Many people still believe that you shouldn’t bathe a dog more than once or twice a month, but that is an old myth that simply isn’t true. The fact is that bathing your dog at least once a week, and sometimes even more for health and/or comfort reasons, has many benefits, both to you and to your furry friend.
Choosing a Shampoo
One of the most important aspects of bathing your dog is choosing a shampoo. It’s crucial to find one that won’t dry out your dog’s skin or coat. There are three types of dog shampoos currently available on the market.
1. Typical Chemical Based Shampoo. These usually contain chemicals, artificial colors and fragrances, preservatives, petroleum, animal bi-products, detergents and a host of other things that any pet parent would cringe at if they only took the time to read the label.
2. Natural Shampoo. These use as few chemicals and those other things mentioned above as possible, if any at all. Instead they made of more natural ingredients essences of fragrant oils, natural cleansers and purified water. Even though these shampoos are significantly more natural than their alternatives, they can still have some of the chemicals in them, since the term “natural” isn’t really defined in legal terms. However, most of these are not tested on animals but are used on dogs by the manufacturer to ensure the product’s safety.
3. Certified Organic Shampoo. These shampoos are designed to be safe for the environment, cost effective, and formulated to be gentle on your dog with frequent usage. They often even come in plastic containers that contain PET (polyethylene terephthalate) rather than the potentially more harmful BPA (bisphenol A).
Your veterinarian is a good place to start when researching which shampoo to use on your dog, but over all, any pet parent will agree that the more natural and organic the shampoo, the better it is for your dog and for you.
Here are 5 Reasons Frequent Bathing Benefits Your Dog:
1. If your dog is trained to enjoy bath time, the experience will be as pleasant as a game of fetch, going for a car ride or any other activity your dog likes doing.
2. Bathing is one more opportunity for a positive interaction with your dog that will work toward strengthening your human-animal bond.
3. Bathing removes dirt and odors from skin and coat.
4. Frequent bathing can help heal inflamed or infected skin.
5. Bathing your dog at certain times can help prevent/treat many health conditions.
a. For dogs with allergies, giving the dog a bath before giving it a corticosteroid or an antihistamine can actually reduce or completely eliminate the need for their following dose(s) by relieving the itching. This helps your dog in the long-term, because the less they use those kinds of medications, the fewer side effects they will have to endure.
b. For dogs with bacterial, fungal or yeast infections, mange or ringworm, frequent bathing helps kill the infectious organisms and parasites. In most cases, bathing these dogs often enough can completely eliminate the need for any medication at all.
c. For dogs with skin infections, contact time between skin, hair and shampoo is very important. The longer the shampoo stays on, the more the greater its killing action. Ideally, leaving it on for 30 minutes would be best, but if you can keep the shampoo on for a minimum of ten with a realistic goal of 15 – 20 minutes, it would go a long way to help fight your dog’s skin infection.
d. For dogs with skin diseases, it’s best to bathe them every one to two days to get the problem under control and then several times a week until the skin has healed.
Two Great Reasons Bathing Your Dog Benefits YOU:
1. Your dog could be making you sick. Now, you might be wondering how you, the pet parent, can benefit from frequently bathing your dog. Some dogs love bath time, and others would rather walk through fire then stick even one paw in water. However, the health benefits for pet parents will often far out way the hassle of making your dog endure those soapy suds. Research has shown that people who bathe their dogs more frequently suffer fewer allergies and catch fewer illnesses and suffer less respiratory infections. Bacteria, fungi and allergens can all become trapped in your dog’s coat that he then brings into your home and leaves behind on every surface he touches, such as your couch and your bed. So the next time you feel a sniffle coming on, don’t just remember to wash your own hands, but think of your dog’s paws (and the rest of him/her) too.
2. Cleaner Home Environment. It’s easy to see how keeping your dog clean can add to having a cleaner home. Nobody likes muddy paw prints or a bad odor spreading through their house or apartment. Bathing your dog at regular, frequent intervals helps ensure that they do their part in maintaining a comfortable, clean and safe living environment for both humans and animals, alike.