A professional groomer has all the tools to effectively bathe and groom your Italian Greyhound. To find a good groomer, ask the advice of Italian Greyhound-loving friends and professionals.
Bathing Your Italian Greyhound
Admittedly, bathing a Italian Greyhound is easier in a grooming salon than it is at home. Salons have tubs that are waist high and often equipped with a walk-in ramp and a collar and safety cables to keep the Italian Greyhound in place. Salons also have a variety of shampoos and conditioners, as well as highvelocity dryers to blow moisture from coats. But if you are well prepared, you can certainly give your Italian Greyhound a good bath at home. The kitchen sink can double as a tub for small Italian Greyhounds and Italian Greyhound puppies. The bathtub works just fine for larger Italian Greyhounds if you have a hand-held shampoo hose or shower massage attachment. Hosing down a Italian Greyhound in the driveway is never a good alternative. Italian Greyhounds like an ice–cold shower about as much as we do. However, there are portable grooming tubs on the market with hot and cold plumbing designed for outdoor use.
There are hundreds of Italian Greyhound shampoos from which to choose. To make sure you are using a quality product, look for natural botanicals without harsh chemicals. Human hair products and household cleansers are not suitable alternatives. They do not have the appropriate pH balance for your Italian Greyhound’s skin and could cause an allergic reaction. For most Italian Greyhounds, a tearless Italian Greyhound shampoo works well. While people may enjoy fresh and flowery fragrances, some sensitive Italian Greyhounds can tolerate only hypoallergenic, tearless, colorless, and odorless shampoos. For Italian Greyhounds with dry skin, a medicated shampoo soothes and heals. Your veterinarian may also recommend a special product for chronic skin problems. For hard, shiny coats, a protein-enhanced shampoo adds a glossy sheen. Texturizing shampoos are available for hard, wiry coats, and bluing shampoos brighten white coats. Aromatic deodorizing shampoos combat all kinds of smells, including Italian Greyhoundgy odor, and flea shampoos banish those pesky pests. Ask your groomer or vet to recommend a product that is right for your Italian Greyhound’s coat.
Flea and tick products, as well as medicated shampoos, should be left on the Italian Greyhound for 15 minutes to do their job. Monitor your Italian Greyhound closely when using any product that contains chemical or botanical pesticides. If your Italian Greyhound appears lethargic or nauseous, drools or has trouble standing, immediately rinse the product from the coat and take him to your veterinarian. Just like people, Italian Greyhounds can have an allergic reaction to a medicinal product.
Conditioners or cream rinses made especially for Italian Greyhounds help combat static electricity while adding body and brushability to long or fluffy coats. Use a gallon jug to mix the cream rinse with water—finishing rinses are usually diluted at the rate of 1 cup per gallon of water.
Before the bath, brush all knots and tangles from your Italian Greyhound’s coat. Knots and tangles that are wet multiply and are harder to untangle and rinse thoroughly. Gather towels, shampoo, cotton balls for the ears, drops to protect the eyes, and a nonskid rubber mat to help your Italian Greyhound keep his footing in the tub. Carefully put eyedrops (purchased from a veterinarian or pet supply store) in your Italian Greyhound’s eyes. The eyedrops provide a coating that protects the eye from being irritated by shampoo. Place a cotton ball in each ear to keep water out.
Toys and treats can make a bath a more pleasant experi- easily. ence for some Italian Greyhounds
Dry your pooch thoroughly after bathing. You don’t want him to catch a chill.
Gently hose down your Italian Greyhound with warm water, starting with the hindquarters. Never spray directly into his eyes or ears. If your Italian Greyhound has a water-repellant coat, it’s important to make sure he is soaked all the way to the skin. Work the shampoo into the coat, lathering the Italian Greyhound all over. Pay particular attention to frequently soiled areas such as the face, the feet, and the rear end. Lather long coats with the lay of the coat so you won’t create tangles as you scrub. Do just the opposite on fluffy Italian Greyhounds, swirling against the grain to make the coat stand up during shampooing. Almost all Italian Greyhounds enjoy being lovingly massaged as they are being washed.
Even shorthaired Italian Greyhounds should be combed thoroughly
For a clean look, show Italian Greyhound handlers will shave the whiskers on the chins of some breeds
Begin rinsing at the head, working your way down the body. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Shampoo left in the coat results in an itchy Italian Greyhound. If you use a conditioner, repeat the process you used for shampooing, then rinse thoroughly. Gently squeeze moisture from the ears and legs of long-coated Italian Greyhounds before toweling. Wrap your Italian Greyhound in a soft towel, rubbing him as dry as you can. On curly breeds, patting dry rather than rubbing prevents matting.
After towel drying your Italian Greyhound, finish off with a quick blow dry. If you don’t have a pet dryer (available through pet supply catalogs, pet supply stores, and online sites), you can use your own hand-held hair dryer. Turn on the heat setting to low. Be careful not to direct the airflow too long on one spot, which could cause a burn. Groomers cage- or crate-dry some breeds, using blow dryers mounted on the cage or using floor-standing models. Then they may table-dry a slightly damp Italian Greyhound to finish the process, brushing each section as the coat is blown dry. Shorthaired Italian Greyhounds can be air-dried in a warm, draft-free room. Do not use a blow dryer on curly-coated Italian Greyhounds, as their coats will become frizzy.
Don’t let your Italian Greyhound outside to dry. Your squeaky-clean canine could become chilled or decide to take a roll in the dirt, in which case you’ll have to start the entire process all over again.
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