You're propped up on the couch with your phone, relaxing and catching up on the notifications you've missed when you notice an unpleasant smell. Your dog Fido has curled up next to you, and you realize that you haven't washed him in months. As you do a quick search on your phone for natural dog shampoo, it may be overwhelming at first with so many options available.
How did it get so bad? When was the last time Fido had a bath? It's hard to keep track of these things, and maybe it's even harder to choose the right natural dog shampoo - or maybe human shampoo is okay? Find out excellent dog bathing tips and why natural shampoos work best for Fido!
Does A Dog Need to Bathe Regularly?
In short - yes. Almost all dogs should be bathed regularly to prevent dirt buildup, infections, or fleas. However, each breed and the various coat types require different periods between bathing.
Here's a quick breakdown of different dog hair types:
- Short-haired breeds - Breeds like Boxers, Pugs, or Dalmatians have short hair and naturally shed dirt and oils from their coats. Dogs with shorter coats can often go 2 to 3 months between baths.
- Long-haired breeds - Long-haired dogs, like Collies and Terriers, do not shed as much, so their coats can quickly become matted and dirty. Dogs with longer coats should be brushed daily and washed at least once a month to remove the trapped dirt and debris.
- Oily-coated breeds - Breeds with oily coats, like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels can trap odors and dirt easily. You should bathe these breeds at least once a week. There's no need to worry about over-washing because oils in their coat can prevent dry skin.
- Water-repellent coats - Dogs like Labrador Retrievers and English Setters have water-repellent coats that don't need to be washed as often. You should still brush your dog clean and bath them about once every month or two.
- Double-coated breeds - Dogs with thick, fluffy, double-coats, like Huskies or Akitas, should be bathed around once a month to manage their beautiful coats. They should also be brushed often to distribute their natural oils. Brushing helps remove excess fur and keeps the undercoat free of dirt or fleas.
As a general rule of thumb, you should give your dog a regular bath at least once every 1-2 months to keep them fresh! However, if you live a cleaner lifestyle, you can wait up to 3-4 months without bathing (at your own discretion).
What Happens if You Don't Bathe Your Dog?
You never want to go too long without bathing your dog. Odors and dirt can get trapped, leading to infections or other health issues. Here are some great reasons you should always try to keep your dog as clean as possible!
- Bathing allows you to check your dog from nose to tail thoroughly. It's the perfect time for you to check for anything ranging from fleas to cuts to infections. Especially if your dog plays outside often, they might come home with cuts or injuries you might not know about.
- Washing your pup is a great chance to give them the complete VIP spa treatment. You can provide the full grooming experience by brushing their fur, trimming their nails, adding a cute bow, and even spraying some dog perfume.
- Bath time is the perfect chance for you to bond with your dog. They love to spend time with their owners as much as possible, and bathing them can be an enriching and fun experience. Remember to start washing your dog when they are young so they can become used to baths!
What Happens if You Bathe Your Dog Too Much?
Bathing your dog too much can lead to dry, irritated skin and a dull coat. Just like your own body, a dog's coat has natural oils which are essential for healthy hair and skin. Overbathing can strip these natural oils from the coat, which are important for skin and coat health.
Unless your dog has specific skin conditions or allergies that require more bathing, try to limit bathing to around once a month. You can always consult a veterinarian for more detailed information regarding your dog.
Why Use Shampoo on a Dog?
You can certainly bathe a dog without shampoo, but a mild, specially formulated dog shampoo is recommended to remove dirt and grime! Good dog shampoo will not irritate or dry out the skin while washing away all the filth and muck from playing outside (and who knows what else!).
Dog shampoo does a lot more than just blast away dirt with the power of suds! Shampoos help maintain healthy coats, restore color, provide nutrients, and moisturize the skin. Some shampoo formulations can also deter pests like fleas or ticks.
If your dog gets anxious around water, you can try using CBD dog shampoo! CBD can provide some relief and relaxation for your dog, making the entire experience more enjoyable and fun. After all, a mellow dog is easier to handle when you're bathing them.
How To Bathe A Dog and Make It Easy
Many dogs, unlike humans, do not like water. Additionally, some dogs have needs that you may not think of right off the bat. Don't worry because we've laid out some easy steps so that you won't make some of the more common mistakes.
- Start off with a quick brushing. By brushing your dog's fur, you loosen dirt and remove dead hair. Also, if you have a long-haired breed, brushing can remove any knots and matted fur, making it easier to wash later.
- Fill the tub or basin with warm water (not hot). A dog's skin is pretty sensitive to heat, so make sure the temperature is lukewarm to the touch.
- Place your dog in the tub and hold them still. Use a cup to scoop the warm water and carefully wet their fur.
- Use a natural dog shampoo and gently massage it into their coat. Focus on areas with thicker fur or particularly dirty areas. Take care to avoid getting soap in their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
- Rinse off all the shampoo. We recommend using fresh warm water and not the showerhead because some dogs don't enjoy getting sprayed.
- Once you're finished, towel dry your dog thoroughly from head to tail. Make sure to get all the moisture out or else trapped wetness can lead to hotspots and inflammation.
- Avoid hair dryers because dogs can be sensitive to hot air. Cool air settings may help, but some dogs may be scared of the loud noises. You can leave them someplace ventilated (even better, with the sun!) and let them comfortably air dry.
- Reward your dogs with treats, pet them, use your cute sing-song voice to praise them once you're done! Rewards build trust and familiarity with the bathing experience!
Which is the Best Natural Dog Shampoo?
We highly recommend using natural dog shampoos because they're easier on the skin and generally safer to use! Some shampoos use artificial additives and chemicals, which can cause unexpected skin reactions or other medical conditions. Natural dog shampoos use all-natural ingredients to keep your dog looking happy and healthy.
At HolistaPet, we offer a fantastic CBD Pet Shampoo that works great for all dogs! Our shampoo is formulated with soy-based proteins, full-spectrum CBD, and a pleasant mandarin berry scent. This mild, gentle shampoo is perfect for all breeds and every coat type.
All of our products contain only all-natural, organic ingredients with no harsh chemicals! We know how important your dog is, so we want to make sure that our dog shampoo benefits them in the best way possible.
The CBD in the shampoo is particularly effective at treating the aches that many older dogs have and calming down stressed-out pups. CBD can also provide more intensive relief as it penetrates into the skin and muscle tissues for increased relaxation.
Can I Use Human Shampoo On My Dog?
Although you can use human shampoo on your dog, it's generally not recommended to do so. Dogs have a different pH balance in their skin, and the chemicals in your own shampoo may dry out or irritate their skin.
Dogs generally have more sensitive skin than humans. The chemicals found in our shampoo can affect them differently and could potentially damage or severely dry out their coat. Many natural dog shampoos tailor the pH balance of their product to be milder for your dog's skin.
Dog Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid
Ah, ingredient lists - aren't those so easy to understand and clear?
Don't worry because we'll go through a few of the main ingredients you should avoid in dog shampoo!
- Artificial fragrances
- Artificial coloring
- Paraben preservatives
- Mineral oils
- Chemicals ending in -sulfate
If you're still confused and can't keep all these ingredients in your head, look for shampoos labeled "Certified Organic." Certified Organic labels are extremely hard to attain because the product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients with no use of GMOs. These shampoos can sometimes be more expensive, but you can rest assured that you are using only the highest-quality products!
Final Thoughts - Natural Dog Shampoo
Finding the perfect natural dog shampoo can work wonders when you're washing your dog. These shampoos can help keep their skin and coats moisturized, protected, and cleaned, all while smelling like a million bucks! By using natural shampoos, you know that you are treating your dog to high-quality care with the best products available.
So, the next time Fido jumps onto the couch and cuddles up next to you, you won't need to move away. That's the real reward.