Keep clean! Answers to 5 common questions about pet skin and coat care

dog bathing grooming

earthbath lives for cute and clean dogs, but these suds aren't good for your dog... read on to find out why!

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that we’re frequently asked for tips on how to bathe our four-legged friends and which products are best for which ailments. Fortunately, we have a lot of answers!

Here are our answers to five questions we’re commonly asked about pet hygiene:

How often should I bathe my dog?
The ASPCA gives a blanket recommendation that dogs need a good bath at least once every three months. However, as with most things, one size does NOT fit all… we’re more inclined to say: “It depends!” As in, it depends on what breed of dog you have, if your dog has any specific skin sensitivities and allergies, your dog’s coat type, what season it is, your dog’s activity level (which may vary based on climate, season, breed, and your lifestyle…), how dirty your dog is (duh!) and of course, the kind of shampoo you use! You can be confident in bathing your dog much more frequently if you know the shampoo contains only the most gentle and pure ingredients, and has nothing in it that will irritate your dog’s skin… i.e. earthbath shampoos! For even more detail on this topic, see our blog post: “How often should I bathe my dog?”

Can’t I just use baby shampoo or some other kind of “gentle” human shampoo on my dog?
You could… but your dog won’t be happy about it, and you’ll end up regretting it! Here’s the thing: A dog’s skin has a pH that is almost as neutral as the pH of pure water. Human skin is much more acidic than a dog’s skin, so the kinds of “pH balanced” shampoos for human hair, while balanced for our more acidic skin, are very irritating to a dog’s coat and skin. In addition, the soap ingredients in human shampoos, responsible for those fluffy, bubbly suds, are also responsible for a triple skin whammy of drying, irritating, and stripping.  Over time, the soap and acidic pH of human shampoos will strip away the hair’s protective qualities, removing valuable oil from the coat and skin, resulting in dry, irritated skin and a dull coat. Bottom line is: Never use human shampoo on your dog. For more on what makes a quality dog shampoo, check out our article that addresses this issue in detail.

My dog has dry, flaky skin. What is the best remedy?
All natural oatmeal and aloe is recommended by veterinarians to effectively soothe skin irritation, promote healing, and re-moisturize sensitive, dry skin. So earthbath came to the rescue by specially formulating our top selling Oatmeal & Aloe itch relief shampoo to address the needs of our four legged friends with dry, flaky skin. For even more itchiness, try our Tea Tree & Aloe shampoo: Tea Tree Oil has long been recognized as an effective and beneficial ointment for skin irritations, insect bites and itching and aloe vera is widely known as one of nature’s finest soothing emollients. Together, these pure, natural ingredients soothe and relieve hot spots and itchy, dried or chafed skin caused by flea bites, dandruff or other dermatitis.

How can I brighten my dog’s white coat?
A beautiful gleaming white dog is a stunning sight to behold – but unfortunately, these white coats can go from snowy white to “yellow snow” very quickly. To prevent this, or to bring back your dog’s snow-white coat, use earthbath’s Light Color Coat Brightener shampoo, containing a special selection of natural minerals (known as optical brighteners) blended with the essence of lavender to naturally brighten your dog’s white coat! In fact, this wonderfully aromatic and mild shampoo naturally brightens the coats of any dog or cat and will leave your best friend’s coat shiny, soft, plush, and smelling naturally fresh. You might be surprised to hear that some of our most devoted light coat shampoo fans are actually black dogs and multi-colored dogs! As with all of our shampoos, it’s soap-free, and won’t wash off topical flea applications.

How can I help my dog ward off fleas, mosquitoes and ticks?
Great question, no matter where you live! As we head into the summer season, it’s smart to protect your pet from these pests. Bathing your dogs and cats regularly with a good, natural shampoo is your best first line of defense against fleas and ticks. earthbath’s Orange Peel Oil Shampoo is great for flea prevention due to its concentrated citrus oil, and it also calms & relieves the itching that comes from insect bites, including mosquito bites and flea bites. In addition to thoroughly cleaning your pet, the concentrated citrus oil in this shampoo will bring out the coat’s natural highlights and generate a brilliant sheen. Orange Peel Oil is the natural oil rendered from oranges, and is very effective at killing fleas. More questions? See these comprehensive blog posts on everything you want to know about fleas, ticks, and check out our guide to natural remedies for flea prevention and flea control!