Shaping the future of animal health

Common pet shampoo questions

shampoo dogHow can I get rid of that ‘doggy smell’?

It is normal for dogs to have a certain degree of odour. However, a dog’s odour can increase and become offensive when the animal is wet or has an oily, though normal, coat. Shampooing your dog is an easy and effective way to resolve this problem.

Some odours are related to an underlying problem. For example, odours around the head may be associated with oral or dental problems or ear infections; generalised odours may be associated with a seborrhoeic skin condition or a skin infection. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an underlying problem or you are unsure what is causing the odour, you should consult your veterinarian.

What shampoo do I use?

Choosing a pet shampoo is as important as choosing the proper food for your pet. Some shampoos are for routine use, while others are medicated for specific purposes and needs.

Particular care should be exercised in the selection of a shampoo. If your dog’s skin is irritated, dry or otherwise abnormal, some shampoos may help while others can actually aggravate the problem.

We recommend speciality pet shampoos and skin treatments, such as a shampoo from the Virbac dermatology range. Your veterinarian can help you match a specific shampoo to your individual pet’s need.

Can I use human shampoo, soap or detergents?

Dogs have very different skin and hair growth compared to humans. A dog’s skin is thinner and less acidic. Due to these differences veterinarians highly recommend specifically formulated pet shampoos and skin treatments such as those from the Virbac dermatology range.

Detergents have an inappropriate pH, often due to extremely high levels of alkali salts. Inappropriate detergents that can strip the dog’s skin and hair coat of the natural oils and therefore should definitely not be used on your pet.

How often should I bathe my dog?

Most normal dogs unless dirty or smelly do not require frequent bathing. A rule of thumb is once a fortnight, however individual requirements for frequency of shampooing will vary from one dog to the next. The dog’s coat should be routinely examined and brushed or combed in good light. This allows for the early detection of any possible problems or changes affecting the coat or skin.

Pets with skin problems may require bathing more frequently to help treat the skin condition. Your vet will advise you in these situations. Your vet will be able to check your dog’s skin and hair coat, point out any abnormalities and prompt attention to a minor problem which by using a good quality Virbac dermatology shampoo will prevent the problem from getting any worse.


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