Itchy Skin? It's Time to Buck This Outdated Advice

Itchy Skin? It's Time to Buck This Outdated Advice

Pets can get red, itchy, smelly skin, which may or may not develop into a rash, or worse. One often overlooked strategy for both preventing and soothing skin problems in dogs and cats is routine bathing (technical name: "irrigation therapy") and grooming.


Many pet parents (and some veterinarians) still believe the outdated notion that pets shouldn't be bathed too often because it will dry out their skin and coat. And it's true to some extent; too many baths and harsh shampoos can cause dry skin and disrupt a healthy dermatologic microbiome. But the truth is many pets have a very unhealthy collection of surface bacteria that can be greatly improved and/or balanced through routine and gentle disinfecting.

Pets with skin conditions (and there are millions) often need purifying baths several times a week to reduce the opportunistic, "bad" bacterial load on their skin and reduce irritation and inflammation (and the need for oral antibiotics or antifungal drugs). A good rule of thumb is to bathe your pet when he needs it, which is when he's stinky, dirty, greasy or itchy and irritated. If you have a pet that is none of these, congratulations, you can pass this article along to a friend that is not as fortunate!

Selecting the Right Shampoo for Your Pet

I always recommend using a gentle, all-natural shampoo specifically for pets. Human shampoo is pH-balanced for humans, not dogs and cats. And unfortunately, many popular shampoos for both humans and pets contain potentially toxic ingredients, which can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream and tissues.

I also don't recommend oatmeal pet shampoos even though there are dozens on the market. Oatmeal may be soothing to the skin, but many animals have grain allergies and are likely to have problems with oatmeal in shampoo. Grain-based shampoos may also feed yeast and bacterial conditions. Use oatmeal-based products only if your dog has poison ivy or profoundly dry skin due to lack of natural oil production.

I recommend pet shampoos that are USDA-certified organic, contain no sulfates or harsh chemicals, and are specially formulated to soothe, condition and support your pet's healthy skin and coat. Look for products that contain soothing organic herbal extracts and rich moisturizers.

Why Would My Cat Need To Be Bathed? He Bathes Himself!

Most healthy adult cats that are not overweight or obese do a fine job keeping themselves clean, however, some kitties occasionally do need baths because they don't have the best hygiene despite their natural tendency to self-groom. These cats can wind up with greasy or sticky coats as a result.

And cats with weight problems can only groom areas they can reach. If you've ever watched an obese cat try to clean himself, you know the challenge it presents. The back half of the coat of overweight cats often becomes matted. The skin tends to flake and get infected. So kitties who don't or can't groom themselves efficiently need regular baths. If you're looking for some tips for successful cat bathing, here I am bathing my kitty Enzo for the very first time:

Courtesy : healthy pets. mercola .com/