Daily grooming sessions are a must to keep your donkey looking good. Donkeys love to roll around on the ground, and they tend to get dirty rather quickly. But should you bathe your donkey? Daily brushing is necessary to get rid of dried dirt and mud but is water and soap necessary?
Donkeys don’t necessarily require full baths as long as they get groomed regularly. But, if your donkey is getting just a little too dirty for your liking, or you want to show professionally, you absolutely should bathe your donkey.
Donkeys do require daily grooming. But grooming doesn’t mean a full bath, blow-out, and style. Daily grooming looks more like using a variety of brushes, combs, and a hoof pick to ensure your donkey is free of dirt and mud build-up. It also allows for quality bonding time spent with your donkey and enables you to examine your donkey more closely for health issues.
Basic donkey grooming kit
An organized kit of all the essentials will help make daily grooming much quicker and easier. The main components of any donkey grooming kit include the following:
- Mane and tail comb
- Curry comb
- Stiff-bristled mud brush
- Soft finishing brush
- Terrycloth rags
- Hoof pick
Do you notice anything familiar about these items? They are the same items that make up a standard horse grooming kit. You may already have many of these items handy.
Steps to groom your donkey
You should always complete the steps to groom a donkey in a particular order. For example, if you use the stiff-bristled brush before the curry brush, you will have a much harder time getting the coat clean.
- Begin with the curry comb. This comb helps loosen all of the loose dirt and hair.
- After using the curry comb, use the stiff-bristled mud brush to brush away all of the loose dirt and hair.
- Use the mane and tail comb to remove any tangles, dirt, and loose hair.
- Use the soft-bristled brush on the donkey’s legs and face.
- If needed, take a dampened terry cloth and wipe away any mud or dirt on the donkey’s face and ears.
- Check all your donkey’s hooves and clean them with the hoof pick.
- If needed, apply fly spray all over the donkey’s body. Do not spray on the face. Instead, apply to the terry cloth and wipe around the face and ears.
Should you bathe your donkey?
Donkeys don’t typically need baths but if it is a hot summer’s day and your donkey is looking a little more dirty than usual, go ahead. Before using a hose, try using a bucket of water, a gentle soap, and some sponges to introduce your donkey to a bath.
If that bath goes well, you can try slowly introducing the hose. Your donkey might even love a spray down with cool water in the summertime.
Try not to give your donkey a full bath too frequently since too much water and even too much gentle soap can strip the skin and coat of its natural oils. Doing so can cause the skin and coat to become dry and uncomfortable.
Important bathing and grooming tips
- Keep your donkey tied up and secured, whether you are just brushing or bathing it. If not, your donkey will go right back to the dirt.
- Only comb or brush in the same direction as the hair grows. Never go backward or in circles.
- Do not use a curry brush or a stiff-bristled brush on the legs, as they are too sensitive.
- Use a wash mitt specially designed for equine coats if you bathe your donkey. A wash mitt helps to get more than just the topcoat clean.
Bathing your donkey is rarely necessary, but should you bathe your donkey? If it is a hot summer day, then yes. They might love it. Otherwise, a thorough daily brushing will suffice in keeping your donkey reasonably clean.
Photo credits: Maaser Donkey Farm, Lebanon