Does your dog seem to get itchy and suffer from dry skin rather often? It's important to be careful when bathing him, since using the wrong bathing practices can easily irritate his skin and make matters worse. Here are five tips to follow whenever you bathe a dog with sensitive skin.
Use a natural shampoo with few ingredients.
Many dogs are sensitive to the scents and dyes used in conventional shampoos. So, look instead for an all-natural dog shampoo. The fewer ingredients it contains, the better. And make sure you know what all of those ingredients are, too.
If you're having a tough time finding a shampoo your dog does not react to, consider making your own. Start by placing ¼ cup of oats in the blender, and blend them up until smooth. Stir these into ¼ cup of liquid castile soap. The oats will moisturize your dog's sensitive skin, and the castile soap is made with plant oils and other natural ingredients so it should not be irritating. Lather the shampoo onto your wet dog like your normally would. Let it rest for 10 minutes so the oats can impart their moisture, and then rinse it away.
Use cool water.
You might enjoy a hot shower, but water that's warmer than room temperature can dry out your dog's skin as it rinses away too many of the natural oils on its surface. Aim to use water that's room temperature or a little cooler when you shampoo your dog. If your dog doesn't mind, you can even give him a final rinse in cold water. This will help close the pores and seal moisture into the skin.
Don't blow dry your dog.
Blow drying may be convenient, but it's terrible for sensitive skin. Towel dry your dog only, and make sure you're doing so with a very soft towel. Wash any new towels before you use them on your dog to ensure any potentially irritating chemicals are removed from their surface. Don't use fabric softener or strongly scented laundry detergent on your dog's towels, either.
If you take your dog to the groomer for baths rather than doing this at home, make sure you tell them he has sensitive skin. This way, they can use special shampoos and procedures to ensure he stays comfortable. If you have a shampoo you know works well, you may even want to take it with you so the groomer can use that one. If your dog's skin continues to react to various products, you may want to talk to a vet about soothing creams and sprays. You can visit a veterinary clinic like Animal House Veterinary Hospital.
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