No doubt when you walk down the aisles of your local pet store you’ll see dozens and dozens of dog shampoos and conditioners. But surely dogs don’t need such specialised – and sometimes expensive – products? Surely what we use on our hair is good enough for the pooch?
Well, while you can be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed by the range available, there are good reasons why you should be investing in these products for your doggy bath time.
It might surprise you to learn that dogs have sensitive skin – theirs is thinner than human skin and they have a very difference pH balance. Using products for humans to wash your dog is sure to irritate your four-legged friend. So never use soap, shampoo or conditioner designed for humans on your dogs (even if the product is homemade, natural or organic). Here are some other tips for choosing bath-time products:
- Avoid products containing tea tree. Too much tea tree can be toxic and irritate your pet’s skin.
- If your dog has itchy skin try a medicated shampoo and conditioner.
- If he has greasy skin, an antibacterial or antifungal dog wash is worth trying.
- Seek advice from your vet about the type of product to use if your dog suffers from dermatitis or other skin conditions. Your vet will probably recommend a medicated shampoo.
- Read the label when washing with a medicated shampoo as most will recommend leaving the product on the skin for a good 10 minutes for it to work.
- If your dog has dry skin, it might be an idea to limit the amount of baths you give him, as bathing will dry out his skin further.
- The frequency of baths will depend on his lifestyle. A dog that visits the beach, rolls around in the park and goes for long walks or runs with you will need more bathing than a dog who is less active and more house bound. In fact, some dogs might not need baths at all.
- Check the label on the shampoo you buy to find out if you also need to use conditioner. Some shampoos are gentle and you’ll find you don’t need to use conditioner with them.