LEO'S GROOMING ROUTINE
“I would love a fluffy dog like this, but I could never handle the grooming.”
“Your dog has so much hair, I can’t imagine the maintenance!” “How do you keep your white dog so clean? “How often do you have to bathe him?”
These are the types of comments and questions I receive wherever I go with my dog, Leo. I never know whether or not to agree with someone’s assumption about how much work it takes to keep Leo well-groomed because I have no idea what they are comparing it to. Do they have 10 cats and three golden retrievers at home that all shed year round or do they have a goldfish? Everyone has a different perspective on animals that shed. Some people embrace the hair and proudly wear it on all their black clothing and others freak out if they get any on themselves. So, when it comes to people commenting on this unique trait of Leo’s, I never know how to respond. In my opinion, Leo does shed a lot but not to the point where it’s uncontrollable or unpleasant to be in our home. Another thing I should note is that Samoyeds have a self-cleaning coat that only requires a few major bathing sessions a year. By regularly practicing the following steps, my fiancé and I have made the maintenance of owning a Samoyed fairly painless.
Keeping up on brushing Leo is important to do year-round. Most months we brush him about once a week for about 5 minutes or less, just enough to remove any loose hairs and avoid matting. Leo does get mats easily behind his ears, so we have to give those areas a little extra attention. When a Samoyed or any dog with a double coat blows their under coat, it’s helpful to brush every couple of days during that season. The more fur you are able to brush out, the less that will fall out on its own. We have tried several tools for brushing and we like each one for a different reason.
The first brushing tool we use is a self-cleaning brush with plastic bristles which we use to brush Leo right after a bath when he is still wet. The removable piece makes cleaning the brush after using it a total breeze. The other brush we use is intended for dogs with a long coat and has bent, steel pin bristles to help grab to hair that is a bit more stubborn. It works great for a quick overall brushing year-round as well as removing the undercoat during the blowout season. This brush is definitely on the pricy side, but it should last us forever due to the high quality, to it was worth the investment. The next tool we use is a steel comb that helps us remove tangles and mats. It also works well to remove the undercoat on smaller areas such as his feet. The last tool we use for brushing is grooming gloves. This is a fun way to trick Leo into getting brushed because it feels just like rubs and scratches to him when we pet him while wearing the gloves to collect the hair.
When it’s time to give Leo a full bath the first thing we have to consider is how much time we have. It takes about an hour and a half from the moment we place him in the tub to the moment we set him free after he is clean and dry. Since we put Leo in the tub fairly frequently just to clean off his paws or belly, he has gotten used to being there and doesn’t give us too much trouble. If you have a young puppy or a dog that does not like to stand still in the bath tub you can use a lick pad to keep them distracted. We used one covered in peanut butter with Leo until he became more comfortable. Having the water plugged in the bath before putting Leo into it is also something that we find helpful to minimize the overall time of the process. Once we have Leo in the tub, we use a plastic cup to dose him with the lukewarm water. Then, we move on to shampooing with Zogics Pet dog shampoo which efficiently cleans his coat and moisturizes his skin with natural ingredients. After gently scrubbing him down with the shampoo we rinse him off making sure not to get any water in his ears or eyes. If he has any areas such as saliva stains that could use a little brightening, we would then go in with a purple shampoo that helps whiten his coat. After he is fully rinsed, we squeeze as much water as possible off his coat and spray on the Zogics Pet detangler spray & conditioner to soften it.
Unfortunately, Leo is not as lucky as some dogs who get to hop straight out of the bath and go do zoomies around the house to dry off. Since Samoyeds have a double coat they do not air dry well and can develop skin issues if their undercoat stays moist for too long, which is why it’s important to properly dry them right after a bath. We used a normal hair dryer in the past, but this method took a very long time since we had to use it on a cooler temperature to make sure Leo didn’t overheat. Getting a Flying Pig dog grooming dryer was a total game changer! Since this dryer is made for dogs, it speeds up the process of drying with its high velocity and temperature control settings. We use the fastest speed on Leo’s body and a slower, gentle speed around his face. The nozzle attachments also make it easy to reach those hard to get spots such as his under arms.
#5 SPOT CLEANING
When Leo does come home with a little mud on his paws, or all over his lower body, we spot clean! Most times a Zogic Pets grooming wipe will do the trick. We like to keep these by our front door so they are ready to go when we need them. When the mess is a little more intense, we will put Leo in the tub just to wash his lower body where the dirt collects. Giving him a half bath is all he needs sometimes and its definitely more time efficient than a full bath. Another great way to freshen Leo up in between major baths is to use the waterless shampoo by Zogics Pets. It pumps out as a foamy texture and rubs into Leo’s coat without leaving a residue. The best thing about this product and the entire Zogics Pets line is the amazing smell! I am a huge sucker for sweet sents which is why the vanilla and almond smell of these products wins me over every time! You can use code LEO20 to save 20% off at zogicspet.com.
When to comes to cleaning Leo’s teeth we occasionally use a finger brush, but we prefer to give him chews that clean his teeth more frequently. As you can imagine, he prefers this as well. We have his nails trimmed professionally when needed but since he does so much walking on hard surfaces they stay pretty filed down. However, his paw pads can get warn easily due to walking on concrete and asphalt, so we use Natural Dog Company paw wax to prevent any damage and their paw soother to help with healing. You can use code LADIESMAN10 to save 10% off their entire online store!
Overall, Leo’s grooming routine is a little complicated and high maintenance but with the help of the products I mentioned above, we have found a way to make it fairly easy to maintain. I hope you found this post helpful and have a better understanding of the work involved with owning a dog like Leo. If there is anything you think I may have missed or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.