Cowashing my dog - any opinions on the long term effects?

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  • 1 Post By CurlyInParadise

Hi all,
I've been cowashing my Pekingese puppy (now ±9 months old) and wonder if its going to be okay as a long term option. I rinse it off his skin very thoroughly and reapply carefully to just the longer and outer hair afterwards for detangling so we've had no skin issues, but I'd love to hear from anyone else who does it. Groomers? Vets? Other co-wash converts with long haired pets? I don't want to project what works for me onto him just because it makes combing easy and end up giving him hair or skin problems down the line.
Long 3b (Indian)
Cowash 4 years (Tresmme Naturals)
Occasional linseed gel
Tightly Curly method
They actually make a WEN for pets!
2a-2c, medium texture, porous/ colour treated. Three years CG. Past bra strap length heading for waist.

CO-wash: Inecto coconut/ Elvive Volume Collagen
Treatments: Komaza Care Matani, coconut/ sweet almond/ fractionated coconut oils, Hairveda Sitrinillah
Leave in: Fructis Sleek & Shine (old), Gliss Ultimate Volume, various Elvive
Styler: Umberto Giannini jelly, Au Naturale styling gelee
Flour sack towel, pixie diffuse or air dry.
Experimenting with: benign neglect
I think it depends on the coat. I have 3 Persians with different coats. I tried using a milder surfactant on them (coco b) and it really didn't work particularly well, especially on one of them. She looked a greasy mess fairly quickly. One of the reasons I tried it was that two got flaky skin in the winter with the heart on.

I have a blue cream and a blue tabby, so tried using my husband's "blue" shampoo on them this time. It has SLS. Worked really well for them. The cream actually looked like cream! Brown tabby, who has the nicest coat, is the only one who continues with the coco b.

The best thing you're doing is getting the puppy used to being bathed.
3a (Corkicelli), highlighted, fine, low porosity
modified CG, since April '07
CG since 3/11/08

SE PA

HGs: Anything Sevi; Curly Kinks Satin Roots, Curlycue ReNew and Coil Jam; homemade FSG and okra gel; soap bars; UFD Curly Magic (now Hello Curly Curl Stimulater); Botanical Spirits Jellies, CJ Repair Me, Aloe Fix and CCCC
I dont know if this helps or not but I have a Shih Tzu that I bathe with Deva Curl No Poo. Works well for her. I didnt like it on my hair and didnt want it to be a waste of money.
claudine191 likes this.
______
3a, med porous, low density
Poo: Have to admit I have recently become a Wen convert. Love it. I have always had problems with my hair "hanging" right, curling uniformly and destorting the perimeter line. Wen makes it hang evenly.
Hi Denisha! I cowash my Pekingese with Cure Care, and have for the past couple years. He gets a summer puppy cut so he's comfortable, then I let him grow out long for the winter. When I first got him at a year old, I used regular dog shampoos, first oatmeal, then a medicated coal tar, and would follow that with a spray on leave-in conditioner (also labelled specifically for dogs). I was having to bathe him at least every 2 weeks because he'd develop bad doggy odor. If I stretched it too much further, he'd also get flaky skin on his back near the base of his tail. He also had bad tear staining. It never seemed to matter what shampoo I used, how well I rinsed, or even whether or not I followed up with conditioner, he'd always get out of the bath and want to rub and scratch. In hindsight, I should've taken that as an indicator that I should at least dilute his shampoo, but it didn't occur to me at the time.

I keep a bottle of Cure Care for myself, which is a Unicure knockoff, though not labelled as such, and is fragrance and dye free. I read on the website where they suggested it as a gentle cleansing option for pets, and since it was after I'd started CG myself, I thought, "why not?". Looking at the ingredients on my bottle of Cure Care, they looked simpler and less "chemically" than any of the pet shampoos I had in the house. I figured one use couldn't hurt, and if it didn't work out I could always go back to shampoo. Next bath day, I cowashed my dog with the Cure Care, rinsed well, lightly towel dried, then added a bit back as a leave-in and blow dried as usual. The difference was immediately obvious. He didn't get out of the bath and immediately start rubbing /scratching. His tear staining decreased dramatically, and the flaky skin near the base of his tail completely disappeared. I'm now able to stretch his baths to once a month or even longer in the winter. By the end of the month I may encounter some doggy smell on my hand after petting him, he doesn't stink up the room like he did on shampoo. I've stuck with it since then and have experienced 0 skin issues. As I mentioned earlier, cowashing him has actually eliminated most of his skin issues. Nothing else in his routine has changed, including diet, so I do attribute the improved skin directly to cowashing him.

You didn't mention what you're cowashing with, and I know you didn't ask for suggestions on which conditioner to use on your puppy... However, here are a few articles I found when I looked specifically at the differences between pet and human products, and a couple specifically addressing dog grooming and product choice...

The following are all written by Barbara Bird, a professional groomer who's written a science-based book on product ingredients and more (Beyond Suds & Scent).
BBird's GroomBlog: The pH of Pet & Human Shampoos
ASK BBird!: Fragrance Free Pet Shampoo?
BBird's GroomBlog: DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PET & HUMAN SHAMPOOS
BBird's GroomBlog: GROOMING THE ALLERGIC BICHON

Not Barbara Bird, but well-written nonetheless:
Grooming: Part le deux: skin health and shampoo | Ruffly Speaking: Railing against idiocy since 2004 - I lol'd at "The supreme thing you need to know when you’re looking at shampoo is that SHAMPOO IS A LIE, MADE BY LYING LIARS THAT LIE."
Grooming a Dog Part 3: Conditioners | Ruffly Speaking: Railing against idiocy since 2004
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Autumn Products /Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C, VO5 KLS, Cure Care
Stylers: FSG, L'Oreal Studio Clean gel, Tresemme Flawless Curls Bouncy Curls gel
PT: IAGirl's as needed
Thanks Geek_Chic! That's exactly why I don't want to switch him to dog shampoo or even human baby shampoo despite everyone urging me to wash him with something "proper". All those skin problems that others consider a normal part of dog grooming just haven't happened yet and I'm putting it all down to co-washing. His winter coat looks like I spend hours on him, but I really just run my fingers and then a brush through the tangle-prone bits every other day to make sure no knots are forming and let the co-washing and bath-day de-tangling do the rest. I was a bit afraid about getting conditioner near his eyes but a face cloth saturated in water and conditioner let's me keep his face clean and, of course, conditioned hair doesn't hold on to those icky tear stains the way unconditioned hair did. He's still exquisitely ugly though. No amount of conditioner cures a Peke of that :-)

As for not asking for product advice - living in South Africa means that unless I pay prohibitive international shipping charges, I can get my hands on maybe 1 out of every 100 products recommended... and even then I'd still have to compare ingredients to ensure that the local formula is the same.
Happy to help, Denisha. lol "Exquisitely ugly" - love it. So true, sorta like "ugly pretty" as opposed to "ugly ugly". Still, I wouldn't trade my blonde boy for any other pretty face.

I did do some waffling about whether I "should" be shampooing mine, because "you're supposed to," but in the end, the results from cowashing him speak for themselves. Barbara Bird's article on pH of dog shampoos vs. human is really what confirmed my instincts were correct. If cowashing makes his skin and coat happy and healthy, I'm sticking with what works. I do add a bit of low poo occasionally for exceptionally dirty spots if cowashing isn't getting them clean, but otherwise mine is conditioner only.

I just realized the link I used didn't include the appendix with the various product pH's, which I found highly useful. I have no idea which, if any might be available to you in South Africa though. This is a PDF of the article, including appendix if you're interested in reading.
CG since 11/2011
2c /3a F /Mii, low porosity

Autumn Products /Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C, VO5 KLS, Cure Care
Stylers: FSG, L'Oreal Studio Clean gel, Tresemme Flawless Curls Bouncy Curls gel
PT: IAGirl's as needed

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