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Bathing FAQs


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Q.  Can I use my human shampoo on my pet?
Q.  Are there any special steps that should be taken before I bathe my pet?
Q.  What is the best water temperature to use for bathing my pet?
Q.  How should I wash my pet's face?
Q.  How often can I give my pet a bath?
Q.  When should I begin to bathe my puppy?
Q.  My pet doesn't like water, how can I bathe him?

Q.  Can I use my human shampoo on my pet?
A. 
No. You should never use shampoo that is made for humans on your pet. Human shampoos contain harsher detergents, are not pH balanced for pets, and could damage hair or sensitive skin.
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Q.  Are there any special steps that should be taken before I bathe my pet?
A. 
Yes. You should always brush and de-mat your pet before bathing him. Brushing removes loose hair and helps to loosen caked on dirt. Removing mats is much easier before bathing than after. You should also put an ophthalmic ointment in your pet's eyes, and cotton balls in their ears to help protect them and keep water out.
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Q.  What is the best water temperature to use for bathing my pet?
A. 
The proper water temperature to use when bathing your pet is lukewarm water, cooler than you would like. This is the best temperature for your pet's comfort and for the shampoo to be most effective.
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Q.  How should I wash my pet's face?
A. 
To wash your pet's face, saturate a towel with water and shampoo and wipe his face, being careful not to get shampoo in your pet's eyes.
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Q.  How often can I give my pet a bath?
A. 
As long as you use the proper shampoo, you can bathe your pet more than once weekly and not damage his coat.
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Q.  When should I begin to bathe my puppy?
A.  There is no reason why you cannot bathe your puppy as soon as you get him home. Let him settle down and get accustomed to his surroundings before bathing him. Be sure to use a shampoo that is specially formulated for use with puppies, like Drs. Foster & Smith Puppy Shampoo.
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Q.  My pet doesn't like water, how can I bathe him?
A. 
Dry and waterless shampoos are available for use on pets that do not like water. They are applied to the coat and either brushed through or massaged into a lather and wiped off. These shampoos help, but they are not as effective as a wet bath.
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