Unlike their feline counterparts, dogs can’t and don’t groom themselves. They need regular bathing and grooming for them to stay clean and healthy. Plus, who doesn’t want a good-smelling dog? Regular baths for dogs can also keep your couch free of mud prints and your carpets free of excess dirt.
Here are some of the commonly known myths when it comes to bathing dogs:
1. Dogs don’t need regular baths
When it’s time for spring cleaning, a lot of dog owners also say “Time for spring bath!” Bathing must not just be a seasonal thing. Generally, you must bathe your dog at least once or twice a month. The frequency of bathing depends on your dog’s breed, coat and lifestyle. If it’s already winter and the last time you bathed your dog was in a kiddie pool when it was warm, it has been too long. Dogs with skin conditions, allergies or flea treatments may have to take a bath more often than others, like weekly or twice a week.
2. Flea shampoos are enough
Flea and tick shampoos are made to treat flea problems, but it isn’t sufficient for getting rid of fleas completely. You still need to groom your pet to help get rid of the fleas. Flea shampoos also don’t give dogs a complete bath, so you must follow-up with a cleansing shampoo – or better yet, use an all-around pet shampoo that also addresses skin and coat problems. Also, if your dog is without flea, he might be getting medication that he doesn’t need with flea shampoos, as it has chemicals that are not needed for general cleansing.
3. You can always rely on your garden hose in bathing your dog
Unless you live in a place with a warm climate all-year round, hose water is not ideal for washing your dog. Hose baths are only appreciated during warm, sunny days. If you see your dog shivering, it means the water is too cold. It’s best to use warm water for rinsing off dirt from your dog’s coat, as well as rinsing off shampoo.
4. Bathing removes natural oils
No, too much bathing is what removes natural oils from your dog’s coat. This myth is only true if you over groom your dog. There are times when once a week bathing may rid the coat of natural oils, depending on the dog. But there are good cleansing shampoos and leave-in dog conditioners that help restore oils and protect the dog’s coat and skin. For dogs with skin conditions or dogs that are allergic, veterinarians might recommend frequent baths with special shampoos and medication. It’s best to consult your vet or pet groomer for a treatment plan.
5. Dogs’ coat needs to be dried with a blow drier
Just as frequent, heated blow-drying is harmful for human hair, doing the same for dog’s coats is not advisable as well. Too much heat can harm the dog’s coat and skin. Some pet groomers use heated blow drying for dogs, but sometimes it can scare the dog. Towel drying and non-heat blow drying is the safest way to dry your dog after a bath.
6. Your shampoo can be used as pet shampoo
You may have heard of horse shampoo being used as human shampoo, as it promotes hair growth. Because of this, some may have thought that shampoos for animals and for humans can be interchangeable. While horse shampoo may work for some people, using your typical shampoo for your pet dog might not be good for his skin and coat. Using human shampoos may strip essential oils and dry the top layer of a dog’s skin. Be a caring owner and buy your dog his own shampoo.