Last week a GGD reader sent an email asking for our grooming tips after a day at the beach!
Hi, I’m actually moving to Mount Pleasant, SC on Tuesday! I was super excited to see your blog, and I wanted to know more about how you manage grooming after taking your pups to the beach? I have an apricot golden doodle, and she can be a handful to groom. Do you typically blow dry them after letting them play in the ocean, or do you let them air dry? I’ve been strictly blow drying my dog, but I wasn’t sure if that’s always necessary. My husband and I have only had her for 4 months, so we’re still learning new things. Also, do you use regular sunscreen, or is there dog-specific sunscreen? Excited to hear there’s other doodle lovers near in Charleston!
All of our beaches have re-opened and the weather has been steaming up lately. Since I only have one Dood who loves the beach – morning jaunts to jump waves is usually a “Jaxson and me” kind of thing.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE WORKING WITH –
The first time we took Harley & Leo to the beach my greatest fear was of the saltwater. I thought something bad would happen to them. This phobia could have easily been due to my mom’s obsession when we were little –
wash that hair good or it will fall out from the salt water!
My Mother could quickly conjure up an Alfred Hitchcock image for every situation if needed… #lovedherimagination
But in regards to dogs, her theory was the furthest thing from the truth! Saltwater CAN be beneficial to dogs. But all dogs are not the same and repeated exposure to (saltwater, fresh water, intense heat or sun) can lead to skin and coat issues later on.
Did you know? –
- Certain breeds are made for saltwater swimming (Retrievers, Water Dogs, Spaniels).
- Double coated dogs “typically” have trouble with saltwater exposure. The saltwater gets trapped between their dense inner and softer outer coats.
- Fine or silky hair (Yorkies) experience skin problems because their wet hair separates and leaves skin exposed to the elements.
Learn more – Is Saltwater Bad for Dog’s skin
I quickly learned the Boys skin adversary wasn’t salt water – it was the sand! Sand can be an annoying irritant if it’s left on the skin or lodged in the paws.
OUR BEACH REGIMEN –
After consulting with the Boys groomer, I developed a “process” which works well for Jaxson’s skin in any type of water…
The Boys are bathed once a week (you knew that right?). They work at a hospital and they live in my house – so they’ve got to stay clean!
For those reasons I make sure water play is two days before or after a bath. Since we are so close to the water, it’s really not a big deal to maintain that schedule. I want to make sure his skin has enough natural oils to protect him from the elements.
Here’s what I shared with our reader:
I generally have a few methods I use whether it’s beach, pool or lake water…
Due to the intense heat in this area, I don’t keep their coats extremely short. They are shorter than when we lived in Northern VA. but not short enough to warrant sunscreen.
Before we leave the beach, I drown him with the boardwalk hose. I try to rinse him really well to remove all the sand. I actually carry a large plastic bottle with dog conditioner in it.
Once I believe he’s clean, I add that cool hose water to the conditioner bottle and pour it over him. I massage it in then rinse one more time. That extra step seems to eliminate scratching as he air dries.
We “drip-walk” to the parking lot. I leave a clean beach towel in the car to pat him down.
Cotton balls are a must for us because of his propensity for ear infections. I clean and dry those floppy ears well. Later that afternoon I apply a medicated solution to clean out the ear drum thoroughly.
My groomer recommended (because of the sand) I NOT use a blow dryer. The forced air from the dryer (regardless of the temperature) can’t feel good after the abrasive sand has been rubbing against his skin.
With the car windows down and the warm wind blowing, the majority of his upper torso dries from the ride home. The rest I towel dry sitting on the porch in the shade, and he naps. The warm breeze seems to dry what’s still wet.
I brush really well late in the afternoon once he’s truly dry. That also allows me to examine his skin closely. If there are any red spots, I use a little coconut oil on there as a natural healing agent.
DOODLE BEACH BUM –
I am fortunate that Jaxson prefers to spend all of his time diving through the waves when we’re at the beach.
He is not that Dood who likes to roll around in the sand, so our clean-up ritual works well for him.
He’s my Dolphin Doodle…
I highly recommend discussing a trip to the beach with your vet or groomer before you venture out for the first time. It’s always good to have the opinion of a SME (subject matter expert) who knows your dog personally.
Today I only addressed my grooming/bathing techniques after water play. If you want/need tips for taking your dog to the beach, here’s an excellent article that covers it all –
If you’ve never heard of “Doodles in Dewey” (as in Dewey Delaware) then check out our blog post – Beach Bum Doodle
Due to the pandemic, Doodles in Dewey was cancelled Spring 2020, but click the link, check it out and bookmark the page for 2021. I love their tag line:
Not taking your Dood to Dewey is like not taking your kids to Disneyland!
Make today an affirmation that your goals are being moved another step forward ❤️
Until next time,