Dog Bathing & Hygiene - A Vet's Guide to Choosing the Right Bathing Products For Your Dog

What shampoo should I use to bathe my dog?

One of the common things we get asked a lot in veterinary medicine is what shampoo is right for my smelly dog? It's a little bit more complex than you would think. Not all shampoos are created equal. Most of those shampoos are being sold to humans and not to animals. They want to make us feel good, make us feel kind of special that we're giving our pet some kind of lavender boutique shampoo when we might actually be doing more harm than good. If you talk to most doctors in most clinics, they'll carry three or four different types of shampoos and they're all basically done for very specific reasons such as the age of the pet, any medical condition the pet has, the presence of a disease, or if the dog ate something stinky and you just have to do a general cleaning on it. If you use the wrong combination of product and pet, you can actually inadvertently do more damage than good and then you're back in the office and we're trying to help you out, fix a problem that we could avoid in the first place if we got the right shampoo or conditioner.

Dr. Bradley Kneeland
Pawsitive Pet Care

Sometimes it can be obvious there's soap-free shampoos or shampoos with hydrocortisone in it to help itching, but again, you need to know what you're going after. That's what we're here for. Use your veterinary community. Don't necessarily go online and Google what shampoo is best for my animal. You might get yourself into a world of hurt that way, but call your vet. Sometimes skin conditions can just be the tip of the iceberg for a disease that's much more significant for your animal than you're aware of. When push comes to shove, just don't grab the prettiest, best-smelling shampoo when you run into the store. Take five minutes. Call your veterinary professional. One of the technicians or doctors can help you out, and you can save yourself and your pet a lot of problems in the long run.

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