If you have a furry pal in your life, keeping him feeling clean, fresh and comfy is a big part of the job. In bathing your dog, never use body washes or shampoos that are formulated for people. Instead, head straight over to your nearest pet supplies shop.
If you're washing your dog, shampoo formulated solely for canines is the only way to go. Unless it's labeled for doggie use, skip it and save it for yourself. People shampoos are created specifically with human hair in mind, and are therefore far too aggressive for the comparably delicate coats and skin of dogs. Not only can people shampoos trigger skin dryness in canines, they can bring upon unnecessary itchiness. Although you might think you have a lot in common with your pooch at the core, your skin's pH levels are just not the same. Human baby shampoo is also a no no for dogs.
Gentle pet shampoos also are beneficial for washing your pet. Speak to your veterinarian to get recommendations on canine shampoos that are particularly mild. Gentle formulas don't pull out the natural oils in your pet's skin and hair, but they do cleanse and eliminate debris along with any lingering unpleasant smells. Hypoallergenic formulations also work well.
Although you might want your pet to smell floral and sweet post-bath, he might not necessarily agree with you. Avoid annoying your dog with the constant lingering smell of a scented shampoo and instead look for one that is devoid of fragrances, especially if you bathe him on a routine basis.
Human parents typically bathe their little ones in baby shampoos, and while human baby shampoos aren't appropriate for puppies, products made for puppies are. Many shampoos are made for the junior set -- think tearless and mild formulas.
Many different medicated shampoos for dogs exist, whether they aim to handle mange, fleas or any other pesky ailments. Regardless of what parasites or skin conditions your precious pet might have, never use any of these kinds of shampoos on him unless you have the prior recommendation from your vet. Note that these types of shampoos generally require consistent use to be effective.
- DogChannel.com: Bathing a Puppy
- DogChannel.com: Bathing Your Puppy
- ASPCA: Bathing Your Dog
- The Humane Society of the United States: Controlling Fleas and Ticks On Your Pets
- Animal Humane Society: Grooming Tips for Dogs
- The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health; Cynthia M. Kahn and Scott Line
- VCA Animal Hospitals: How to Groom a Dog
- ASPCA: Groom Your Dog
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images