Many people tend to gravitate toward pet shampoos with pretty smells and aromas. Remember that while you can walk into the other room to get away from the pretty smell that has become overpowering, your dog cannot leave the scene and take a breath of fresh air. Thus it is generally best to refrain from using any products that have excessive odors or perfumes. Instead, choose a simple and natural shampoo such as an oatmeal and honey. Check ingredients as you would with dog foods or pet foods and treats. Remembering that this is something that will be inhaled by your family members and your pet for several days or weeks, so use care.
Can you use human products on your dog? Topical substances which are made for humans can be utilized relatively safely, but remember that the Ph of some products made for humans is quite different from that of pets. Shampoos for dogs with parasites should be carefully monitored during use. Remember that the longer you leave the shampoo lathered on your pet the more the toxins (meant to kill the parasites) will be absorbed through the skin. Make sure to use species specific shampoos or products since each specie has its own needs, species specific requirements and toxicity levels.
Never pour shampoo directly on your dog’s body. Doing so can may actually cause irritation. Instead, place the shampoo on a washcloth or mitt and lather it up well before placing it onto your pet’s damp fur. Make sure to wet your dog with warm water, much as you would do with an infant. Once you have completed your first rinse cycle for your dog, make sure to repeat as you would do with human shampoo. Remember – lather rinse repeat. Use a gentle shampoo and do not exceed the recommended use for the shampoo. If the shampoo says to use once every two weeks, then only use it once every two weeks. More is not necessarily better.
Be careful not to bathe too often. Sometimes you can remove the required natural oils in the coat that protect and moisturize the skin. Place any product on the fur or skin as well as paying careful attention when administering medications and topicals not specifically prescribed by your primary or specialty veterinarian. Certain breeds and combinations of breeds have sensitive skill. They can develop skin rashes and inflammation that is often confused with hot spots. Dogs can develop toxicity and allergies if they are subjected to allergens or compounds that are irritating. Sometimes, dogs are not actually allergic to the item or active ingredient, but rather to the compound or suspension containing active ingredient. Again, it is very important to contact your trusted veterinarian to ensure that any product you utilize in care or supplementation is not something that your dog or breed of dogs have allergies or sensitivities to. And anytime your dog seems to be itching or scratching uncharacteristically, or should develop a condition such as contact dermatitis, discontinue use of the product and also speak with your primary care veterinarian.
For those dogs with a soft and shiny coat, conditioners are wonderful adjuncts to make the hair softer and easier to groom. Be wary, however, of making your pet’s fur too soft or oily as it can become irritating and even intensify the hair’s ability to pick up dirt and oil from its surroundings. Remember that your dog’s coat should never appear greasy or oily after a bath. The coats should not become so flat and slick that they actually lose the fluffy texture.
If you need to use a blowdryer, please make sure that you use a diffuser, which is a wide nozzle attachment similar to the end of a watering can. This will make sure that your dog does not get burned by the blow dryer. Check periodically with your own hand to ensure that it is not too hot for your dog. Also ensure that you allow adequate time for drying your dog and do not take your dog outside in cool temperatures if he or she is not fully dry. Certain double coated breeds may take upward of six or seven hours to completely dry to the skin.
Brush your dog after bathing to get any knots or mats out. There are many good brands of detanglers made specifically for dogs. Do not utilize human products unless directed so by your veterinarian, breeder, or groomer as different species have different sensitivities.
- Use organic and natural shampoos
- Avoid perfumes and harsh products which may irritate your dog’s skin
- Excessive scent or order on your dog is not healthy for your dog
- Remember you can walk away from the smell, but your dog can’t
- A dog should come home from the groomers with a clean fluffy coat free of excess oils and extreme odors