Most of the advice you get from the internet typically recommend bathing your dog only several times per year. The arguments against bathing your dog frequently are generally about removing the layer of natural oils. The more often you clean something, the more the oil or sebum is going to be removed. In the light of this, there are several things you should consider when determining how often to bathe your dog and they include:
1. Breed of the dog
Dogs with dry skin can be washed less often than those with oily skin. That’s because harsh-textured skins repel dirt very well, meaning they don’t become dirty like soft-coated dogs. You can bathe harsh-coated breeds once a month and the soft-coated ones once a week.
2. Does the dog live outdoors or indoors?
If your dog usually lives with you in the house, and more importantly it sleeps in your bed, then you need to bathe it more frequently depending on the breed, say from once a week to twice per month. By doing this, you will have a fresh smelling pet that you can always cuddle without fear of dirt and allergies.
3. Is someone your family allergic to dogs?
If a family member is allergic to dogs, then you should bathe and groom them as often as possible. Doing this will assist in removing the dander that collects on the fur of a pet and also helps in keeping your family safe.
4. What activities are your dogs involved in?
Does your dog go hiking or swimming or roll on grass? Does your pet play in the dirt or sand? Do you take your pet to dog parks? If your dog partakes any of these activities, then you should ensure it gets a regular bath to keep him cleaner and smelling better.
5. Does your dog have itchy skin or other allergies?
Unlike human beings who absorb many environmental allergens through their mouths and noses, dogs absorb allergens via the skin. Bathing them on a weekly basis can wash away the allergens before they penetrate the skin and also prevent any itchiness.
Bathing your itchy dog
When your dog has skin allergies, it can be stressful for both of you. In most cases, you feel helpless when they begin scratching, rubbing and chewing their skin. Your dogs can bring a lot of damage to themselves with the scratching, so it’s significant to act fast and relieve their irritation and pain.
Bathing an itchy dog is a crucial part of the treatment, but you should do it the right way, with the right shampoo. Nevertheless, you should first identify the primary cause of the itch. According to recent studies, one of the most popular causes of itching in dogs is mainly fleas. To fight these little parasites, you should ensure that you use a powerful flea control product. Most of these products are usually applied directly to the skin, and regularly bathing your dog might reduce their effectiveness.
Allergies commonly cause vigorous scratching and distressing itching. Whether it is an allergy to plants or food allergy, bathing is pretty helpful in cleaning allergens from the coat and skin. Oatmeal can effectively remove toxins from your dog’s skin, and give it relief from scratching for a maximum of three days.
Skin itching in pets can also be as a result of a secondary bacterial infection, and in this case, you should wash your pet in Chlorhexidine to eliminate these bacteria. A mobile dog wash in Newcastle or a veterinarian will give you guidelines on how to properly use this product. If you are using Chlorhexidine, you’ll need to shampoo your dog every second day or every day to stay on top of the bacteria infection.
To help a dog with skin allergies, you should know the bathing steps to do it correctly. The following are the steps to bathing your pet to assist in controlling the symptoms associated with all skin allergies including redness, infections, and itching.
Step One: Soaking
When bathing a dog with skin allergies, always use cool water to wet the hair coat completely before applying your shampoo. The temperature of the water is very significant when bathing, since hot\warm water may irritate the inflamed/infected skin, cool water will be more soothing. Soak the dog for five or more minutes, and this will help in rehydrating the skin’s top layer and loosen scales and crusts as well.
Step Two: Bathing
If your dog is dirty, ensure that you use a maintenance shampoo first to remove the dirt. You can then apply any medicated shampoo and gently lather the lesional regions first and then bathe your dog entirely unless otherwise advised. The shampoo should not come into contact with the lesions or skin for at least ten minutes to get a complete therapeutic result.
Step Three: Rinsing
After bathing, rinse all the shampoo from your dog. That is very important since any medicated shampoo residue left in contact with the pet’s skin can be very irritating. You can spend at least 10 minutes rinsing your dog, and especially the skin fold regions where the shampoo might be trapped such as between toes, under tail, groin or armpits.
Step Four: Conditioning
Frequent bathing and medicated shampoos can lead to dry skin, so a conditioner mainly designed for pets is recommended. You can apply the conditioner after rinsing the shampoo. If the dog develops yeast or secondary bacterial infections, then a yeast leave-on and prescription anti-bacterial conditioner should be used.
Step Five: Drying
To make your pet comfortable, you should towel dry it. If you use a blow dryer, the warm air emitted might irritate the inflamed/infected skin of your dog by raising the temperature.
Step Six: Clipping
Clipping your dog’s hair coat if it is the long-haired type will improve the outcome of topical shampoos and medications. By doing this, the medication will not get trapped in the hair, but it will effectively penetrate to the dog’s skin.
When your dog has an itchy skin due to whatever reason, the allergens remain on your pet’s hair and skin until they are removed through bathing. The longer these allergens stay, the more they will cause your pet to itch. And if a member of your family suffers from allergies, your pet’s hair and skin will contribute to their discomfort until these allergens are washed off. If you or a family member suffers from allergies, then it’s recommended that you bathe a dog with skin allergies as often as possible. Dogs with allergies usually itch less when frequently bathed.