It’s about to rain dog and shampoos here today. Our article is going to be totally centered around dog shampoo and knowing how to pick the right one… If you’re ready for a bubbly adventure, then come along with us!
Running yourself a bath (or having someone do it for you) and soaking yourself in it with all the right scents is just the stuff dreams are made of, isn’t it?
It sure wouldn’t hurt to have a glass of wine in one hand (or coffee, there’s no law against having coffee in a bath, is there?) and your favorite book in the other; heaven!
Standing under a shower is also something. So you come back home from a long day out and it’s just you and your shower. You step under it (after doing the needful) and allow the water soothe away the aches and worries of the day.
Whichever way it comes, having a bath is one of the most beautiful experiences a human can have.
You do good by your dog if you allow her share in the joys and contentment of having a bath. Not necessarily allowing her jump in the bath with you or use your bath products but allowing her have a bath experience that is all hers.
Now here is the thing, your dog might try to convince you that she doesn’t want the experience. However, if you do it right and with the right shampoo, you both will be the better for it.
Dogs and Bathing
We’ve already established the fact that bathing is an awesome experience for man and dog alike. However, dogs should not be allowed to have this experience too often. It’s just too much for them to handle.
Seriously though, giving your dog frequent baths might seem like a good thing but it is actually a terrible idea.
Your dog, like most animals, is adapted to be self-cleaning which means she can clean herself.
So, wash-up should not be a daily affair or even a weekly affair. This might go against everything you know about cleanliness but it’s the truth.
If you bathe your dog too frequently you’ll strip her of all the natural goodness that her skin already contains. Thereby, opening her up to fungal and bacterial infections.
She also runs the risk of having damaged hair follicles and irritated skin. At least that’s what Dr. Adam Denish says on petmd. And we believe him.
So How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
There are a number of factors to consider before arriving at an answer.
First, if your dog has skin problems already, she will need to take a bath more often than other dogs. The skin problem makes it a little difficult for her to groom herself so she’ll need help from you in form of a bath.
Also, a dog that is very active, loves to run outside and play and roll in the mud will definitely need a bath more frequently than a stay-at-home dog. It is the same with us humans. You’ll smell faster if you exert yourself than if you are a couch potato.
Some people have even said that coat type and length are factors to be considered before deciding how often you want to bathe your dog.
According to Mari Rozanski on petmd, the general rule of thumb is this…
If your dog smells, give her a bath.
Whatever the special circumstance, “the smell” is always a tell-tale sign that the time for the awesome experience is come.
If infrequent baths is a concept you can’t even want to fathom, you can compromise by wiping her down every once in a while with wet wipes.
There’s one important factor in this whole business of washing up your dog, though. And that is the shampoo.
Is it OK If I Use My Shampoo On My Dog?
The answer to that question is a no. You can’t.
So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of using your shampoo on your dog, you might want to shelf that idea. Here’s why (we’ll try not to be too sciencey).
The pH of your skin is different from that of your dog’s skin. Basically, your skin tends towards the acidic pH while your dog’s tends towards the alkaline pH.
Since you and your dog are practically on opposite sides of the spectrum, neither of you can use a skin product designed specifically for the other.
So, washing down your dog using human shampoo is a definite no! Thankfully, there are dog shampoos that you can use.
So, What Makes For The Right Dog Shampoo?
There are different dog shampoos for different purposes and even different skin issues. However, irrespective of purpose, you need to factor in the following when picking a shampoo for your dog.
- Steer clear of dyes and artificial fragrances. They are not healthy for your dog and could cause irritation or inflammation. Go for natural fragrances. Mother Nature is never wrong.
- You can also go for shampoos with natural ingredients. Aloe Vera, honey and oatmeal are excellent ingredients to look out for. Why do we think so?
Among the human population, Aloe Vera is very much revered because of all the good it does to our skin.
We’ll like you to know that Aloe Vera is also very good for your dog’s skin. It is considered therapeutic and is said to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
It contains minerals, amino acid and vitamins and these properties make it perfect for dog issues like:
- Itching: Aloe Vera soothes itches and irritations that have been caused by a variety of things. Whether it’s eczema or lupus, Aloe Vera is a wonder drug for sure .
- Acne: Aloe Vera helps kill the bacteria which cause acne.
- Aloe Vera also helps to take care of sunburn.
This makes a big case for Aloe Vera and tells you why it is one ingredient to look out for in your dog’s shampoo.
This is another of nature’s gifts to us that we can share with our furry friends. It contains a good quantity of vitamins and minerals (copper, magnesium, iron and calcium).
Honey has excellent healing properties that allow honey act as a disinfectant and antibiotic. It helps heal burns, cuts, scratches and the like. Honey also has anti-inflammatory benefits and can help alleviate allergies.
Check out our article on antibiotics for dogs to find out more about the wonders of honey for dogs.
If your beloved doggie has sensitive skin then you want to either get an oatmeal dog shampoo or get a dog shampoo with oatmeal as one of the primary ingredients. A lot of dog parents swear by oatmeal shampoo for sensitive skin and why is that?
Oatmeal contains polysaccharide which prevents the skin from drying up. It does this by forming a protective seal around the body, thereby, locking in the moisture and oils, and locking out bacteria and fungi.
Is There A Specific Dog Shampoo For My Dog’s Skin Problem?
The first thing we’ll say is, if your dog has a skin problem, consult your vet. They should be the one to prescribe a remedy for your dog.
Now to answer your question, there probably is. There are shampoos that have been specifically prepared for particular skin problems. We’ll discuss them below
- Shampoos for Skin Allergies: These shampoos are specially prepared to remove the causes of the allergy from your doggie’s skin but that’s not all. The shampoo also soothes and moisturizes the skin giving your dog a smoother, shinier coat.
- Dog Shampoo For Sensitive Skin: Does your dog have sensitive skin? If yes, you already know you can’t make her use just any random shampoo. Dog shampoos for sensitive skin are prepared to soothe your dog’s skin. A good number of them contain oatmeal which helps to relieve dogs from itching. Pay particular attention to rinsing off of your dog if her skin is sensitive. The reason is, the skin can get irritated if there is soap lather hiding in the coat.
- Medicated Dog Shampoo: If your dog has a bacterial or fungal infection, you could get a dog shampoo with antibacterial or antifungal properties. These shampoos are formulated to remove the bacteria or fungi from your dog’s skin. This will, in turn, deal with the results of the infection; irritation, itching and even body odor.
- Flea/Tick Shampoos: These ones are specifically created to serve as flea or tick repellent. They remove these parasites if your dog is already parasite infested and also prevent a come-back.
In Choosing A Dog Shampoo For My Dog
There is a lot more to choosing a dog shampoo than just knowing if your dog has skin problems or not.
Aside categorizations according to “skin problem or no skin problem”, there is a plethora of dog shampoos out there.
In order to make your job easy, we’ll list a few things you to take into consideration as explained in an article on cesarsway.com
If you’ve been following this article, you’d have understood that this is a very strong factor to consider. It affects how often you give your dog a bath and it affects what dog shampoo you use.
You really don’t want to use a scented shampoo if your dog has a skin condition. It will aggravate issues. Refer to the “Is there a specific shampoo for my dog’s skin problem?” section for shampoo options. Don’t forget to see your vet for professional advice.
Just like with humans, there are shampoos that have been specially formulated for the young. A pup’s skin is similar to a human baby’s skin in that both babies have more sensitive skins than their adults. This is why you don’t want to use the shampoo you use on your older dog on your pup.
If your dog is the outdoorsy kind that loves to roll around in mud and rummage through garbage, chances are that she will stink far worse than a dog that just stays at home and minds her business.
What you want to do is buy a shampoo with deodorizing properties. Yup, she’s sure going to need it if she insists on poking her nose (and entire body) in the garbage can.
You will want to be careful with deodorizing shampoos, though. You don’t want to create another problem while trying to solve one. Be sure that the shampoo doesn’t contain artificial fragrance.
If your dog is white furred you could look to some of those shampoos that promise brighter and whiter coats. They should help keep your dog’s coat white and shiny even as she ages. However, be careful. Don’t be too focused on keeping your dog’s coat ever white that you buy shampoo that contains harmful ingredients.
Is your dog’s coat tangled? Try the shampoo-conditioner mix. It will help moisten her coat, making it easy to detangle. Don’t try to detangle your dog’s coat dry.
Must I Use Conditioner?
You can decide to skip using a conditioner if you aren’t so inclined. Dogs can do without it but it doesn’t hurt to take some time to condition your dog’s coat. You could also opt for the shampoo-conditioner combo and do both the shampooing and conditioning simultaneously.
If you’re going to use a stand-alone conditioner make sure your dog is not sopping wet. Have her shake of the excess water before you condition. Just like with shampoo, do not use your human conditioner on your dog.
Consulting your vet should be the first thing you do if you discover that your dog has any form of skin problem. Do not try to self-medicate.