When it comes to owning a border collie, there is more care needed than the daily essentials of food, water, and play. Not only do you have to do these, you also have to make sure you keep them clean and healthy. One of the ways you have to do this is by giving them a bath every once in a while. Luckily for you, you don’t need to do this very often. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about cleaning your collie and the best shampoo for border collies.
Border Collie Coat Care
Before you learn what the best shampoo for border collies is, you need to understand a little about their coats. Border collies are a little bit of a special breed when it comes to their coats and cleaning them.
Border collies’ coats can come in two different varieties: smooth and rough. Both types of coats have two layers. The undercoat for both is soft and thick, while the outer coat is rough.
The difference between the smooth and rough coats comes from length and feathering. The smooth coated border collies have shorter hair with little to no feathering. The rough coated collies have longer hair with feathering on the chest, legs, and belly.
The funny thing is, smooth coated collies are actually coarse to the touch.
Border collie coats can come in close to any color and pattern that you could imagine being on a dog. Especially if it is a mix.
While the typical coloring is black and white, you often see tan and white, and chocolate and white. You can even see “reds” and “blues” in the blue merle and red merle border collies. As far as patterns go, they can be all over the place.
No matter the color or pattern, they all have the similar smooth or rough coat.
Skin conditions and skin disorders
Like most dogs, border collies are not immune to skin conditions and disorders. These are some things to watch out for because they can cause problems if not taken with caution.
Chances are, if you have ever had a dog before, you have had to deal with some kind of parasite. Fleas, mites, ticks, you name it, dogs get them. Border collies are no exception.
Fleas are the little reddish-brown bugs that live in your dog’s fur. They bite your dog for food and reproduce like crazy. They can cause serious problems for you and your dog if not taken care of right away.
Mites are little black bugs that burrow under the skin leading to hair loss and scaling of the skin. They usually live around the eyes, mouth, and legs. They can even live in your dog’s ears.
Like mites, ticks also burrow into the skin. They can carry many diseases including Lyme disease so it is important to remove them right away.
Fungal Infections and Hot Spots
Border collies with longer coats can be more prone to fungal infections and hot spots. Collies with longer coats have a more dense undercoat which can cause these problems. A thick undercoat can hold moisture in against the skin which is a problem. It can create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and hot spots.
This is far more common in areas where it is hot and damp for extended periods of time. This can also be a problem if your border collie swims in water often.
If you do notice itchy red skin or hair loss and think this is the problem, you should take them to the vet soon.
While this isn’t as common as the others, it is seen more often with border collies than with other breeds. This can occur when the oil-producing glands become inflamed and stop working. This can lead to hair loss, infection and scaling of the skin.
The problem is, many times this condition can go unnoticed. So if you do think your border collie has this, you should take them to the vet. The vet will do a skin biopsy to make a solid conclusion. They can prescribe medicated shampoo, antibiotics, or ointment if necessary.
Luckily for you, border collies are a very low maintenance when it comes to grooming.
You’ll find that they only shed lightly throughout the year, but more so when the seasons change. If you do regular grooming by brushing them weekly, this will help to do two things. First, it will help keep the shed hair from collecting around your house. Second, it will help your collie by distributing the natural oils in their coat. This helps to keep their hair from matting.
As far as bathing goes, border collies only need a bath once every few months. However, if they like to play in the mud, you might want to bathe them a little more often.
When it comes to their teeth and ears, weekly cleaning can help keep the bad bacteria away.
If your dog has drop ears, they may be prone to ear infections. It is important to clean their ears with a vet recommended cleanser every week.
How to wash a border collie
Washing a border collie is like washing other dogs, but with a little more care. A lot of border collies are prone to dry skin and other skin conditions so taking these into consideration when washing is important.
As mentioned before, border collies are low maintenance when it comes to bathing.
You really only need to bathe them once every few months, and they can even go six months without a bath time. Although at six months they might start to stink a little.
While there are no set rules on how to bathe a border collie, there are some general steps that you can follow.
- Before washing, it is a good idea to brush their entire body. This gets rid of the excess hair, removes mats, and can help to prevent sores and itching.
- Now it is time to wash. While some people prefer to wash their dogs in a bathtub or shower, I prefer to do it outside. I tie my dog’s leash to something sturdy so he can’t run away.
- Get out the hose (Or pitchers of water), and get your dog’s entire coat wet. This is important to do before bringing out the shampoo.
- Get out the shampoo and start to lather. I always like to start from the head first and work my way down to the tail. Make sure to take care when shampooing near their eyes, mouth, and ears.
- Once your dog has shampoo all over, start from the head once again and wash the shampoo out. Once again, make sure to be cautious around the eyes, mouth, and ears.
- Make sure to rinse them as long as it takes to get every last sud out of their fur.
- Bring out the towels and dry your pup off. You can even use a hairdryer if you want to get them extra dry.
Bathing a puppy
Bathing a border collie puppy is a little different than bathing an adult border collie.
This is because they are smaller and more fragile. They also need more frequent bathing to keep their coats looking healthy and clean.
Sometimes puppies get scared of water so you might need to introduce them slower at first. Make sure to be extra cautious with a puppy and try to wash them in the morning so they don’t stay wet overnight.
What to look for in a good border collie shampoo
When it comes to choosing the right shampoo for your collie, there are things you should consider.
- For starters, I always prefer to get the best quality dog shampoo for the money.
- Make sure to get a shampoo that doesn’t sting their eyes or irritate their skin.
- Get a natural shampoo made for dogs and be sure to choose one that works for the length of your dog’s hair.
- If your dog has allergies, then make sure to get a shampoo that has non-allergenic ingredients.
- Be sure to watch out for parabens, sulfates, and dyes. Artificial fragrances and petroleum-based ingredients are also bad.
The best shampoo for border collies
Now let’s get to the part that you have been waiting for.
The following four shampoos are my picks for the best shampoo for border collies. These shampoos are all highly recommended, check all the boxes, and as affordable as a high-quality shampoo can be.
The Earthbath all natural pet shampoo is a very popular and very good quality pet shampoo.
This shampoo is an oatmeal and aloe shampoo that is perfect for pets with dry skin.
It is all natural, soap-free, and pH balanced for the best bath your border collie dog will ever have.
- Cleans coat thoroughly without drying or leaving residue
- Great for moisturizing border collie’s dry, itchy skin
- Gentle lather but effective wash
- Leaves a soft coat for your collie
- All natural, 100% bio-degradable, and cruelty-free
- The smell might turn some border collies away
- Some dogs have a poor reaction to this shampoo
The Kenic Kalaya Emu Oil Pet Shampoo is different than the oatmeal and other shampoos.
It is actually a coconut based shampoo with emu oil, almond oil, and other vitamins.
Despite this, it is still a revered shampoo and is a great quality for the price.
- Alcohol, soap, and detergent free
- Gentle but effective
- Helps reduce inflammation from allergies and flaky skin
- Leaves your border collie smelling great
- Border collie with end up with a soft and beautiful coat
- Doesn’t work as well for dogs with serious skin issues
- Oil comes from emus
This shampoo is great for border collies because it is a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner.
What this means is that you only have to apply it once to get both the clean and softness afterward.
This shampoo is full of natural ingredients and will leave your doggy feeling great.
- Made especially for doggies
- Lathers easily and smells great afterward
- Leaves your collie’s coat soft and shiny
- Gentle enough to use on a weekly basis if needed
- Full of natural ingredients
- The smell doesn’t last for more than a couple days
- May cause dandruff for some dogs with sensitive skin
Last but not least is the Pro Pet Works Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner.
Like the Cloud Star Buddy Wash, this shampoo is a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. And like the Earthbath All Natural Shampoo, it is an oatmeal shampoo with aloe vera.
This shampoo combines the best of both worlds for a gentle and effective wash that does wonders for your border collie.
- Great moisturizer for dry, itchy skin
- A little bit of this shampoo goes a long way
- Shiny and soft fur after washing
- All natural with no unwanted ingredients
- Professional groomer and vet recommended
- The scent may turn you or your dog away (Some like it, some don’t)
Wrapping it up
When it comes to picking the best shampoo for border collies, there are many options. The four above are the ones that I recommend and many others recommend as well.
If your dog has certain allergies, conditions, or sensitivities, make sure to read more into these shampoos. Do your own research on each of the four shampoos above to make the best decision for you and your dog.
Each situation is different so there is not a one size fits all. No matter what, one of the shampoos above should do the trick. As long as you find the best shampoo for your border collie, that’s all that matters in the end.
If you have used any of the shampoos mentioned in this article and would like to share your experience, please do so in the comments below!