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Ask Bondi Vet - Do I really need to use dog shampoo?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hello and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. My names Pete Lazer and we are joined by on of our wonderful Bondi vets Dr. Danni. Danni thanks for joining us. This is the place you get all the wonderful questions form our friends out there and this one is from Ben. Ben asks:

“Do I really need to use dog shampoo or does any shampoo work”.

I am presuming that Ben’s talking about using the shampoo on his dog.

Dr Danni Dusek - Yes I think so. I guess it’s something that’s quite counterintuitive, because you would think that dogs have very really tough skin so why couldn’t you just use what we use on our skin. It’s actually not the case because dogs have very different skin to us. They don’t have a plug in their follicle, so that makes the skin quite susceptible to irritation and they actually have a totally different PH to their skin then we do. So that actually predisposes them to infection if we use the wrong sorts of shampoo and conditioners on their skin.

Pete Lazer - So let’s talk about that, what sorts of shampoos should we be using with our dogs?

Dr Danni Dusek - So certainly anything that’s been designed for a dog would be fine to use, but depending on your specific dog it might be worth having a chat to your vet whether there is one that’s more appropriate depending on whether they have any underlying skin issues, certainly some dogs need sensitive shampoo and skin conditioners if they’ve got an issue with their skin barrier. Otherwise if they have a build up of bacteria and yeast then using medicated shampoos might be a better option. So that’s where having a chat to the vet will help.

Pete Lazer - Being a boy I just get as much as i can, lather it all on myself and just whack it on my head. Is there a certain way that you should do it with your pet.

Dr Danni Dusek - There is a certain way to sort of avoid the risk of irritation. So I always suggest to clients to make sure they dilute down whatever shampoo it is that you are using on you dog before you apply it, just to avoid that irritation and then obviously go ahead with your lathering and give a thorough rinse at the end, so you make sure you get all that shampoo and everything off.

Pete Lazer - We always love making our pets look shiny and fluffy and new, how often and how frequently should you be shampooing and washing your dog ?

Dr Danni Dusek - Now this definitely depends on whether there is underlying skin disease, so once again have a chat to you vet. If you’ve got an otherwise healthy dog with no skin problems I wouldn’t wash them anymore then once a month, cause otherwise you can dry out the skin and cause other skin issues.

Pete Lazer - And any advice for people who have got those dogs who don’t really like being shampooed and played with in the bath, because my old dog he didn’t like that at all.

Dr Danni Dusek - Yeah, one tip is to actually if you are in a bathroom you can actually smear a little bit of peanut butter on the wall. Most dogs love peanut butter and you can put that on the tiles and they will just lick that away whilst you are busy washing them.

Pete Lazer - There you go. Thanks so much Danni, there’s things we never even knew here on Ask Bondi Vet. If you’ve got any questions make sure you get onto or Facebook page for Bondi vet, or of course leave you question at Thanks so much Danni, we look forward to seeing you again very soon.