Removing Chemicals From Your Dogs' Coat

When Gilby was pulled out of the dog pound, his coat looked groomed but it had been brushed only on top leaving a mass of matted coat underneath, his tail had dreadlocks and a couple friends suggested shaving him down and starting over

If you have read this blog for any time you know I am against shaving down dogs, not only does it put them at risk of skin cancer but most dogs don't like it either.

Gilby had suffered enough trauma. His jaw had been broken, his side teeth had been filed to nubs to help his jaw close and the surgery had given him a massive bone infection.
After all that and the months it took to heal...his owners dumped him at the pound where he would have been destroyed if no one came and got him. Since he is a senior dog that was unlikely...

Having been a groomer for so many years I opted to comb him out. The drawback was that I suffer from MCS multiple chemical sensitivities that act like a combination of Lupus and MS on your body when exposed. Gilby had so many chemicals in his coat that attempting to demat him had left me very sick.

Normally you would demat your dog before putting him in the bath. Bathing a matted dog as I have put in previous posts makes the mats worse. But I had no choice.

Gilby was bathed mats and all, with  dishwashing detergent, 1 oz to 15 oz water to which 15 drops organic lavender oil and 5 drops tea tree oil had been added.

The lavender acts as both an antibacterial and as a solvent to remove hard chemicals. The tea tree oil kills any mold that may be lurking in those mats and the truth is mold grows inside mats quickly. Before the bath he was rinsed down with a couple gallons of distilled water. Distilled water opens the hair shaft so that it is easier for the chemicals to be removed. It also makes the mats worse because it roughens the hair cuticle so I really had my work cut out for me.

After washing he was rinsed thoroughly then rerinsed with more distilled water. This leaves the cuticle open and then I applied Espree Luxury Reconditioner. I love the Espree natural shampoos and conditioners and used them on all my showdogs

Distilled water is hard on a silky coated dog and I don't recommend it often unless like me, you were trying to remove chemicals that had been picked up in the coat.

Gilby is a loving patient dog and he let me demat most of him using only my fingers and a comb.

If you rescue a dog I recommend getting the coat as chemical free as possible because you simply don't know where that dog has been or what he has been exposed to. It is better for you, your family and your are Gilbys' before and after pix: