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Should I Bathe My Pet?

The fitness of your pet’s skin is important in maintaining a happy, healthy pet. Skin disorders are one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. Your pet spends most of its life at or near ground level, so whether playing in the yard or snoozing under the bed, she is in frequent contact with dirt and grime. Also, your pet’s skin secretes a waxy oil that acts like a magnet for dirt, and the combination of dirt and oil encourages the growth of bacteria on the skin. These three factors frequently cause offensive pet odor. In addition, the dirt, grime and oils on your pet’s fur can rub off onto carpets and furniture, leaving an unpleasant odor. No one likes a smelly pet or a smelly house, so the condition of your pet’s skin affects your environment, as well as your pet’s health and happiness.

How Often Should I Bathe My Pet?
The frequency of bathing a pet varies with lifestyle and breed. Some breeds naturally secrete more oils than others and will require more frequent bathing. A pet with long hair can act like a dust mop, so it will require more frequent bathing than a short-haired pet. Some pets require bathing only a few times a year, while others need weekly shampooing. Our staff can review your pet’s lifestyle and skin condition and recommend the best choice of shampoo and frequency of bathing.

The Importance of Using the Right Pet Shampoo!
There are SIGNIFICANT differences between your skin and that of your pet. Using the wrong type of shampoo on your pet could be harmful to your pet’s health. Unless specially advised by your veterinarian, DO NOT use human shampoo or bar soap on your pet! It’s important to bathe your pet with products that have been specifically formulated for a pet’s skin and fur. Some shampoos are far too harsh and can destroy skin cells along with water-soluble compounds that keep your pet’s skin soft and elastic. Your veterinarian has a good selection of pet skin care products for the proper care of your pet. These range from general cleansing shampoos and conditioners to very specialized therapeutic, antibacterial and insecticide shampoos.

General cleansing shampoos and conditioners are used for those pets who have a healthy skin and coat, and just require a good refreshing cleaning.  Therapeutic/ Antibacterial Shampoos are a specialized type of shampoo reserved for pets who have skin and coat disorders. These may range from common skin allergies, and dry flaking skin, to the more serious conditions of greasy, wet skin infections.

The staff at ABC Vet can advise you on the high-quality products that will best clean, moisturize, deodorize and enhance the health of your pet’s skin and haircoat. A pet that is bathed regularly is a hygienic, healthy and happy one that is good to be around.


How to Bathe Your Pet

Step One
Prior to bathing any long-haired pet, you should thoroughly brush its coat to remove any matted hair or knots.

Step Two
Using warm water, wet down your pet’s coat from the neck down, excluding its head. Using the shampoo recommended by your veterinarian, work up a good lather, thoroughly massaging the skin to remove the dead skin cells and dirt.

Step Three
Wet down your pet’s head. Lather and massage, being careful not to splash any suds into your pet’s eyes.

Step Four
Thoroughly rinse your pet’s head and body. Continue until you are certain you have rinsed off all the shampoo to avoid skin irritation. If desired, rub a coat conditioner into the coat and then rinse off.

Step Five
Dry your pet with a large towel and, if you wish, use a hair dryer set on warm so as not to burn your pet’s skin. Long-haired coats should be brushed until dry.

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    ABC Veterinary Hospital
    330 Rancheros Dr
    Suite 102
    San Marcos, CA 92069
    (760) 471-4950

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