FunNature & AnimalHow often do I have to wash my dog?

How often do I have to wash my dog?

The hygiene of the animal must go through a daily recognition of the outer layer, skin and hair, helped by something as simple as caresses and the beneficial use of daily brushing.

If we think about it coldly, bathing is not something that is directly associated with the ancestors of our family canids, within their routines, marked by their innate behaviors, hygienic behavior through bathing does not appear as essential .

The wolf, and the wild carnivores, do not reject water, but neither do they use it as we intend with our canid relatives.
In most cases, the hygiene of wild canids involves “bathing” on the ground, rubbing themselves with trees or vegetation, but not by a relaxing bath with water in a pond, pool, river… in which, if they arrive to be introduced voluntarily, it would be for hunting reasons or to alleviate very high temperatures.

Our family canids, whatever the type of hair in reference to length, hair hardness… must be treated practically in the same way:

  • Brushing the hair and skin of the animal causes a series of important benefits both at a hygienic level and at a sanitary level:
    • Location and/or removal of external parasites.
    • Skin massage that causes better circulation and blood perfusion in the area (better hair quality)
    • Removal of dead hair : brushing must be done in both directions: towards the hair and “against the grain”; With this last direction of brushing we remove the dead hairs that tend to accumulate in the areas closest to the skin, and that can end up producing different types of dermatological pathologies.
    • Moment of positive contact between human and animal: if we get our good friend used to brushing from his earliest age, we will ensure that he does not see it as an ordeal but rather as something desirable, as another form of exchange of affection between the two species.
  • Daily brushing ensures sufficient hygiene for the needs of any animal, except for specific situations in which the animal has been stained, dirty, with one or more products that require the use of specific soaps for our companions (oil, resin, feces… )
  • The use of soaps, shampoos, lotions… should only be done after consultation with the veterinarian:
    • The characteristics of the skin and hair of a dog are far from the characteristics of the protective cover of the human being, for which we should NEVER use our means of cleaning and hygiene in the family canid; the difference in pH of the products can cause various injuries , of varying degrees, when using human hygiene products on the animal.
    • The veterinarian , knowing the characteristics of the animal, its lifestyle, its general state of health, will be able to propose a hygiene routine appropriate to the specific characteristics of the individual.
    • Let’s not take as a reference the comments of friends with dogs, of social networks… in which we are usually told a specific date for bathing our dogs: “once a month”
      Why once a month? What reasons do those who recommend this guideline argue? Is there any relationship between a bath every thirty days and the true hygienic requirements of the animal?
      Absolutely NO.
  • The indiscriminate use of shampoos, lotions, their excessive use, unnecessary frequency, are the cause of moderate to severe dermatological problems, and can be the cause of, for example, significant allergic reactions and unwanted side effects that can end patience and with the pituitary of the most patient human, among which we will refer to the most common:
    • The skin and hair of our canid has sebaceous glands that allow skin protection and an adequate condition of the animal’s hair. This fatty secretion forms a protective film, essential for a good condition of the external layer of the dog.
    • Bathing too frequently manages to alter the balance of that cover: with the bath we remove the fatty layer, the body detects a “gap in the safety of the cover” and reacts by producing fat immediately…
      This organic reaction is responsible for the “wet dog” smell , or “fuet” as some describe it, when we are drying the animal just after washing it.

A dog, any dog, could enjoy excellent hygiene with daily brushing , and only being bathed when some specific dirt circumstance causes the use of appropriate soaps and water.

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