Bathing Your Dog or Cat


One of the most frequent mistakes pet owners make is to bath their dog or cat with products meant for human use, or worse, to clean dishes or clothes. Even when your pet has gotten into something and smells absolutely terrible, harsh chemicals aren’t necessary. A mild hypoallergenic soap that’s formulated for veterinary use is all you need. “Formulated for veterinary use” means a product that’s designed to work with a dog’s or cat’s body. While dish soap or your favorite shampoo might strip away the dirt, and more importantly the odor, from your pet’s coat, it will also strip natural oils from their fur and may irritate their skin.


The chemistry of a dog’s or cat’s skin and fur are different than the chemistry of a human’s skin and hair. In addition to the odor-provoked “emergency bath”, it’s safe to bath your pet with veterinary shampoo once a week. However, if the veterinary shampoo you’re using contains any medication or insecticide, follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. Prescription shampoos treat specific problems and may necessitate bathing more or less frequently than once a week.


A final insight pertaining to bathing your pet is to comb their coat prior to bathing. Wet fur mats more than dry fur so a wet tangled coat is harder to brush out and will take longer to dry. This small detail can save you time and prevent an uncomfortable brushing for your pet. 


After a bath your pet will smell good, look good, and probably feel good. Make sure your pet is dry before putting a collar back on. You may not want to allow you pet back outside until dry. Your pet may feel good enough to dry itself...h/she will streak from the tub straight outside to find a new exotic aroma to frolic in and bring home to share!

Lakeside Veterinary clinic assumes no liability for injury to you or your pet ncurred by following these descriptions or procedures.