Top Tips: Bathing Your Pet with Sensitive Skin

It’s that time of year again – mud season is upon us! And although we’re only about 2 weeks into autumn, we’re off to a particularly muddy start this year. If your pet enjoys splashing around in puddles, or even full-on mud baths, you may find yourself washing your pet more frequently than normal. If your pet suffers from dry or sensitive skin, this could cause some issues if you don’t take proper precautions. That’s why today, we’re bringing you our top tips for bathing your pet with sensitive skin!

1. Make sure you use a gentle, natural shampoo, specifically designed for pets

A dog or cat’s skin is even more sensitive than ours, so it is important to use a shampoo that has been specifically designed for animals, not for ourselves or our babies. Furthermore, you’ll want to look out for a formula that helps the skin and fur retain moisture already during the bath. Finally, you want to avoid any ingredients that are commonly known to irritate or dry out sensitive skin. Look out for:

- Dyes or colorants (natural shampoo usually has an opaque white to yellow color)
- Synthetic fragrance or perfume, purely added for its scent. Instead, use shampoos that contain organic essential oils
- Parabens (a type of preservative) – sometimes listed ad methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid or parahydroxybenzoate
- Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate (synthetic foaming agents)

2. Be calm and patient with your pet

If your pet is not a fan of bathing, there’s a good chance they will get nervous as soon as you bring them into the bathroom. Stress is no only unpleasant for you and your pet, but can also affect the skin, so it’s your job to keep as calm as possible. If you’re tense, your pet will pick up on this, so breathe, talk to them calmly and make enough time for strokes and cuddles. And remember, some bath time treats have never hurt anyone!

3. Keep it brief, but give products some time to work

First, it is incredibly important to make sure the water you bathe your pet in is lukewarm at most. Hot water can potentially dry out your pet’s skin, so tepid is really the way to go. Keep baths rather short but do give the products you use some time to get to work. Lather up and let your pet shampoo sit for a few minutes, as you might do when washing your own hair. This will ensure more dirt is dissolved and allow the hair and skin to absorb more of the moisturizing benefits of the shampoo.

4. Add oats to your dog’s bath, or use a natural conditioner

Itchy skin often stems from dryness, so make sure you help your pet’s skin and coat retain moisture every step of the way. You could for instance add some ground up oats to your pet’s bath. Not only do oats soothe itchy skin and work as an anti-inflammatory, they also help the skin form a protective barrier that retains moisture and any hydrating ingredients from the products you’ve used. You could also use a conditioner, but as with the shampoo, make sure you use one that’s suitable for your pet’s sensitive skin.

5. Gently dry your pet’s fur

Gently pat (rather than rub) your pet dry with a soft, absorbent towel or cloth. You can also use a hair dryer, but do make sure the temperature is on low (cool) and the airflow is not too strong, as both these things can be drying to the skin.

6. Moisturize

As mentioned in number 4, anything you can do to soothe and hydrate your pet’s skin will be worth the effort. Use our Dog Spray on dry or towel-dry fur to hydrate and nourish with 15 natural oils and extracts. This is also a great time to apply our Gel Ointment to any extra dry or sore patches. Finally, after that whole ordeal, make sure to give your pet a delicious, natural treat and a good stroke on their fresh-smelling, ultra-soft, super shiny fur!