Bathing a Dog

Dog owners in temperate climates are generally reluctant to bathe their dogs, remembering all sorts of old wives' tales regarding the adverse effects of doing so. These are probably the same arguments that people used in the Middle Ages about their own personal hygiene.

Some dogs may not need to be bathed, especially the short-coated breeds that tend to shrug off dirt; but the smell may remain.

There are, in fact, very few breeds of dog in which regular bathing causes any ill effects, although it is sometimes cited by breeders whose dogs' coats are less than ideal for the breed. "The new owner must have over-bathed or over-groomed the puppy" can be a convenient excuse. Some breeds should never, according to the breeders, be bathed. These are the dogs that veterinarians can smell through the door when the dog is brought to the office!

In many tropical or sub-tropical countries dogs must be bathed weekly, without fail, if certain tick-borne diseases are to be avoided. There is no evidence of poor coats in show dogs in these countries.

There are three types of dog shampoo: the straightforward medicated shampoo, the anti-parasitic shampoo, and specialized, veterinary shampoos, which may be prescribed for particular skin conditions. If a dog is prone to allergies, any of these may precipitate one, but rarely. Shampoos from a reputable source will minimize such problems.

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