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Shampooing dog – probably best not!
> Blog > Shampooing dog – probably best not!

Shampooing dog – probably best not!

Today’s  blog  is  the  culmination  of  a  frustrating  problem  we  see  all  too  frequently
at  AlphaPet  – excessive  bathing  of  dogs  and  bathing  with  the  wrong  products.
Dogs  were  never  designed  to  be  bathed!  When  was  the  last  time  you  saw  a  wolf
on  a  David  Attenborough  program  turn  up  for  a  wash  and  blow  dry?
Many  owners  of  certain  breeds  seem  to  feel  that  it  is  a  mandatory  part  of  the  care
of  that  breed  to  bath  them  monthly  or  sometimes  even  weekly!  This  is  simply  not
the case  in  most  instances.
Dogs  naturally  secrete  a  substance  called  sebum  to  coat  their  skin  and  fur.  As
well  as  being  protective  from  disease,  it  also  forms  a  great  barrier  to  dirt  and
smells.  As  long  as  it  is  allowed  to  build  up  properly,  then  just  rinsing  your  dog  off
with  water  can  turn  a  completely  mud-­‐caked  mutt  back  into  a  shiny-­‐coated,
odourless  family  pet  again.
The  problem  is  that  every  time  you  bath  your  dog,  you  are  using  detergent
agents  which  remove  this  sebum  layer.  That  allows  dirt  and  smells  to  stick  to
your  pet’s  coat  and,  guess  what,  you’ll  probably  need  to  wash  him/her  again
soon!

Of  course,  occasionally  dogs  will  do  doggy  things  and  adorn  themselves  with
“Chanel-­‐au-­‐Fox”  or  similar.  Rinsing  off  with  water  is  not  going  to  be  sufficient
here  so,  in  these  cases,  you  should  use  the  mildest,  gentlest  dog  specific  shampoo
you  can.  Please,  please,  please,  DO  NOT  use  human  shampoos.  Baby  shampoos
may  be  fine  for  human  baby’s  skin,  but  they  are  pH  balanced  for  human  skin.  If
you  apply  them  to  a  dog’s  skin,  they  will  change  the  pH  of  your  pet’s  skin  and  this
is  a  common  reason  why  we  see  skin  infections  (superficial  pyodermas)  a  few
days  after  dogs  have  been  bathed  with  human  shampoos.

The  other  time  dogs  will  need  to  be  shampooed  is  when  they  have  a  skin
condition  that  necessitates  treatment  under  veterinary  supervision.

If  you  are  in  any  doubt  about  whether  or  not  to  bath  and  what  you  should  be
using,  talk  to  one  of  our  vets  or  nurses