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Should I wash my dog? What precautions should I take?

As he gets dirty quickly, especially if he plays outside, the dog needs to be washed regularly. This is essential not only for reasons of hygiene but also for health reasons. Precautions should be taken at bath time in order to carry out this washing mission.

Why and how often should I bathe my dog?

Bathing serves a number of purposes. Hygiene is obviously the main reason. Washing allows the removal of dust, foreign bodies and other dirt that stick to the hair. Bathing also has a therapeutic purpose since it helps to calm itching, eliminate crusts, avoid scales and other parasites.

In principle, a dog should be bathed as soon as it is dirty. However, bathing too frequently can make him weak and lead to certain diseases such as the flu. Repeated baths also cause the elimination of sebum from the skin, which can lead to skin diseases. Therefore, it is preferable to do it once a month for dogs older than two months. It is from this age that the definitive hair of the animal appears.

Which dog shampoo should I use?

First thing to know: never use shampoos for humans on animals because the pH of their skin is much less acid than ours. The ideal is to consult a veterinarian to choose the right product. Depending on the breed and possible skin problems, the shampoo will not be the same. Animals with fragile skin should use a hypoallergenic shampoo. Dogs with black fur can use shampoos with henna and aloe vera, which help to keep their coat shiny and preserve its color. White-haired dogs that can yellow over time should use a special treatment with chamomile extract, for example, or a lightener. Protein shampoos, insect repellents, anti-parasite or anti-itch shampoos are also available on the market to solve each specific problem faced by different dogs. In absolute terms, they should be gentle and cleansing with a pH between 5.5 and 7.2, which is more in line with that of the dog.

The steps of the bath

Before starting the bath, it is important to untangle and cut the hair. It is preferable to protect the ears by inserting absorbent cotton because this part is very fragile and risks of pain can occur, in particular otitis. Start by wetting the coat and then apply shampoo. Rub gently and rinse. Apply shampoo a second time, this time leaving it on for a few minutes. Rinse afterwards. In order to give your dog a very silky coat, the use of a conditioner is also recommended. Finish by drying the coat in a dryer or with a towel if the animal is not used to or does not appreciate the heat of the dryer.

If the dog is agitated, try to calm him down by talking to him in a soft voice, or even whispering. Offering him a treat at the end of the bath will also help motivate him to stay calm during the next bath.