How Often Should I Bathe My Pet With Skin Allergies

Bathing a pet with skin allergies

Oh, come on. Who doesn’t like to pamper their pet baby and see them come back home all groomed and cute? We know we do and we hope you do too. There’s one cause for concern for many pet parents however and that is how often should you bathe your pet with skin allergies?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common dermatological problems faced by our pets, what we can do to keep them clean without causing any accidental and hurtful irritations, and where you can take your pet for grooming in Irvine and Newport Beach.

Common Allergies and Skin Conditions in Dogs

Unfortunately, many dogs suffer from several conditions that make their skins itch and become irritated. Many of these can be parasitical or viral in nature, but we want to make sure we explore them all.

Other reasons why your dog may develop allergic dermatitis include environmental allergens and food allergies that cause itching. Such itchy spots are usually around the base of the tail, ears, and paws. Food allergies may also cause gastrointestinal symptoms.

Please note that if your dog ingests something you know causes allergies, you should not induce vomiting on your own. Contact an emergency veterinary hospital to get the help you need and avoid damage to your pet and yourself.

You should also watch out for allergies caused by mold, dust, or pollen. Such reactions are usually seasonal and manifest itchy spots around your dog’s paws, ears, around their eyes, groin, muzzle, and wrists.

As your dog itches and scratches the area, they may risk developing secondary infections from open wounds. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not good when your dog licks their wounds, as they may risk opening up the skin once more and exposing it to yeast infections. Check out this other blog post about veterinary care for open wounds.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

Ugh. Fleas.

Fleas are one of the most prevalent causes of concern for pet owners. Maybe you can’t easily see these tiny insects, but one way to spot them is to the traces of droppings or eggs on your dog’s coat.

The most common telltale sign is excessive licking or scratching with your dog’s paws or teeth. Pay close attention to any scabs and hot spots as they may signify severe flea infestations. 

You may not think these are too dangerous, but the infestation may result in dermatitis from the hypersensitivity to the flea’s saliva as they feed; furthermore, these infestations can cause significant blood loss and anemia, exposing your dog to additional complications, causing open wounds and leaving them open to other parasitical infections, such as tapeworms.

How to Treat Fleas in Dogs?

Fleas are not a seasonal thing, so you should always be on the lookout for the signs of a flea infestation. You can use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo designed for dogs to get rid of the fleas during your dog’s next bath.

Just remember to be gentle and not abuse the chemicals used as this will stip your dog’s skin from essential oils which could worsen or cause dermatitis. Ask your trusted vet about topical steroids, antibiotic creams, oral antihistamines, and other shampoos to help with infestation and skin disease.

Mange (Mites)

Some mites, such as Demodex or Scabies can cause skin complications on your dog. Demodectic mange, caused by the Demodex mites arises when there’s an abnormality in your dog’s immune system. Usually, these mites shouldn’t be a problem, but during the described imbalances in your dog’s system, they can cause bald spots, scabbing, and sores. 

These skin problems can lead to subsequent bacterial infections and itching. This condition is not contagious between animals or people, but you should still get professional help from a trained vet in Newport Beach.

The other type of mange, sarcoptic mange, is not as common but could spread easily among dogs and people. Still, the parasite is known to die quickly when it reaches a human host.

How to Treat Mange in Dogs

As these conditions result from different types of parasites, you will require a specific parasiticide prescribed by a veterinarian to help control the infection until the symptoms disappear. Your pet’s veterinarian will have to first identify the parasites with a skin scraping procedure. 

How Often Should I Groom My Pet?

Different pets have unique requirements based on their lifestyle and specific traits. Dogs that live indoors vs outdoors should have different care necessities. How long is your dog’s coat? What season are you in? Do they have healthy skin or do they suffer from some type of dermatitis?

You might want to consider taking your dog to the groomer or bathing them yourself once a month. However, dogs with shorter and finer hair can get away with a visit to the groomer every 8 to 12 weeks, whereas pet parents of dogs with longer and thicker furs should consider going to the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks. Pets suffering from allergies and skin infections often need more frequent bathing.

How Do You Groom Your Dog at Home?

Whatever the bathing frequency you choose, start by constantly brushing your dog’s coat and establishing adequate bathing practices. 

When your dog suffers from allergic or dermatological complications, you might want to consider bathing them more often to help relieve pain and itching. Keep this up even as you treat any secondary infections with antibiotic creams. 

Always check with your preferred veterinarian in Irvine, CA what kind of shampoo is appropriate for your dog’s condition. You wouldn’t want to mix anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-itch, rehydrating, and other specialized products. 

Follow the prescribed instructions carefully as you wouldn’t want to over wash. You might feel like you’re doing your dog a favor and improving their condition, but washing them too much could harm your pet’s skin. Leaving cleaning products for too long could further irritate your pet’s skin and deplete any natural oils, drying out the skin, and causing brittle hair and bald patches or dandruff.

In general:

  • Choose a time when your dog is rested and calm,
  • Prepare lukewarm water,
  • Keep your pet’s eyes and ears shampoo-free,
  • Don’t leave cleaning products on your dog for too long,
  • Rinse carefully,
  • Dry thoroughly with patting motions,
  • Avoid using a blow dryer to prevent burning your pet,
  • Follow product instructions carefully,
  • Only use veterinarian-recommended products.

Find a Veterinarian in Newport Beach

You will want to keep in mind a veterinarian emergency hospital where you can take your pet when they have health problems that require immediate specialized help.

Make sure you check out more information on our website and give us a call if you’re coming with your pet so we can prepare and help you exactly in the way you need.

Picture of Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>
Picture of Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Young Joo Kim, DVM, MS

Dr. Kim received his DVM degree from Seoul National University, College of Veterinary Medicine, one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. He also earned a M.S. degree from the same school in Veterinary Anatomy and Histology.

Biography >>