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Choosing the best shampoo and conditioner for your dog depends on their coat length, type and any other issues they may be having with their skin such as dryness or sensitivity. A good shampoo should clean your dog’s coat thoroughly, removing dirt and grease whilst leaving your dog smelling great. Adding a conditioner will keep the coat shiny and soft, helping you to detangle any knots when used alongside brushing.
Does your dog scratch itself after a walk? Maybe their skin breaks out in lumps or rashes after running through long grasses. Dogs with sensitive skin or those with allergies to pollen and grass, benefit from specially formulated shampoos such as Ermidrà and Allermyl as these contain ingredients that will heal skin damaged by allergic reactions.
If you find your dog suffers from dry, flaky or sensitive skin, choosing a shampoo with soothing ingredients will help calm and restore the skin’s natural barrier. Ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, which is very different from the oatmeal you eat for breakfast, contain natural oils and moisturisers that will deeply nourish the skin and leave the coat soft and shiny. Whereas ingredients such as safflower oil, an excellent source of Omega 6s and Vitamin E, are both fantastic in nourishing skin and easing inflammation.
Some dog breeds are predisposed to skin conditions such as greasy skin or yeast infections and can develop allergies in later life. West Highland White Terriers, for example, have high instances of fungal skin complaints so these breeds require frequent bathing with specialised anti-fungal and antibacterial shampoos as these will help neutralise and deodorise the skin and coat.
A leave-in skin conditioner added to the bathing routine will also look after their inflamed and sore skin. These often come in a spray, making application easy and allowing you to target problem areas.
One of the downsides to long walks and playing with other dogs in the park is the danger of picking up fleas and other parasites. It’s best to deal with these unwanted pests quickly and efficiently. A flea shampoo will kill fleas on contact so they need to be left on the coat for a specified amount of time. Always follow instructions carefully. It may take a few applications to fully rid your dog of fleas, especially if your dog has a thick coat, so follow instructions thoroughly and use a flea comb to brush through the coat after bathing with the shampoo to help get rid of any lingering fleas.
Everyone knows puppies don’t stay clean for long, they can't stay out of trouble! However, puppies have very delicate skin and as their immune system is still developing, over-bathing can cause dryness and irritation and they definitely shouldn’t be bathed until they are well over 4 weeks of age as they are susceptible to catching a chill. It is advisable to use a puppy shampoo as these are specially formulated to protect the skin and most are designed to offer a faster rinse, making bath time quicker, which means you don’t have to try and keep your pup still for too long!
If you have a dog that doesn’t tolerate bathing, hates getting wet or is maybe anxious in the bath, then why not try a dry shampoo? Dry shampoo comes as a foam or sprays that you first pump onto your hand and then massage thoroughly into the coat, all without the need for water. It is also ideal for ‘spot’ use, cleaning target areas that have gotten dirty such as around the tail or the paws.