Pets get dirty… and sometimes brushing is not enough to combat mud, tangles and smell. But how should you wash your pet? Can you wash your cat? Is using human shampoo on your dog acceptable? These are all reasonable questions for pet parents to have.
Steps To Bathing Your Pet
1. Choose A Shampoo
We know that human shampoo comes in many formulas, all catered to work with different types of hair. Pet shampoos are similar, as they come in a variety of types that work differently depending on your pet’s coat. It is important to use a shampoo and conditioner that is specialized for your particular animal. As easy as it may be to reach for a bottle of human shampoo or dish soap, this should never be an option. These products are harsh on your pet’s coat, stripping away the natural oils your furry-friends needs.
In summary, buy cat shampoo for your cat, a dog shampoo for your dog, and a small animal shampoo for your rabbit. If you have a household with a mix of furry pets - consider a product like Vita-Soothe Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo, which works excellent on your dog, cat and rabbit! It is infused with oatmeal and aloe vera, and uses a hypoallergenic formula with gentle ingredients. The soothing aloe has “healing” properties while the oatmeal contains vitamins and emollients to help restore skin health. For a comprehensive guide on choosing the right pet shampoo, check out this article.
2. Be Prepared
One of the easiest ways to make washing your pet simple, is having access to an extendable shower head. This allows for your pet to be comfortable situated in your shower or bathtub while you bathe. Consider using a tub or a non-slip mat to keep your pet comfortable during bath time. Have a towel nearby to avoid leaving your pet alone in the tub.
3. Lather Up And Rinse Well
When it comes to bathing your pet, less is more. Every time your animal gets a bath, he loses natural oils that protect against a dry coat and dandruff. To keep your pet’s coat shiny and healthy consider an oatmeal shampoo. Be sure to scrub your pet in all the obvious places, as well as the not-so-obvious ones. Your pet’s chest, rump, belly and paws are easy spots to miss. After lathering up, be sure to rinse your pet well as leaving shampoo in his coat will exacerbate any existing skin problems. A good tip for this is to do a final rinse, even after you think you are done!
4. Give Praise And Kisses!
Bath time can be a scary process, so it is essential to reward during and after the bath with treats. Towel dry your pet and consider letting him lay out in the sun to warm up and dry off! A light blow dry for pets that are comfortable with the air is a great option to keep your pet from catching a cold or not drying properly.
Remember, washing your with human shampoos and detergents is NEVER a good idea. Stick to shampoos that were made for your pet to keep him healthy and happy!