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Washing a Dog *too* often

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Our family just got our first dog: an adorable 1.5 year old rescue pup.  She is pretty much a mutt and weighs 12 lbs (as of our first vet appointment with her yesterday.

 

Both DD & I have dog allergies.  Everyone (including the dog, lol, according to the vet) has seasonal allergies.  Because of this, I want to keep dander to a minimum.  For the past two weeks I've been vacumning every 1-2 days.  We have doggie blankets for her to lay on that I can just throw in the laundry every few days (one for the couch she is usually on, one upstairs, one in the car).  We've been brushing her daily.

 

So far, we've washed her four times.  I washed her last Sunday and then didn't again until this Saturday.  By Thursday my eyes were swollen and I was starting to have a little breathing issue.  I held out on the rescue inhaler until today, but washing once a week is just not going to cut it.

 

Should it be okay to wash her twice a week?  Do you have other suggestions?  She's actually quite good with the bath (she doesn't like them, but she does allow us to wash and brush her) so I don't mind the more frequent baths, but other options are also welcome.  The vet says not more than once a week, but I need to breathe!  What problems does more frequent washing cause?

post #2 of 14
Mostly it can dry out the dog's skin and cause itching and irritation. Maybe you could find a dog shampoo that is more skin-moisturizing (and one that keeps dander down, too... I know I've seen some marketed for that).

I know with my pets, my allergies gradually get better as I get used to their dander... my 20 year old cat doesn't bother me at all now, although other cats still do. Something to look forward to anyway...
post #3 of 14

i would vaccum 1-2 times a day and brush her every day or so. I would also recommend a good antihistamine to go along with it. You can get dry shampoos that might help and not dry her out so much.

post #4 of 14

I never bathe my dogs (unless they've rolled in dead fish or something). It seems to me that frequent bathing would result in dry skin, causing MORE dander than not bathing at all, but that's just an off-the-top-of-my-head assumption.

 

Good luck - it would be awful to be allergic to my dog.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the ideas!

 

I'll definately look for a moisturizing shampoo.  I'm hoping I acclimate to her and dont' have problems going forward (I've done three series of allergy shots so my allergies are *much* better than they used to be!).   I'll also look into the dry shampoos.  The vet we saw recommended pet wipes, but since we try to minimize disposable products, I didn't love the idea.  I've read that you can use 1 tablespoon dog shampoo in a squirt bottle, spritz it on and then "rinse" it off with a damp cloth.  Not sure how well that will work, though.

 

I didn't think about the fact that the shampoo might cause *more* dander!  That's another problem.  Thanks for giving me so much to think about.

post #6 of 14
Our vet said that like people, it's good to bathe them often. Some have sensitive skin and should not use the flea shampoo because it can bother them.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kindergirl77 View Post

Our vet said that like people, it's good to bathe them often. Some have sensitive skin and should not use the flea shampoo because it can bother them.

 

Do you have any idea what your vet meant by "often"?  Any specific shampoo recommendations?

 

Thanks again!

post #8 of 14

I would also try vacuuming the dog. Some dogs don'tmind the sound and it can help cut down the dander. I would also try using a damp washcloth and rubbing down the dog with that.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elsie View Post

I would also try vacuuming the dog. Some dogs don'tmind the sound and it can help cut down the dander. I would also try using a damp washcloth and rubbing down the dog with that.

 

 

Awesome ideas!  I've gotta try them :)

post #10 of 14

What kind of dog is it? Does it shed a lot? Does she need to be brushed that often? 

I am a pet stylist and I have plenty of experience with pets, show dogs and allergies, as I am myself is allergic to dogs. 

Living with dogs and allergies is possible but it is not the same as for people without allergies. 

You have to look at what managment practices benefit your health and at your dogs needs and if you can blend them.  

 

Dogs skin and coat are like peoples, so it is ok to wash daily if you use right shampoo and follow up with conditioner. Chris Christensen has a Day to Day shampoo that is used on show dogs. they attend circuits shows every day for more that just a wekend) and are bathed daily to wash off styling products used. They have no skin issues. So that is Ok to wash often. In winter time I wash my full coated show cocker at least 2s a week, sometimes more. Show season also has a line of shampoos that are mild. Those are professional brands that need to be ordered online.

 

Unless she is a long coated dog that you absolutely have to keep in long coat, lay off brushing for your own sake. Your dog is like a mop (no offense intended), it lyeys everywhere, it picks up dust and pollen in its coat. When you brush you send all it and sebum particles, oils and dander flying in the air that you breath in and have a reaction. If you take her to groomer and have her clipped  at 1/2-3/4" every 4-6weeks and bath her at home in between, you would not have to worry about brushing her for that period of time. If she is of shedding kind find somebody who does "shedless treatments". They use a special tools and follow up with conditioners. It cuts down shedding by upt o 80% if done every 3-4 weeks. Dry shampoo and wipes really don't do much since they only remove a small portion of dander that is located on top of the coat. However wipes will help you remve pollen that she might have picked up on the walk. You can use simple wet cloth to wipe her off when she comes inside.

Other thing to consider is that a lot of people are allergic to yeasts that live on dog's skin. Using selcium blue shampoo once a week can help deal with that. 

Make sure that she is on good, grain free diet and on flea prevention like Comfortis. It will keep her skin healthy and cause less allergys for you.

 

I had to made a lot of sacrafices to be able to keep dogs and a lot f adjustments to work with them.

I have to take Zirtec daily. My house dogs are not allowed to be on furniture (incuding my poodle and chi) or enter bedrooms. All grooming procedures are done ether outside or at work. At work, I never work with dirty coats. All dogs are bathed before I touch them. I have to wear a mask when I dry and brush them too. But this is something I am passionate about and I cannot imagine doing something else or living without dogs.  

post #11 of 14

I feel your pain. I'm allergic to our dog, which sucks. And the dog has allergies too, like yours does.

 

As others have said, shampooing more than once a week dries out their skin and coat. Dry skin means more flakes means more allergies for you. Your vet is spot on. For the sake of your dog, please don't shampoo your dog more than once a week.

 

Here are my suggestions from personal experience...

 

- Shampoo your dog once a week. I use K9 Kelp, an all natural shampoo that has been really nourishing for my dog's skin and coat. That helps her get through the week with less itching.

- Keep the dog out of the bedroom. I'm really not good at that one ;) But it helps to have a dog-free zone to relieve your allergies.

- Minimize allergens from outside. My dog and I are both allergic to pollen from a tree in our yard. It's really not eco-friendly but during peak allergy season, I hose down the tree and patio every 1-2 days. That way, the dog isn't laying in the pollen and carrying it in the house. If you know what environmental factors trigger allergies for you, DD, and the dog, minimize your exposure to them.

- Brush, brush, brush. Is your dog a shedder? Mine is, and the hair everywhere makes things even worse. I brush her with a slicker brush daily (or try to, anyway) and use a Furminator to get at her undercoat weekly. (Any more than weekly with a Furminator and you'll damage their skin and coat.) It helps to get their loose hair off and into the trash before it ends up everywhere.

- Invest in a good vacuum. Dyson makes a good one for pet owners that my pet-sitter friend swears by. I use a Kirby, which is pretty darn powerful. Cheaper vacuums just won't get everything, no matter how many times a day you vacuum.

- Try pet wipes. They're made specifically to wipe down the dog between baths, catching dander, dirt, and allergens without drying out the dog's skin. You can also DIY with a solution of 2 parts water, 1 part apple cider vinegar, and a towel. The vinegar smell disappears as soon as it dries and it's actually nourishing to the coat.

 

I hope that helps. Good luck!

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

post #13 of 14

Now that pup is clean, try a clear water rinse every day or two. Followed by a misting of sesame oil and water in a sprayer while the dog is still damp (to hold down dander).

You've already removed the build up of urine, dander and saliva, now it may just take maintenance. When you do use shampoo, dilute a bit in a cup of water and then apply, versus direcly from the bottle.

Dr.Alfred Plechner, author and veterinary specialist gave me this info and it helped my husband's allergic reaction immensely. Actually Dr.Pleachner reccomended a weekly bath followed by the mist, I just elaborated..

Good luck and best wishes with your new family member.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiago View Post

Now that pup is clean, try a clear water rinse every day or two. Followed by a misting of sesame oil and water in a sprayer while the dog is still damp (to hold down dander).

You've already removed the build up of urine, dander and saliva, now it may just take maintenance. When you do use shampoo, dilute a bit in a cup of water and then apply, versus direcly from the bottle.

Dr.Alfred Plechner, author and veterinary specialist gave me this info and it helped my husband's allergic reaction immensely. Actually Dr.Pleachner reccomended a weekly bath followed by the mist, I just elaborated..

Good luck and best wishes with your new family member.

 

Thanks!  I especially like the idea of watering down the shampoo--- I keep just pouring it on!

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