BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — We love our dogs.
They travel everywhere with us. We rambunctiously play with them in the yard, grip our hands around the rope tightly during tug-of-war battles and go on walks — or jogs — with the hot sun beating down from above. After we’ve played outdoors for a little while, the first thing we do to feel rejuvenated — aside from eating some good food — is to jump in the shower. Life just feels better when you’re clean.
Since dogs lack those crucial opposable thumbs and are also forced to walk around with four legs, it’s up to you to take care of the stink with some suds.
Ginny Siciliano, the owner of Shampoodle: Dirty Dogs Done Dirt Cheap — a dog wash spa that also offers grooming and day care — has a deep love for dogs. “It’s the place for dogs,” she said.
Shampoodle can be found in two locations: 1535 Crescent Road in Clifton Park and 266 Delaware Ave. in Delmar.
Siciliano throws us a bone by giving some tips on how to keep your dog clean and content:
For all coats and tastes: They have different shampoos for every type of canine:
hypoallergenic, flea and tick, oatmeal and aloe for dry skin, white enhancing for snow-colored coats, protein and aloe for puppies, and for extreme cases — citrus and degreaser. “We offer a ton of shampoos so we have everything you need,” Siciliano said. “All of them are nontoxic and we also have scented spa ones with matching colognes.”
Just do it: “You cannot wash your dog too much,” Siciliano said. “When your dog smells you can come in; there is an old wives tale that you can’t wash your dog as much because of the oils on the dog’s skin will get washed away, but that’s when the dogs lived outside and they needed it to protect themselves during the winter.”
Feel it out: “I encourage washing their own dogs at the Do It Yourself stations, because then they can look for lumps and bumps,” Siciliano said. “I actually had somebody find a lump and it turned out to be cancerous but they caught it in time because they washed their own dog.”
Try a trim: “We try not to shave down dogs that should not be shaved down in the summer,” Siciliano said. “A lot of people think that if they shave down their dog, like a Lab or German Shepherd, that they are going to be cooler and that’s a fallacy because the dog’s coat, the fur, acts like an air conditioner and it’s better just to do a tight trim. They also can get sunburned!”
And cut: It’s a terrible feeling to see your dog’s toes bleeding after you went too deep on a toenail trimming. “Toenails can get really long,” Siciliano said. “They can be tricky to cut, especially if the quick — the blood supply that goes to the nail — is long. If that’s the case, it’s best to come back every two weeks so that the nails can be shorter without having them bleed.”
Stroke, stroke, stroke: “People need to brush their dogs on a regular basis,” Siciliano said. “We will have dogs that come in and they are super matted and the people just don’t understand why because they only brush the top of them; they have to be brushed from the skin up. There are specific combs that you need and we have them all here — each dog is different.”
The better to hear you with: “When the ears are bad there is a smell,” Siciliano said. “We have special ear things that we can clean with. Also, a lot of dogs have allergies that affect their ears, but it really is a definite smell.”
A little from the back: “If you have a big dog and they have a very hairy back end, you may need sanitary trim,” Siciliano said. “They don’t have to have a regular grooming appointment for this.”