It's me again with the most random of random questions!  (BTW these are Canadian amazon links)

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good spray conditioner? The one I'm using right now is almost empty and I'm not super impressed with it.  It does ok for helping brush out but it feels a bit "sticky" almost, especially as it dries, which I'm sure does not help keep the area mat-free.

This is the one I've been using that I'm not super impressed with:  Vet's best spray conditioner (I did not pay that much for it btw)


Also grooming related but this time on a good note... Toby and Riley get a lot of random mats these days appearing overnight because of all the pool time (Toby especially).  I have to check his legs, ears/behind his ears and neck ruff every day and he gets a full line brushing every two days.  

I needed a little slicker brush for just brushing out mats, especially on tips of ears, legs/feet and smaller areas.  I bought this cheap "cat brush" and it's so perfect!  I was skeptical because it was so cheap but it's really great for small areas and mats.


I hope everyone and your dogs are doing well!  Busy summertime around here but the dogs are loving all the activity :) 







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  •  I have no experience with conditioners of any kind, since I never have and never will groom my dogs myself. However, it's really important to know that if anyone in the house has allergies, humans or dogs, you don't ever want to use any kind of leave-in conditioner or grooming product on your dogs. This is actually included in the printed material that a veterinary dermatologist gives you when your dog is diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis. The reason is that "sticky" feeling you noticed; it attracts and holds pollens, dust, and other air-borne allergens on/in the coat, exposing the dog and the family to it constantly. 
    Poodle people will tell you that when your dog gets wet to the skin, you cannot allow the coat to air dry. If you don't brush, comb and blow dry the wet areas immediately, you will get mats. So, the best way to deal with this if your dogs swim is to groom them immediately afterwards. Easier said than done, I know. :) 

    • Ideally I'd like to blow dry/brush Toby every time he goes in the pool but I just don't have the time.  I've gotten into a routine of just plopping him on the grooming table the morning after for half an hour and doing "spot checks".  I don't use the conditioner all over him (and I never use it on Riley), just on the random mats I find to help brush them out.  Thankfully despite how curly she is Riley doesn't mat much after the pool, I keep the area behind both dogs' ears and their "armpits" short (probably about 1/4") which helps immensely since those are the usual "trouble spots".  I keep Toby's legs a bit longer than his body though so I have to check them carefully.

      I wonder if just plain water would work, it's really just to help loosen things so I'm not dry brushing.

      • What if you just kept them VERY short all over for the summer.  Like no more than 1/2" ...?

        • Toby's body is 1/2" but his legs and head/ears are longer.  His body doesn't seem to mat at all at that length so I really only have his legs and head to worry about for mat checks.  

          Remember when I first got my clippers and tried to clip Toby? It was 1/2" all over and his head looked funny and his legs looked way too skinny :p  I think his look is much improved now:


          Riley seems to stay mat-free (other than the occasional small one) at 3/4".


          • I have no memory.   Did You do his head and tail at 1/2"??   I think if the whole dog is 1/2" it evens things out, but I hear ya on skinny legs!  Milo is so narrow in body that his legs look ok the same length as his body. But fuller bodied poodles and doodles need longer for on legs to look even. 

            • I did his head at 1/2", his tail wasn't long enough at that point to bother cutting (I actually haven't trimmed his tail yet at all except for sanitary).  That was 4 months ago though maybe it would be more proportional now if I trimmed his legs at 1/2".  It may be worth a shot, it grows back pretty quickly.  I am however obsessed with Toby's currently column-shaped legs and his little round feet and I don't know if I could achieve that with a 1/2" cut :p 

              Throwback to 4 month old Toby:


  • This is what I have and it leaves the hair soft.

    I bought it more for sunscreen than a conditioner and really don't use it much, mostly on Picco's muzzle for sun protection.  I wonder if you use the conditioner after a bath it will prevent mats?  What if you rub some conditioner before the swim? or will that gunk up the pool?

    I use ikaria comfort shampoo and nurture conditioner and I never have matting problems.  I don't know if it because of the conditioner (which I do leave in long and not overrinse it out) or he just doesn't mat.   But Picco is not a swimmer/water dog.

    • That stuff is $40 a bottle here, bah.  I do love Chris Christensen products but they are SO expensive here.

      I just got a new dog conditioner (I bought a big gallon-sized bottle of concentrated Espree conditioner) and so far I'm pretty happy with it.  Toby has been soft for several days after his bath but his legs/ears have gotten wet playing around the pool so they have still been matting.  He actually doesn't "swim" much he mostly just steals Riley's fetch toy as she is exiting the pool so only his legs and ears get wet :p 

  • I've heard great things about ICE ICE thst Don/Marie recommend but haven't used it.  I've always used Horse Mane 
    N Tail Detangler spray.  It's got silicon in it so that it makes the coat slick and lots of things just slide out or are prevented.  You have to be very careful in that anything it touches is very slick.  Among other times (or just for plain old brushing) I've used it when the dogs are going to the beach. It doesn't seem to attract dirt beause it is so slick, but we also get our dogs groomed every month so there isn't a lot of time for build-up.  For a quick brush I use children's leave in conditioner - it works and it smells very nice.

    • Thanks!  

      I'll get some of the mane n tail detangler.  I do want something super slick since it's just for combing out mats.

      I hadn't thought of using my daughter's detangler, she has curly hair and I have to spray hers before brushing.  Good to keep in mind if I need some in a pinch!

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