As a pet lover, you most likely want to give the best for your dogs. But there are probably times when you prefer to do things without much effort, such as lathering your pup with your shampoo. Although it’s tempting to do so, always remember that it is harmful to their health. Human shampoos contain chemicals that can damage your dog’s sensitive skin.
Of course, you would want to keep them not only clean and sweet-smelling but also healthy, that’s why it is essential to choose the right product for their skin and fur. It is not that difficult to get the right shampoo for your dog. However, it does require some forethought, given the wide range of dog shampoo in every local pet store.
To help you make a more informed decision, here are the things you need to consider when shopping for dog shampoo.
Identify Your Dog’s Needs
There is no one-size-fits-all shampoo for dogs. Just like humans, every dog has unique needs and conditions. And it is always important that you know each of them. Keep in mind that your choices can significantly affect your dog’s health. Thus, before you get overwhelmed by the different products offered in the market, get to know your dog first.
Identifying their needs also helps you narrow down your options. In doing so, take a look at the following factors.
Dogs have normal body odors that can be kept to a pleasant minimum with regular bathing and grooming. However, if your dog tends to get smelly quickly, a deodorizing shampoo with odor control may help them stay fresh-smelling for longer periods. Note that the goal is not to cover up the unpleasant odor but to eliminate it.
Compared to human skin, a dog’s skin is more alkaline. So as much as possible, try to use a shampoo that is pH balanced. But besides that, always take into account the condition of your pup’s skin. If he or she has dry, flaky skin, a moisturizing shampoo can be an excellent option. It’s also good to use a gentle shampoo without scent, especially if your dog has itchy skin.
Every breed of dog has its unique coat type. But it usually falls into categories of a thin, medium, and dense coat. A shampoo specifically designed for coat density will give the best conditioning clean to your dog’s coat. If your dog hates bath time, a coat-specific shampoo is even more helpful since it can speed up the process by making rinsing easier.
There are also specialized shampoos for every dog’s particular coat color. If you want to maintain or improve your dog’s white or light-colored coat, look for a shampoo that contains a brightener and whitener. The same applies to other coat colors. But note that if a shampoo is designed specifically for one color, you’ll only achieve optimum results for the dog with the same coat color.
Be Aware of The Product’s Ingredients
Once you know your dog’s specific needs, you now have a clear guide to what kind of shampoo you should buy. But it doesn’t end there. No matter their needs, you would find that there are still a wide array of seemingly appropriate products on a pet store’s shelves.
However, not all dogs are created equal. That’s why it’s also crucial to be aware of the product’s ingredients before purchasing. Some shampoos can alter the appearance of your dog’s coat. Others may contain ingredients that can cause serious dermatological and health concerns.
You may consider dog shampoos made with natural ingredients or are plant-based. But even some of them are not completely safe for dogs with sensitive skin. It may also help to do a patch test of the product first over a twenty-four period and observe any adverse reactions.
Check The Product Reviews
Although there is no one-size-fits-all best dog shampoo, getting information about the product may help you choose the right and safe one for your dog. By checking the reviews of various pet owners, you can get an idea of how the products work on their dogs.
Products with 60% more positive reviews and those in the market longer may be a reliable and safe option. However, it is still not a guarantee. You can also know more about the products by inquiring with other pet owners.
Look For A Quality Product
When it comes to shopping for a shampoo for your dog, always invest in the quality one. It’s worth pointing out that a high-priced product doesn’t equate to quality. There are several indicators of a quality product. For one, a company with a registered name can usually give good quality.
A dog shampoo with a short ingredient label can also be an indicator of a quality one. And the more ingredients you understand on the list, the better the product will be. But then again, the quality of a product also depends whether or not it serves your dog’s needs. Choose a shampoo that will help you save money without compromising your dog’s health.
Get Advice From The Vet
These helpful tips you can get from the internet can only do so much for you. If you want to ensure that you’re buying the safest shampoo, seek advice from your dog’s vet. Sometimes, your dog’s unpleasant odor, dry skin, or tangled coat may need more than a deodorizing, moisturizing, or coat-specific shampoo.
Remember that dogs are also vulnerable to bacteria and parasites. They may need a medicated shampoo for their condition. Thus, it would be best to consult with your dog’s vet before making any purchase. The vet often knows what product or ingredients won’t work well on your dog’s skin type or issues, if there are any.
Although it’s easier to get any dog shampoo in a pet store, it might bring more harm than good. Bear in mind that the purpose of using shampoo isn’t only for your dog’s grooming. It also serves as protection for their skin and coat. The next time you’re tempted to be lax on your dog’s shampoo, recall the possible consequences of a wrong product to your dog’s health.
Courtney John is a freelance writer for animal and pet care for over a decade now. She is also a volunteer dedicated to animal rescue and welfare, working for different organizations all over town. She lives with her two adopted cats and rescue dog.