A few weeks ago I saw a post on one of the forums, where someone asked about getting shampoo in a dogs eyes.
I was really surprised at the number of answers to the post where other groomers talked about washing face, or lack there of.
A surprising number of groomers talked about avoiding shampooing the face, or talked about using a washrag on the face.
Some even talked about not getting any water around the eyes.
I am a BIG believer in getting a face clean, clean, clean!
I feel that if a face is not clean, then the dog has not been groomed properly.
As for shampoo in the eyes....
I am very careful to shampoo all around the eyes.
I go out of my way not to get shampoo in the eyes.
I also get as close to the eyes as I can.
I watched a video on youtube a while back and was shocked to see the groomer rubbing all over the dogs face and over the dogs eyes without taking any care at all to avoid getting shampoo in the eyes.
I feel safe using all of my shampoos on the dogs faces.
I have had a ton of dogs, over the years, shake and get shampoo into my eyes.
I don't remember any of them stinging my eyes.
In all of the years that I have been grooming, I only remember one Schnauzer puppy that rubbed his leg across his face while bathing and rubbed shampoo directly into his eye.
The problem was that we didn't notice right away.
Even though we flushed the eye as soon as we noticed, he was still favoring the eye after the groom was done.
We sent him to the Vet for drops and paid the bill.
He was okay.
I used to have dogs turn their head, once in a while, right into the shampoo that I was applying from a small bottle, but I would flush the eye immediately and had no problems.
Most of the time, now, I put the shampoo on my fingers, or in my hand, and then soap up the face.
I feel like I have more control over where the shampoo goes.
It is so important to have a clean face.
Most of the time that is the first place an owner puts their face when they pick up their dogs.
I have my face and nose in my dogs faces all of the time.
I hate a stinky face.
I really hate a stinky bread....
......and, stinky eyes.
I start washing the faces by wetting them down first.
This helps me to spread the shampoo all over their face better, because I like to use a higher concentrate of the shampoo on the faces.
After I get their faces wet, and before I shampoo the face, I move the hair out of the dogs eyes.
I get their hair away from their eyes as much as I can.
I will also clean out the eye boogies after they have soften up.
I will scrub the beard, rinse and scrub it again.
This is the time to make sure that you scrub all of the food out of the beard.
Lift the lip and check to make sure you are cleaning all of the food off.
If you can't get all of the food with your fingers, use a fine tooth comb to comb out the clumps of food caught in the hair.
I do this while the hair still has soap in it.
Be very careful, because the dogs skin is very tender when wet.
Carefully work your fingers all around the eyes.
Make sure that you scrub good between the eyes also.
I like to get the whole face good and soapy.
I even get short haired dogs and dogs with just a little hair on their faces good and soapy.
I want those faces to smell really good.
I like to wash the faces first and let them soak while I soap up the rest of the body.
Just keep an eye on that soapy face and make sure that soapy hair does not fall into the eyes or that the dog rubs its face.
I start rinsing the face by putting the sprayer right against the top of the head.
I let the water run gently off of the top of the head, and over the eyes.
Some dogs keep their eyes open.
Some dogs close their eyes.
I never spray the water directly into the eyes.
The water flushes any shampoo away from the eyes as you rinse.
I am very careful not to get any water into the nose.
If the dog turns its face into the hose, or water runs into the nose, let the dog put its head down and sneeze if he needs to.
Then I take a towel and dry off their nose and go back to rinsing.
After the face is rinsed, I carefully move all of the wet hair out of the dogs eyes.
I am also feeling and checking the face for any shampoo that I may have missed.
Especially between the eyes.
The eyes are fine after the face has been bathed.
Nice clean smelling eyes.
A clean, fluffy, food free beard.
Best of all, a cute, clean smelling face.
So don't be afraid to wash those faces really well.
Just use common sense, take your time, and be careful around the eyes. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF