Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pet Watch

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Pet Watch

Article excerpt

Your vet may recommend bathing a dog or cat for a number of reasons ( to clean the coat and skin, to treat skin conditions such as eczema, and also to combat infestations of external parasites such as fleas. On the whole a healthy dog only needs bathing about once every two or three months.

There are a variety of shampoos available which have been specially designed for pets' hair and skin. If in doubt a vet will be able to advise or prescribe the most suitable product for your pet. Human shampoos shouldn't be used as they can be too harsh and may strip the coat's natural oils as well as dehydrating the skin.

Dogs are fairly amenable to bathing but it is important to make sure the coat is free of mud and other debris, as this can inactivate the shampoo.

Cats tend to be quite clean animals, grooming themselves with their tongues so they usually don't require a bath unless they are unable to clean themselves through illness, injury or old age.

When bathing any animal, the safety of both the animal and yourself must be considered. If using a bath, place a non-slip mat or towel in the bottom. Many animals will become worried if they can't grip the surface and once water is involved, most surfaces become even more slippery. This makes the whole process quite stressful and potentially dangerous so always take extra care when lifting a pet in and out of the bath.

Never put the plug in either as an animal can drown in even a small depth of water. It is best to use a shower-head, either attached to the taps or from the over-bath shower unit. It is also helpful to have an extra pair of hands available, one to hold the animal and the other pair to wash.

Water should be lukewarm and only use a shampoo specifically designed for your pet as recommended by a vet. Wash delicate areas, such as the face, using a sponge, taking care not to get shampoo in the eyes or ears. …

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