If your dog suffers from dandruff, dry itchy skin, or worse – a condition such as allergic dermatitis – you may think it’s best not to bathe too often. At least that’s what I thought. Until I spent the last year of my life with an itchy, allergic dog.
Most of what causes problems with frequent bathing isn’t the bathing itself, but the products that are used. Shampoos that contain soap and harsh chemicals can dry out and irritate a dog’s skin, causing more flakiness and itching. But bathing frequently with a hypoallergenic shampoo and following up with a hypoallergenic conditioner can actually help.
For dogs that suffer from allergic dermatitis such as mine, it is important to remove the foreign proteins from the dog’s skin and coat that cause them to itch. A bath even several times a week helps, not harms.
If your dog could use some itch relief, try using a natural shampoo that contains colloidal oatmeal, a natural anti-itch ingredient. Products that contain aloe vera also can heal, soothe and calm irritated skin, as aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Because the word “natural” is loosely defined, you’ll need to read the label. Avoid products containing color pigments, silicone-based chemicals, methylisothiazolinone, formaldehyde, triclosan or propylene glycol. Opt instead for natural products that contain plant-based ingredients, and things like camomile and shea butter.
There are few true “organic” grooming products on the market, however, many natural shampoos and conditioners on the market contain organic ingredients, which means that those ingredients meet the USDA organic agricultural requirements relating to pesticides and chemicals, which can be important if your dog is especially sensitive.
If your dog’s skin, coat and itching doesn’t improve, try a leave-on conditioner to extend the treatment time. Occasionally, if frequent bathing doesn’t do the trick, you may need to resort to medicated shampoos, but these should be used only after trying a hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner and bathing more frequently, as medicated shampoos contain antihistamines and corticosteroids.
You can improve not only your dog’s appearance, but also greatly increase their comfort, by using natural grooming products. Check out our great selection of Anti Itch Shampoos and Conditioners.