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Dos and Don'ts for Washing Your Pet

November 7, 2018

Well, the holidays are almost here. Friends and family will be stopping by or sitting down to enjoy a great meal. But, what is that smell? It seems that when Fido had to roll all over some dead thing in the grass this obnoxious smell permeated your dog's coat. Although regular grooming like combing and brushing is often all that a dog needs, when a pet gets dirty or has an offensive odor, it is time for a bath. Most veterinarians recommend you bathe your best friend once month using a dog shampoo. If you want to do it more often than monthly, it is important to use a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo to prevent dry skin. Unless your vet recommends a more frequent cleansing, you should not bathe your pet more than once a week.

Although your nose may know exactly when your dog needs a bath, the types of products you use should be a pet-approved shampoo and conditioner. Fact is, human shampoo is not pH balanced and may remove natural oils that protect your dog's skin against allergens and bacteria. Even human baby shampoo can cause itching or dryness, especially when used more than once a month. Moreover, using a hypoallergenic shampoo that is free of harsh chemicals, perfumes and dyes is always a good idea. Regardless of how dirty your pet's coat, your attitude and your cleansing stroke should be gentle and calming. After bath day, it is important to check that your furry friend does not have a reaction to any of the pet products used.

Having talked about some of the dos, let's take a look at some of the don'ts. Many pet owners mistakenly think a washtub is ideal tool for washing their dog. However, when your pet is standing in the wash water, soap and debris will cling to the coat causing more harm than good. Whereas, the mild spray from a lightweight hose nozzle will help to ensure all the soap scum cleanly rinses away. Never, under any circumstances, use a pressurized spray nozzle to wash or rinse your dog as this could injury their skin and damage the coat. Human hair dryers are not a safe and effective way to dry the coat. Once your dog is rinsed, towel dry and give the coat a good brushing.

If your pet makes it too difficult for you to bathe, rinse and brush their coat, consider using a professional dog groomer rather than wrestling with your best friend. Doggy daycare centers and pet spas can also take care of other grooming tasks like brushing teeth and trimming nails. From the caring staff at PrimeVET, have a safe holiday and let us know how we can help make this season jolly for you and your best friend.

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