Just as humans have shampoos that target different scalp and hair problems, your pooch also needs the right shampoo. But remember, never use a human shampoo on your dog’s coat – it contains chemicals that’s harsh on dog’s skin. The anatomy of the skin of dogs is different hence the chemicals which are soothing to us in our human shampoo may not be comfortable for the pets, or suit them.
One of the common problems faced by dogs is dandruff. Similar to human dandruff, it is dead skin that flakes off and stays on the coat. This dead skin results in itching, which can start a vicious cycle of more dandruff and thus, increased itching. Fortunately, anti-dandruff pet shampoos are widely available. But the first step is to rule out any other medical conditions that may be causing the dandruff — such as fleas, allergies, or eczema — because these require specific medication.
Right nutrition: A diet that lacks adequate amounts of iron, zinc and vitamin B, encourages the formation of dandruff. So, pet parents should ensure that their dogs eat enough lean red meat, greens or the correct readymade pet food that gives the best possible nutrition.
Shampoo – how often? How often you shampoo your dog can also affect the formation of dandruff. Also, a daily bath may lead to fungal problem as dogs don’t have sweat glands, and unlike humans or horse or cattle, dogs should not undergo daily bath. Thus, it is advisable to ask your vet how often is just right. In most cases, vets recommend a three week to one month’s interval between baths. If there are medical conditions, then depending on the kind of skin problem, long-haired breed or short-haired breed and climatic condition the frequency of bath should be decided. If the coat gets excessively dirty, the shampoo may be required sooner.
Types of shampoos...
Pet shampoos can be identified according to their contents.
-Pyrithione zinc shampoo: This shampoo contains zinc pyrithione, which consists of antibacterial and antifungal agents. Shampoo in this category is suited for the coat containing fungus that can lead to dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis formation.
-Tar-based shampoo: These shampoos contain coal tar which comes from the coal manufacturing process and can help overcome dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis by slowing down cell death and the exfoliation of skin.
- Shampoo containing salicylic acid: This kind of shampoo helps remove layers of dandruff, but can dry the coat. Using a conditioner for dogs after the shampoo is advisable.
-Ketoconazole shampoo:Ketoconazole is a broad-spectrum antifungal agent that may work when other shampoos have failed.
Check with your vet to make sure you’re using a suitable shampoo for your dog. If the condition of your pet’s coat doesn’t change for the better after a couple of shampoo sessions, contact your vet. If you see the condition suddenly getting worse after one shampoo, call your vet immediately. In short, shampoo them right.
(Dr Munmun De, veterinary surgeon)
TIP: A diet that lacks adequate amounts of iron, zinc and vitamin B, encourages the formation of dandruff.
Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]
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