Wanting some advice on pet shampoo? Which ones are best for your pet’s coat condition and how to spot a problem? Pet Insurance Australia takes an in-depth look at cat and dog shampoo and how to ensure your pet’s coat condition is in tip-top shape.
There’s nothing quite like a silky clean, smell-free coat! Let’s face it…sometimes our pets can be a little ‘on the nose’ and in desperate need of a good scrub. This is not only good for the preferable smells in our homes, but it’s also beneficial to our pets. Particularly for dogs, who are not masters at cleaning themselves, regular baths help you pick up any problems and keep their coats in tip-top shape.
But every pet owner has been there – choosing the wrong pet shampoo and ending up with an uncomfortable pet suffering with flaky, dry skin. This can also be caused by not using the right pet shampoo or substituting it with human-grade shampoo.
It’s important that all pet owners understand that when using a pet shampoo, it needs to be specially formulated for your cat, or dog. It’s vital that you only use pet shampoo on your pet. Human shampoo is not acceptable and causes irritation that can lead to uncomfortable skin conditions. The pH of human skin is far lower and more acidic than that of a dog or cat. If you choose to use a human shampoo instead of a specially formulated pet shampoo you can upset the delicate balance of your pet’s skin and coat by changing the levels of healthy bacteria and yeast living on the skin surface.
If your pet suffers from sensitive skin, this can lead to all types of issues – from flaky dry skin to irritation and skin allergies. So if you want to keep your pet’s coat in immaculate condition it is highly recommended to only use a good quality pet shampoo.
Shampoo for Dogs
Photo by Autri Taheri
There is a massive array of dog shampoos available on the current market. Some are super delicious smelling, while others combat certain conditions. It’s important to get a good understanding of your pet’s skin. Sensitive skins will require particular products to ensure the dog shampoo does not upset the pH balance of the skin. Most dog shampoo is specially formulated for your dog and will range between 6.5 to 7.5.
With all shampoos – even if your dog doesn’t have sensitive skin, always look for milder products and those that use natural products as their base ingredient. If you are having issues with your dog’s smell it could actually be caused by a skin condition. Dogs that are suffering from allergies can give off a particular smell. It’s also good to understand the breed of your pet. Some breeds are naturally more smelly than others and no matter how much you scrub-a-dub-dub with Australia’s best dog shampoo – your dog will always have that ‘doggy’ smell.
When bathing your dog it’s a great time to examine their skin. Look for any dry patches, redness, or sore spots. If your dog’s coat is not in good condition it is highly recommended to seek professional advice. Switching dog shampoos constantly is not a good idea. As soon as you notice a problem a quick trip to the vet can determine if it’s the pet shampoo causing the irritation or a possible allergen.
If your pet does not have any skin allergies or inflammation, remember not to over wash them. Using too much pet shampoo too often can lead to problems with the skin and coat, as you try and scrub all the important oils that protect the skin. Many experts suggest only washing your dog in pet shampoo once per month (unless they roll in anything super smelly of course). Over-washing will lead to dry damaged coats and irritated skin as you remove all the important oils that keep your dog’s coat healthy. It might be good for your nose, but not good for your pet’s skin and overall health.
#FACT – the ‘wet dog smell’ is actually the smell of the oils in your dog’s coat. It’s not advised to scrub all of these important oils out of your dog’s coat. Most general cleans and pet shampoo will not remove these oils and the reason why a clean wet dog, still smells like a wet dog! Most times your dog will smell clean and fresh when they are dry.
Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin
Oatmeal has shown to be a wonderful pet shampoo for dogs that suffer from sensitive skin. Oatmeal is able to gently clean your dog’s coat and skin while also easing itching and any irritation. It’s a wonderful addition to pet shampoo and can help keep your pet clean while also adding an element of moisturisation.
If your pet sufferers from irritated skin, regular washing in specially designed sensitive pet shampoo can help ease their reactions But it is really important not to use over-drying pet shampoos or those with lots of additives or fragrances. This will only increase your dog’s sensitivity and can cause the problem to become worse.
Allergy and sensitive skin suffering dogs can also hugely benefit from Omega Oil supplements that work to increase the oils that protect their skin against allergens. Research suggests that these fatty acids help improve the skin from the inside out! It’s important to remember that for cats and dogs it can take up to six weeks to see any improvement.
Using a recommended gentle dog shampoo that will prevent drying of the skin. Follow with a pet conditioner or moisturiser can also help. Interestingly regular swimming in salt water can also be very helpful in cleansing the skin and reducing infection risks with allergic pets.
Shampoo for Cats
Photo by Rebecca Campbell
For some cat owners – the thought of washing them in cat shampoo seems crazy. Cats are masters at keeping themselves clean and are self-cleaning machines. However, at some stage in their lives, you may need to give your cat a good scrub with some specially formulated pet shampoo or cat shampoo. However, be warned, cats do not like being washed, particularly if they have never experienced it before. It can lead to stress, not to mention a few scratches and hisses towards pet owners.
Nevertheless, during exceptional situations, such as coat issues like matts or an exceptionally bad smell, your precious kitty may need a good wash with cat shampoo. Don’t forget the rubber gloves to protect you from possible claws, and a good dose of courage.
Like with dog shampoo your chosen cat shampoo should be specially formulated for your needs (detangle, sensitivity, smell, hairball control) and for your feline. Human shampoo or dog shampoo can upset their skin. Using a good quality pet shampoo, or cat shampoo is advised. If you notice any skin conditions or problems with your cat’s coat – seeking professional advice is highly recommended.
Feature photo by Krista Mangulsone