Can Washing a Dog Prevent Ringworm?by Susan Paretts
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.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Ringworm
- Vetwest Animal Hospitals: Treating Ringworm
- Dogs New South Wales: Worms Ain't Worms -- How to Beat Ringworm
- 2ndchance.info: Ringworm in Your Dog, Cat or Other Pet
- PetWave: Causes and Prevention of Ringworm in Dogs
- Clorox: How to Use Bleach
- 3M: Disinfection with Bleach
- Eric Isselée/iStock/Getty Images