If Sammy isn't filthy, it's much easier to wipe him down with a doggy wipe than it is to wrestle him into the tub for a full-body sudsing. If you've balked at buying pre-packaged wipes due to the cost or because you're concerned about how the ingredients will affect your pooch's delicate skin, consider making your own doggy wipes. Apple cider vinegar in the solution makes a mild effective antiseptic cleanser that also deodorizes.
Apple cider vinegar benefits your dog's skin and fur in so many ways, it should be used more in commercial doggy wipes. Apple cider is useful for treating skin infections and hot spots, it will drive away mites and it's so effective at deodorizing that the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine recommends using it on doggies who've been doused with skunk spray.
Heavy-duty paper towels are useful for making homemade doggy wipes because they're disposable. Alternatively, you can use a basic unscented disposable baby wipe. They are already pre-cut, and all you have to do is remove them from the package and soak them in your apple cider vinegar solution. If you want to go green, though, consider using rags, such as old dishcloths or squares cut from a flannel shirt. Rags are easier on the environment because you simply launder them and reuse them over and over.
You can control the strength of your soak solution by increasing or decreasing the amount of apple cider vinegar you use. Use it in varying strengths from entirely undiluted to a 2 or 3 to 1 ratio with water. You don't have to add a soap element, but if you want to, mix equal parts vinegar and dog shampoo with four times as much water. For example, if you were using 1 cup each of the vinegar and shampoo, you'd use 4 cups of water. Add a bit of olive oil, too, if you wish to enhance Sammy's skin and coat. You can even combine the vinegar with tea, such as rosemary, soaking your wipes in a 1 cup tea to 1 tablespoon vinegar solution.
Vinegar evaporates quickly, so you need to store your apple cider vinegar doggy wipes in an air-tight container. Resealable zippered plastic storage bags are convenient and easy to carry for quick wipe-downs on the go. If you have an empty baby wipes container, recycle it for your doggy wipe storage. Any air-tight container that won't easily pop open is an ideal choice for keeping Sammy's wipes damp.
- Joey Green's Amazing Pet Cures; Joey Green
- Dog Lover's Daily Companion; Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire
- Akita, Treasure of Japan, Volume 2; Barbara Bouyet
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine: A Smelly Pet May Need to See Vet
- The Pet Lover's Guide to Natural Healing for Cats & Dogs; Barbara Fougère
- Ultimate Dog Grooming; Eileen Geeson
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images