Dogs have become our companions over the thousands of years during which we domesticated them and many people share their houses or even their beds with their beloved pooches. Living closely together with our pets, we place increased value on their appearance, since most people want their dog to have a shiny, clean coat with a pleasant smell.
Every dog can benefit from regular brushing. It removes loose hairs, debris and dead skin cells. Especially dogs with long, silky or curly coats can be brushed daily because this prevents their hair from becoming tangled or matted, especially around the ears, in the armpits, or along the back of the legs. Shorthaired dogs require less frequent brushing, but regular – at least twice a week – brushing of any dog will significantly decrease amount of loose hair around the apartment.
This allows us to regularly examine the fur and quickly find any knots, tangles, matted hair, burrs or twigs that might have become trapped in the coat during a walk. By doing this we can also recognize some potential health concerns, for example parasites such as fleas and ticks, or areas of sensitivity, unusual lumps, hot spots, etc. and treat them.
It is best for a dog to get used to combing when it is a puppy, because it will learn to enjoy it soon and we can use this time for pleasant socializing.
Most dogs require bathing when their coat becomes dirty or when they develop a ‘doggy odor’. This is usually once per month or even less. Therefore, if your dog is healthy, has a clean coat and does not smell bad, there is no need for bathing. Of course, if a dog jumps in a mud or dirty pond or rubs its whole body in something questionable, then you will not even consider allowing it into the house without bathing it first.
There are some other factors that need to be considered, because every dog is different. How often your dog needs bathing will also vary with his type of hair, age, lifestyle, and health status. Those who are very active and are taken on a walk in the nature everyday will get dirty and smelly sooner than those who spend most of their time rolling around on the couch. In any case, it is not advisable to bathe them more than once per week, except in the case of dermatological problems, skin parasites or allergies and always according to the instructions of your veterinarian.
We also need to be careful when choosing a shampoo for our dog. Only products that are specially adapted for the dog’s hair and its pH are recommended. Human shampoo is far too harsh for their skin. Most shampoos do not only remove dirt from the coat, but the oily layer of the epidermis as well. If there is enough time between the bathing, this layer can regenerate, however if we shampoo the dog too often, this will not happen and the skin will turn dry and scaly, which can lead to dandruff, itchiness and constant scratching.
This is why we recommend Arava Dead Sea Pet Spa natural shampoos and conditioners, which are completely natural and based on essential oils and Dead Sea minerals. Arava products are completely free of hazardous chemicals and pesticides, family friendly and of very high quality. They do not remove the protective oily layer of the skin, no matter how often they are used. After use, the skin and coat are regenerated, revitalized and have a very pleasant smell. For dogs that have distinctive skin folds, we recommend Arava Pet Paw & Body Wipes for quick cleaning. They are suitable for routine use and can prevent fungal infections between the skin folds.
Maruša Ahaj, dr. vet. med.