Over the last few blogs, we have looked at how to correctly groom and bathe your pets. Now we look at the why. In this article, we will touch on the most common health issues due to not bathing your dog.
We know that frequent coat brushing and grooming can do wonders for your pet, however, the same cannot be said for bathing. Many owners actually bathe their dogs more often than they have to.
Why bathing too often is bad
During a bath the coat has some of its natural oils removed. These oils are there to protect the skin and maintain coat condition. If the dog is then bathed too often the coat will be stripped entirely of these essential oils.
Some dogs however do require more frequent bathing regimes, these are usually dogs with certain skin allergies. A vet would normally prescribe a medicated shampoo treatment for these cases along with a schedule on how often to bathe the dog.
So how often should you bathe them?
Many sources say you should bathe your dog twice a month, once every 3 weeks, once a month, etc. It is not to say that some are right and others are wrong. It is dependant entirely on your doggie and their lifestyle. Factors to consider when looking at a bathtime regime are Breed and coat type, their living conditions (are they inside or outside dogs) as well as their activity levels.
What happens if you don’t bath your dog
One of the health issues that could arise due to not bathing are sebaceous cysts. Also known as epidermoid or epidermal inclusion cysts. A sebaceous cyst is a swelling in the skin caused by a clogged sebaceous gland.
What are Sebaceous Cysts
These cysts are usually round and smooth, they can be anywhere between 5mm to 5cm in diameter. There are cases of some that are even larger than this and they are most commonly found around the face but can occur anywhere on the body.
They do not cause pain to your dog unless they are in a position that could interfere with movement and cause impairment. Such as on a pad of their paw or even an eyelid. This might lead them to excessive licking or even rubbing it which could result in other painful issues.
Cysts can be “drained” and sometimes removed by a vet but are not often necessary as many do burst on their own. However, should that happen it can leave a nasty mess on your dog’s coat which should be cleaned off immediately to prevent further issues.
Complications can arise though if a cyst ruptures and leaves an open wound, this could lead to an infection being built up.
It is also crucial to keep an eye on the size of cysts, should they grow very quickly this is referred to as being abnormal and should be seen by a vet asap. This could be a tumor, and that is something that must be diagnosed and treated by a professional veterinarian.
What can we do
Cysts cannot be avoided 100%, but through correct coat care and bathing, they can largely be prevented. Brushing and bathing regularly will assist in unclogging these glands and promoting healthy oil secretion.
- Always use a shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. Normal shampoo that we use on ourselves are not toxic to your pets BUT it does contain fragrances and other ingredients that may cause skin irritations.
- Never try to drain a cyst yourself, you may end up hurting your dog.
Prevention is after all better than cure, we at Paws n Claws are all about keeping your best friends happy and healthy. Allow us to do this by scheduling regular grooming sessions through our online booking platform. We will come to you and take care of the rest.