Bathing Frequency And Shampoo Selection
Written by Jane Honnor, Expert Groomer, And Owner of PawParazzi Pet Boutique
Every day our expert groomers at PawParazzi are asked about how to keep family pets clean and healthy. We are delighted to answer some frequently asked questions here:
How often should I bathe my dog?The answer to that question depends on various factors which help us advise on your pup’s ideal bathing routine:
- Hair Length: Does your dog have long hair that can trap dirt and debris? Or are they short-haired and less likely to get dirty quickly?
- Activity Level: A dog who is mostly indoors and stays out of trouble when they’re outside is probably cleaner than a dog who likes to dig holes, play in the park and go swimming.
- Allergies and Skin Conditions: Some dogs have skin allergies or other health conditions that make them prone to needing a bath more or less frequently.
You should bathe your dog at least every 3 months or as often as every other week, although if you do bathe this often you should choose a gentle shampoo. Your dog has natural oils in their coat that the skin produces to promote hair growth, over bathing with harsh shampoos can strip these natural oils leaving the skin dry, flaky and irritated.
What is the best type of shampoo for my dog?
Dogs with long hair need to be conditioned when bathing to help detangle the coat and to help the brush glide through the coat without tugging. There are also many conditioning products on the market to use between baths to help maintain a matt free coat, for example, one product we often use is called “The Stuff”. Dogs with long coats really should be bathed once a month, and before the bath they should be brushed out thoroughly as once matted hair gets wet it is hard to get it away from the skin.
How do I keep my very active dog smelling good?
As we all know, dogs perspire through panting, however, we can all find ourselves with a stinky dog who plays hard! There are shampoos out there that specialize in deodorizing our pets, usually, these shampoos have baking soda as the main ingredient which is ideal for revitalizing the coat: one of our favorites is Richard’s Organic Deodorizing Shampoo. Dogs that most often have a smelly working dog odor have coats like Labradors and boxers because people often wrongly assume that there is no need to brush a short-haired coat like this. However, the smell is caused by dead hair that gets trapped in the coat which needs to be brushed out with a rubber brush (Kong makes one called Zoom Groom) during the bath and also at least weekly to release this dead hair and prevent smelliness!
What about bathing dogs with allergies?
This is a tricky question because without allergy testing it can be a minefield as dogs can be allergic to anything! Many people think bathing in oatmeal shampoo is the solution and while it is a gentle shampoo it is grain based and not suitable for dogs with grain allergies. This is when we suggest alternatives such as aloe vera, medicated, and vitamin enriched shampoos. We have to look at the frequency of bathing too because to nourish the skin and relieve itching, baths are recommended every other week, but an all-natural shampoo is vital to feed and moisturize the coat. For dogs with allergies, it is also advisable to look at the source of the allergy which more often than not is caused by diet. We'll feature this topic in a later article. I personally have a Pekingese with horrible allergies so one of my favorite shampoos that works well for him is Zymox, but keep in mind that every dog is different. If using a medicated shampoo, it should also be left on the coat for 10 minutes to ensure it heals and feeds the skin.
Some recommended products found at Paw-Parazzi.
What should I look out for at bath time?
Bathing your dog isn’t just good for their hygiene, it’s also an excellent chance to check for abnormal scratches, bumps, fleas, and other abnormalities. These things are easier to see when their hair is wet and flat against their body. During blow drying of the coat, the hair also will part to reveal issues that you might not notice day to day.
Are there other things to consider?
Dogs vary enormously when it comes to their type of skin and coat and factors to consider like age, diet, breed, type of coat, length of hair. There are double-coated dogs like the Siberian husky where we use specialty de-shedding shampoo, along with special tools to release the dead hair.
About Jane Honnor
Jane and her dog, Jaffa
Jane Honnor has 15 years’ experience working in the pet industry. Beginning as a manager in a pet retail store in her native England, she took her existing love of dogs to the next level and embarked on a three-year college course in Grooming and Pet Health for which she achieved the highest-level accreditations and graduated with distinction.
Going to work as a pet groomer in Liverpool, England led her to emigrate to Richmond Hill where she and her husband Alex Honnor purchased PawParazzi Pet Boutique and Grooming Spa in 2011. Her love for looking after her customers’ fur babies and giving them the five-star treatment, they deserve has helped the company grow and it is now the favorite pet spa and store for many of Richmond Hills residents.
Jane Honnor can be found in store with her two fur babies, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Jaffa who came from across the pond with her parents and Yum Yum a Pekingese who was rescued by Animal Control and found a loving home with the Honnors.
You can learn more about Jane and PawParazzi by visiting her website: http://www.pawparazzishop.com