Can Washing a Dog Prevent Ringworm?

by Susan Paretts
Quarantine infected pups from any other canine family members.

Quarantine infected pups from any other canine family members.

Eric Isselée/iStock/Getty Images

Unlike what its name suggests, ringworm is actually a skin condition caused by a fungus, not a worm. While cleaning your pup's environment can help keep the disease from spreading to other dogs, regular bathing won't prevent your pooch from catching this disease from other animals or infected objects.

The Lowdown on Ringworm

The fungal spores that cause ringworm are found on the hairs and skin flakes of an infected pooch and can survive for up to one year in the environment. Once the spores wind up on your pooch, he may become infected, even if you bathe him. An infected pup will develop patchy, crusty bald spots on his skin. Your vet can prescribe a medicated shampoo, dip or oral medication to rid your pup of this skin condition. After quarantining your dog, you must disinfect his environment to prevent him from becoming reinfected or from infecting other people or pets in your home.

Disinfecting the Home

Wear gloves when cleaning up after your ringworm-infected pooch so that you won't catch this fungal infection. Wash all of your pup's bedding in the washing machine with hot water, detergent and 3/4 cup of bleach to get rid of the fungal spores. Mix a solution of 3/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Use the solution to wipe down all of his toys and grooming supplies. Vacuum his living area daily to get rid of skin cells and hair follicles, which can carry the spores. Dispose of the bag after you vacuum.

Photo Credits

  • Eric Isselée/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.