Routine bathing can be an important part of your pet’s dermatologic health, not to mention they will smell more pleasant and feel softer as a result! Beyond routine bathing, a medicated shampoo therapy is indicated if there is an underlying skin condition such as a skin infection.

How to Bathe Your Pet:

  1. Choose a location that is easiest to efficiently bathe your pet. This may need to be a bathtub to keep your pet confined, or giving the bath outside may prove to be the easiest location for you provided the weather is right and you can restrain them properly while giving the bath.
  2. Thoroughly wet your pet with clean, lukewarm water.
  3. Liberally apply the shampoo and lather it up while massaging your pet.
    • Be sure to apply the shampoo everywhere that you need it. This is particularly important for medicated shampoos so that the treatment is fully effective in the areas it is most needed. Key areas to remember include the pockets where the legs meet the body, skin folds, between the toes, underneath the tail, etc.
    • For medicated shampoos, you must allow a minimum of 5-10 minutes of contact time for the product to achieve its full therapeutic benefit. This means you should apply a medicated product everywhere 1st and then start the clock.
  4. Once properly applied and minimum contact time has been met, rinse the product off thoroughly and completely, so there is no product left on your pet’s skin/coat.
  5. If additional moisturization is desired, a conditioner can be used after the shampoo process is complete.

Try to make bath time an enjoyable time! Some pets really enjoy a bath and a massage, while bath time may be lower on the list of favorite things to do for others. Incorporating small pieces of their favorite treats can help to keep them distracted and make the bathing process more enjoyable for everyone involved. It can be useful to have an extra person who is dedicated to rapidly and nearly continuously providing very small pieces of treats to the pet. It may be helpful to time the bath around a time when the pet is hungry to make this technique even more successful.

If your pet is in need of medicated shampoo therapy or even just a routine bath shampoo, please consult with your veterinarian for a treatment plan tailored to your individual pet!

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