Monday, February 24, 2014
Good day and welcome everyone!
This is Sharda with a wonderful newsletter about dog grooming.
Here we go!
SHAMPOOING YOUR DOG
The world of dog shampoo is like the world of human shampoo at the moment – over saturated with more than enough choice to confuse any owner to the point at which it is just easier to grab the first one you see off the shelf.
Of course, all the companies want to market their products but all you want to do is bath your dog!
It is important to choose the right shampoo because failing to do so could do just as much harm to your dog’s skin and coat as using human shampoo because it absolutely needs to be specifically formulated for your dog’s coat type.
Being too harsh on the skin can cause serious problems in terms of encouraging infections, dry skin and any manner of other ailments.
This can of course be expensive for you in terms of veterinary treatment and also painful and irritating for your dog. All of this hassle because of choosing the wrong shampoo is not uncommon.
There are several questions that you need to ask to determine the right type of shampoo for your dog’s needs. For example, is the coat shiny or dull? Does the dog scratch on a regular basis and if he does then do skin cells come away from the coat?
Does your dog have allergies or has he or she has irritated skin in the past as a result of substances? You need to answer all of these questions before choosing a shampoo because no two dogs are the same. Like you, your dog is an individual so you have a choice of just a handful of products that suit him or her best.
Choosing the best shampoo is difficult because you have to take the time to read all of your labels, decipher which one will best suit your dog’s breed and coat type. However, the quick guide below will help you to narrow down your search for the right shampoo quickly and easily.
Natural Ingredients – If given the choice between natural shampoos and those that are based on chemicals then you have a difficult choice. The chemicals are obviously harsh and will undoubtedly damage your dog’s skin and coat in some way.
However, 100% natural and organic shampoos are always reported as failing to get a dog completely clean. They often focus largely on being gentle and harmless rather than formulated for cleanliness.
As such, you have to get used to accepting a chemical or two in there to aid with the cleaning if need be. At least, until they formulate a 100% natural dog shampoo that cleans as well as it should.
Considering Conditioning – You should always consider the conditioning element of dog shampoos as well as the cleaning element because it will need to give a little back to the coat to ensure that it is completely healthy.
For example, in wire haired dogs, you may want to add a little conditioning action to the shampooing process because it will help to keep the hairs crisp.
Alternatively, there are conditioning shampoos that can make grooming after a bath a lot easier for breeds with long coats that are prone to tangling. Another element of conditioning that you need to consider is colouring of the coat.
There are shampoos out there that can seriously enhance the natural highlights of the coat. This shampoo is easier to choose than most because you just pick one based on the colour of your dog’s coat!
NOTE: Bearing the two points above in mind is only a must for individual dogs that are completely healthy and have coats and skin that are in good condition. This does not apply to those dogs that have rashes, allergies, itching, dry skin, hives and their sensitive areas of the skin.
You should use a medicated shampoo if your dog has any of the above and you need to bath him or her. However, you should always check with your vet first and possibly seek a recommendation as well because you never know how your dog will react. As the vet has seen it all before, his judgment may well be better than yours.
Similarly, if your dog does not have any of the above but there are fleas around in the area, although not necessarily on your dog, then you may want to consider shampoos with ingredients that are proven to repel fleas and thus help to keep them flea free for a little longer.
These ingredients include but are not limited to neem oil, limonene and pyrethrin. Check out all the natural ingredients that are said to repel fleas before you head out to but a shampoo.
Of course, regardless of the shampoo you ultimately choose, you should never ever let your dog lick him or herself when covered in shampoo and should also avoid getting any shampoo on the face at all.
You should clean the face in another way without shampoo, which is discussed in a later chapter. Shampoo should not be placed anywhere on the whiskers, eyes and ears.
Here is a quick introduction to all of the types of shampoo out there for you so you can make your own mind up right from the start:
Flea & Tick Shampoo – Flea & tick shampoos come under a common myth at the moment. Most dog owners believe that they should flea shampoos when their dogs have fleas but this is not the case. They can actually be very useful for a number of breeds all year round.
These shampoos are completely oil based and thus can add a little something extra to your dog’s coat in the way of conditioning. There are natural substances in them, like limonene, so you can make sure that they will not do any damage at all to your dog’s coat and skin.
As flea & tick dog shampoos are safe and non-toxic, you can use them to prevent your dog getting fleas as well as for killing them after he or she does. All are effective but it is worth trying a few out to see which one suits your dog best. You should always read the label and use as directed though.
Medicated Shampoo – If your dog is suffering from skin or coat irritations in any way then medicated shampoo is the only type of shampoo that you should even consider using on your dog. There are numerous different kinds of medicated shampoo but they are all designed to deal with certain skin complaints, such as itching, dry skin, dermatitis and so on.
Of course, these shampoos do help to clean the coat as well as heal the skin but it is essential that you ensure every last little bit of shampoo is removed after bathing because it can cause more problems than it solves if left there.
However never use medicated shampoo unless you have been told to do so by a vet. Always get a prescription or recommendation first.
Tearless Shampoo – Tearless shampoos are specially formulated to be incredibly mild and are for use on dogs that may otherwise be sensitive to shampoos.
They should actually be used on the head and face of your dog alone but there are numerous owners that fully recommend using tearless shampoos on the whole coat because they are protein based and thus enhance the health and appearance of the coat.
Conditioning Shampoo – Conditioning shampoo is designed to boost the condition of the hair and the skin in addition to cleaning your dog from top to toe. There are numerous conditioning shampoos available that can be used on all breeds but there are other forms of conditioning substances out there that should only be used on certain breeds.
Take cream rinses for example. Cream rinses are ideal for conditioning double coated breeds, such as the Old English Sheepdog. However, they should never ever be used on dogs with silky hair or on wiry coated breeds.
Regular Shampoo – This is of course the cheapest and most popular form of dog shampoo. When your dog is muddy after a long walk, smells like its been more than a year since the last bath and ensures that you have a dirt film on your hand after fusses then standard shampoo is perfect for breaking out once in a while.
You can find them available for normal, oily or dry skinned dogs so you should select the best one for the skin rather than the coat.
Self Rinsing Shampoo – Self rinsing shampoo is not a type of shampoo that you should use in lieu of bathing your dog because it is designed to be a stop gap just in case your dog needs freshening up in between baths. In fact, it was designed for use during dog shows when bathing dogs was just not possible.
It is simple to use because there is no need for water. The liquid is sprayed onto the coat, you rub it in until it lathers up properly and then you just a towel to get your coat clean and then it will have all the dirt removed so you can blow dry it as well.
Dry Shampoo – This is very similar to self rinsing shampoo in that it works without any need for water but is actually a powder rather than a liquid. It contains various powder substances, such as talc, cornstarch, baking soda and boric acid, which will all absorb the excess oils on the skin.
Again, it is not a viable substitute for actually bathing your dog but will serve its purpose as and when needed.
Colouring Shampoo – As mentioned previously, colouring shampoos are available to enhance the colours of certain coats. These are largely only used by those owners that show their dogs and want them to look their best, although there is one exception to the rule.
That exception is with the whitening shampoo, which is very effective in removing stains, such as urine and food, on all light coloured coats and not just white coats. There are also brown, black and gold coloured shampoos available as well, although they all tend to be quite expensive.
Hypoallergenic Shampoo – Hypoallergenic pet shampoos are amongst the most popular out there at the moment because they are specifically designed for those dogs that are sensitive to other substances, such as perfumes, detergents and other shampoos that may have been used in the past.
Your dog may have had symptoms consistent with scratching and rashes or hives. If this is the case then you should look into the many hypoallergenic shampoos on the market. All of them are formulated to be mild and tearless in addition to being gentle on the skin and the coat.
However, some have anti-itch properties as well. Veterinarians may be able to recommend or even prescribe good hypoallergenic shampoos but always be sure that you have the right one for your dog.
I hope you learned a lot from today’s dog grooming newsletter.