Monday, December 13, 2010

Are you bathing your dog too often?

How often do you bathe your dog?  Cairns Vets notice that many people wash their dog too often, but don't groom it enough, especially when it comes to keeping eyes and ears clean.
 Read more about pet grooming

Dogs and Hygiene 

Humans are covered in sweat glands all over the body, and require regular bathing to remain clean and hygienic. Dogs, on the other hand, do not have any sweat glands on the body. In addition to this, a dog's skin is much thinner and more fragile than human skin and has a different pH level. Most dogs do not need to be bathed regularly, unless they are covered in dirt or are smelly.

Bathing a dog too often will damage the fragile skin of your pet, and dry it out. Even worse, using harsh shampoos that are intended for human use or soaps that are too strong will likely cause extreme irritation to the skin and coat of your pet. A dog's skin is not meant to be washed that often. 

Bathing your pet every so often when he needs to be cleaned is fine, however. Most dogs do develop a natural odor, and this smell can become offensive after a long period of time. Dogs also like to play in the dirt, and it usually does not take long for a dog to become somewhat unclean. When this occurs, it is recommended that you bathe your pet with a gentle shampoo that is intended for use on canines.

Do not use shampoo or soap that is for humans or other animals, as dogs have a different pH level. Harsh shampoos can be very drying to a dog's sensitive skin. Pet owners should also use special care when washing sensitive areas such as the eyes and the genital regions. 

Grooming a Dog Regularly

Even though your pet does not need to be bathed that often, he should be groomed frequently. Brushing and combing your pet's hair is necessary, and it prevents tangles and knots from forming in your dog's hair. If the hair becomes matted it can also cause discomfort and pain for your pet, as well. The nails should be clipped regularly, and kept at a healthy length. Dogs with excessive tearing or mucus in the eyes should have their eyes cleaned and washed often, and very carefully. Dirty eyes and stains under the eyes can also cause offensive odors when left uncleaned. 

Dogs with longer hair should be trimmed frequently, to prevent the hair from getting too long and also from getting in the face and eyes. Dogs who have fleas or other parasites should be bathed to get rid of the insects and to clean the entire body.

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