What if my dog has a skin condition?
If your dog has any form of skin disease or an allergy, its important you consult your vet before washing your pooch.
Depending on the condition, your dog may be better off with no washing, or may need more regular bathing.
For dogs with some forms of skin disease, the washing process can dry out the dogs skin and should be avoided, says Dr Hilton.
“The danger is dogs with allergic skin disease commonly have a defect in their skin barrier, which manifests as drying of the skin and that contributes to their misery,” he says.
“And using harsh shampoos — harsh being anything that strips any further lipid [fatty protective] layer off the skin or damages it — potentially makes the itch worse.”
Avoid any products intended for use in humans, as human skin is very different and less sensitive than a dogs, says Dr Hilton.
Also, stay away from products containing coal tar or harsh strippers such as selenium or benzyl peroxide, products designed to treat scale/seborrhoea if this is not present, as well as cheap or unknown brands.
A vet can point you towards the right (milder) options for your pets skin.
On the other hand, dogs with bacteria and yeast infections, or with an accumulation of dandruff scale, do need to be bathed to remove “the pathological build-up of stuff on the skin,” Dr Hilton says.
But if you do bath a dog with skin disease, you should almost always use a medicated conditioner afterwards, as recommend by their vet.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
How often you should wash your dog depends on a number of factors, including his health, breed, coat, and activity level, as well as where these activities are taking place. Dogs who spend the day outside rolling around in things they shouldn’t are going to need a bath far more often than ones who spend most of their time on the couch. Or, as Mari Rozanski, of Plush Pups Boutique in Huntingdon Valley, Penn., puts it, just use your nose.
“If your dog comes into the room and you can smell him, he needs a bath,” says Rozanski. If your dog is covered in dirt or dried mud, a thorough brushing (outside if possible!) followed by a bath is usually your best option.
“I always bathe the body first and head last, as dogs tend to shake once their head is wet” says Rozanski. “Just because a shampoo says tearless or tear-free, do not put it directly in the eyes, rather wash around the eyes and rinse right away.”
Coates adds that if baths are part of a dog’s medical treatment plan, “your veterinarian should give you guidance on how often to bathe and what product to use.”
How To Bathe A Dog: 8 Bathing Tips
How do you bathe a dog correctly? It can be tricky trying to tame your pup in the tub while also washing them. Thanks to these tips, giving a dog a bath is easier than you think. Try these simple steps to ensure you have a successful bath time with your furry friend.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
It’s a Friday night and you’ve just let your dog out before going to bed. As your perfect pooch approaches the door, a smell emerges. Skunk. The only logical solution is to get your dog into the bathtub as fast as possible to rid your house, your dog and your nostrils of the stench.
A scenario like this is the most common time to give your dog a bath, but should you be washing your pet on a regular schedule? Here’s the how, why and when of bathing your dog.
How often you should see the vet:How to know if your pet needs a checkup