous solution for de-skunking the stinkiest pooch. For directions how to get other stuff out of the fur (tar, paint, chewing gum and more), you’ll find detailed how-to advice in the First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats.

Puppies shouldn’t be bathed until they are at least four weeks old—six or eight weeks is better. The little guys have trouble regulating their body temperature at that age, and can become chilled. While some breeds need more bathing than others, excessive baths can strip natural oils from the coat and dry the skin. For puppy-licious bathing advice, check out 13 Steps for Bathing Your Puppy (hot off the virtual press!).

Some dogs HATE bathes, though. Does yours? Magic LOVES the idea of chasing the water but doesn’t want to hold still for rinsing. Today’s Ask Amy explains some of the “whys” about dogs who hate bathing. How often do you bathe your dog? Or…HISSSSSSS…do you ever bathe your cat? Did you and the cat survive? Please share!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

2 responses »

  1. Once when we let out Beagle run free in a wooded area, he found wild animal dirt to roll in. Whew! Got dunked in the lake a few times there and rode back to my Grandmother’s in the trunk of the car. After getting a bath or two, he still had an “aroma”. My Grandmother decided she could do better and sprayed him with cologne. That scent didn’t agree with him. Barf. TG, he never tangled with a skunk.

    • Hi Mary, Magical-dawg got his bath yesterday (finally!). The trick with him–he loves chasing water so it’s hard to get him totally wet or totally rinsed. Having the “de-skunk-off” concoction in a bucket to sponge on seemed to help. We’d also been doing the doggy cologne but it wasn’t helping US (he didn’t care). Glad your Beagle learned his lesson!


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