The Importance of Bathing Your Dog

There is an old-wives-tale out there that bathing your dog too often can be harmful to their skin or coat.  I’m thinking this was started by someone who just didn’t want to give the dog a bath.  Turns out that frequent baths are not only good for your dog, but can be an excellent way to bond with your furry friend and keep allergens at bay in your house. You wouldn’t want to go two weeks without bathing and neither does your dog!

Talk with your vet about your specific breed of dog and an appropriate bathing schedule. The number of times per week that you bathe your dog will depend upon things like how dirty your dog gets and whether or not they have any skin conditions.  Your vet can also recommend an appropriate shampoo for your dog.  Some shampoos can contain harsh chemicals that can dry out or irritate animals skin.  Choose organic shampoos or brands with natural oils so that they will be soothing for your pet.

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Often dogs develop skin infections from bacteria, organisms, or allergies.  Bathing has shown to not only relieve the itching that can accompany these maladies, but to heal the skin and kill off any of the organisms that are the root cause.  A regular bath may also allow for fewer medications, such as steroids, needed for itching.  The time it takes you to give your dog a bath can also allow you to inspect their skin and foot pads for irritation, cuts, and other skin problems.  Use this time to head off any problems and report anything unusual to your vet immediately.

Bath time should be a happy time for you and your dog.  It allows you a chance to bond and spend some quality time together.

  1. Make it a routine.  If you set a time and place for their daily/weekly bath it makes it part of their day and less scary.
  2. Use lukewarm water (or cool water in the summer).  You wouldn’t enjoy a bath that was too hot or cold and neither will your dog.
  3. Use positive reinforcement before, during, and after the bath so that your dog associates it with something good.
  4. Use the shampoo recommended by your vet and leave it on as long as possible.  Work the shampoo into your dog’s fur and use this opportunity to inspect their skin and nails.  Avoid getting shampoo in their eyes and ears.  You can use cotton balls if necessary to prevent this.
  5. Use a towel to dry your dog instead of a blow dryer.  The dryer can be loud and scary to a small animal.
  6. Remember that letting your dog go swimming is not the same as a bath!

Clean dogs carry fewer allergens and for humans with allergies or respiratory problems this can be highly beneficial.  Some allergists state that weekly pet baths cut pet dander allergens by 90%. If you are not comfortable with giving your dog a regular bath consider using a professional groomer. We are so fortunate to have great groomers in Peachtree City. One of our favorites is PTC Pet Salon on Fulton Ct. They are currently offering ½ off baths on Fridays.  For more information contact:

770-486-3642  http://peachtreecitypets.com/

As always you can give us a call at PTC Pets 770-362-8073 for recommendations on vets and groomers.  A clean pet is a happy one! We also provide pet taxi services to all local groomers and veterinarian offices.

 

PTC: Paws to Claws
Paws to Claws Pet Blog

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