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Our perfect pooches need to be kept clean and comfortable. Your dog’s skincare requirements will vary depending on their breed, age, coat, and condition, and it can be confusing to know which products are best for your pet. If you’re wondering about what a tear stain remover is, or whether you need a dog conditioner spray, read on for more information about dog skin care needs.
Dogs are often covered in a thick hair coat, which can make it easy to forget about their skin underneath. Skin is pretty amazing: it is the largest organ of the body, it protects from dirt, infections, foreign objects and more, and is also involved in regulating body temperature! We need to look after our pups’ skin, as itchiness, dryness, sore spots and rashes are all commonly seen in dogs. Coat care is also important: depending on the breed of dog and their activity level, dog hair can get matted, long and thick which can cause problems with the skin underneath.
Your dog’s needs will differ depending on their breed, hair type and activity level. Double-coated breeds, who have a soft downy undercoat as well as a stiffer top coat, will need more attention to their fur than single-coated breeds. Active pups who love to swim and roll in mud will need plentiful baths! There are many things to consider, but there are some basics of dog skincare which apply to all.
Regular grooming is a must for all breeds and types. Brushing removes dirt and debris from the coat and smooths any tangles and mats. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to check your dog’s skin for any sore areas, fleas, rashes, lumps or anything else of concern. Extra grooming to your dog cool in summer is essential, especially for double-coated breeds who are prone to overheating.
There is much debate about how often dogs should be bathed. In truth, it depends on multiple factors. The skin and coat of most dogs contain natural oils to keep the skin hydrated and the coat glossy, and bathing too frequently can disrupt this environment. However, dirty, oily or unkempt hair can also cause its own problems.
Your dog will need bathing if it gets dirty, of course, and a bath every now and again is likely useful to make sure the coat and skin are in good condition. Some dogs need regular bathing to help control skin issues such as allergies. Use shampoo first to remove any dirt and debris. Always use a shampoo specifically for dogs – human shampoo (and especially baby shampoo) is unsuitable as the pH of human skin is different to dog skin. Dogs with thick or long coats may need a dog conditioner spray after bathing to help groom through any tangles.
Keeping your dog comfortable is important, and depending on the breed of dog you own you might need to add in a few little extras to the basic care. Dogs with prominent eyes can often get tear overflow, which stains the hair below the eyes, and can be gently bathed away using a tear stain remover. Dogs with folded skin need some extra care: wipe the folds gently and dry them to prevent dirt and moisture building, which can cause skin irritation and infection. Chew paws, ears and eyes regularly for any signs of infection, irritation or discomfort.