To Bathe or Not To Bathe? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Question To Bathe or Not To Bathe?

What are thoughts on bathing dogs with allergies? Would you bathe a dog more often (say once a month) to remove any dust, or allergens from the skin? Or bathe even less often to keep the skin in healthy condition? I thought I would bathe less often, but a friend gave me the other thought- to keep the skin free of allergens.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 11:36 AM
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I bathe my boy quite often. (it can be as often as once a week and never longer than a month) You can get away with baths if you use a good shampoo. $2 Hartz shampoo will do more harm than good even if you only bathe your dog once a year. You have to find a QUALITY shampoo that works for your dog. I'm a huge fan of Espree. It cleans great, leaves your dog smelling fresh without over powering unnatural scents and it leaves him with moisturized, not dry, skin. My boy actually starts getting dandruff and itchy if he goes longer than 3-4 weeks without a bath and once he gets one and he is fine.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 11:46 AM
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I have two dogs with allergies. Lucky me. One has more severe allergies than the other. My one dog has food allergies. Once I figured that out, he was fine. I bathe him maybe 2-3 times a year or as needed (such as a trip to a muddy dog park).

However, my other dog is allergic to life - dust, grass, pollen, you name it. I have to bathe him about once a month with a good shampoo and seperate conditioner. He eats himself raw and is on steroids (which is SO BAD for him). But it's the only that keeps him off antibotics for his secondary infections he gets by eating himself raw. Bathing him seems to help. And like the poster above said, if I don't, he has dandruff and starts itching again. Now dandruff is a yeast problem so I've been giving him apple cider vinegar orally and topically. I dilute it and poor it on him as final rinse sometimes. That seems to help as well. It dries with no scent.

But I found that a good anti-itch, soothing conditioner makes all the difference.

Last edited by IllinoisNative; 02-14-2010 at 11:49 AM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 11:52 AM
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The veterinary recommendation I always got was to bath often. I used a shampoo that was not detergent and created for the allergic dog situation. Doing this kept coat from drying out or skin from suffering. I do think it helped to removed allergens and to quiet the skin. My girl had atopy and would break out in a cascade of itching if even touched when she had a flare. She also would get outbreaks of pyoderma sometimes.

I think most recently I used Allergroom by Virbac for bathing and liked it.

Here is an article that talks about the atopic dog and care:

Allergy, inhalant, atopy

Last edited by Samba; 02-14-2010 at 11:52 AM. Reason: correct
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2010, 11:17 PM
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Though Nico has food allergies, he does get dry, itchy skin and tends to improve when he has regular baths. If it's been a while, he does tend to get a little itchier.

Hopefully it's just from the benefit of the moisturizer and removal of loose undercoat, and not from removing any environmental allergens (if he has MORE allergies, I'll go nuts!).


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