To keep your dog’s health in top condition you need to help your dog with its grooming needs. Regular baths will ensure a clean, shiny and fresh-smelling coat. Bathing will help remove dead skin cells, excess oil, substances that cause an allergic reaction, dust mites and fleas. However for an effective bathing session you need to pick the right dog shampoo; a bad choice can pose severe damage to a dog’s skin & coat.
Never use a human shampoo on dogs: Human shampoos may contain chemicals that aren’t suitable for canine-skin. They can dry out a pooch’s sensitive skin causing itchiness and irritation due to a different pH value.
Indian pet market is now burgeoning with dog grooming products and ample choices enables you to make a selection based on your pet’s coat/skin condition and specific needs. The reasons for a dog bath may differ from time to time, so should their shampoos.
- For times when the skin is dry and itchy skin or for allergies: Look-out for shampoos with natural ingredients such as oatmeal, aloe vera, vitamin E, tea-tree oil and honey. The preparation must restore moisture to the pet’s skin to avoid common dog skin allergies which can further the risk of dryness . It is important to wash off the soap/shampoo completely as the residual matter can cause skin-irritation. In case the allergy or the dryness persists or if you notice notice red bumps, speak to a veterinarian and switch to a medicated pet shampoo.
- Pet Shampoos to tackle hair-shedding: A formulation with amino acids, healthy oils, omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and anti-oxidants will help to control excessive shedding in dogs. Shampooing will also help in removal of loose fur and animal dander. You may try Wahl Shed-Control shampoo for this purpose for short to medium coat dog breeds.
- For Bathing a Puppy: Use products that specifically mention “Puppy Safe” or “No Tears Formula” on the packaging. Puppy Shampoos are of a preparation composed of a no-tear formula, these are significantly milder than regular dog shampoos and suitable for puppies below six months of age.
- To fight fleas and ticks: Fleas and ticks are bothersome pests that can pass on dangerous diseases to their host. If your dog suffers from parasite infestation you will have to use Anti tick shampoos that will kill ticks/fleas on contact and also prevent the recurrence of parasites.
- Matted hair: To treat dry and matted hair use shampoos with in-built conditioners or you can use a dog conditioner separately on the pet’s mane to effectively moisturize it. Frizzy or severely entangled dog coats will require a separate conditioner after shampooing to seal in the moisture and make the hair manageable. Use a blow dryer while gentle combing to retain shine.
- White/light colored coat: If you have a white or light haired pooch we suggest Beaphar White Coat Shampoo and a good dog conditioner. Brightening agents in white coat dog shampoos prevent yellowing of the coat. Buy only a trusted brand and test the shampoo on a small area of dog’s fur before giving a full bath with it.
- Alternatives to traditional baths: Dry dog shampoos and pet wipes are an excellent way to clean up your dog when the two of you are on a road trip and washing with soap & water isn’t possible. Wet wipes will target the odor and dirt and keep your canine’s fur and paws absolutely clean.
According to the ASPCA (American society for the prevention of cruelty to animals) a dog needs to be bathed at least once in every three months. However if your pet loves to tour the outdoors and play in mud/dirt, you will have to bathe it more often. Dog Breeds such as the Basset hound will require regular baths owing to their oily hair.
A safe dog shampoo is one that is composed of natural ingredients, vitamins and proteins. It’s best to avoid any preparation with chemical dyes and artificial aromas. Natural fragrances that safely work to target the odor are lavender, chamomile, citrus and eucalyptus. Your vet can guide you to the right pick after examining the pet’s coat and skin conditions and also advise on the frequency of baths.
Originally a dentist, Anna Strout has written for three years for pet and animal publications. Anna is also a historian who studies dog breed progression throughout the world, dabbles in animal law issues, and collects dog tales while traveling across the country with her husband and German Shepherd Dog, Luna. Anna kicks dust up dancing with Luna at home in Houston, Texas, where she teaches her obedience and tricks.