Itchy Butts and Stinky Dogs

Why is your dog always itchy and stinky?

Didn’t you just give him a bath 2 days ago? Well, it could be due to allergies, hotspots, fleas or ticks. Or it could be the shampoo. Sure, you’ve heard it before, don’t use people shampoo on dogs, they have different Ph levels, or they have sensitive skin. Can’t you just use baby shampoo? Sure, of course you can. You can even use dish detergent, but I don’t recommend it.

Your dog’s skin IS different than yours

They don’t have the same top layer of skin that we do. Instead they have a layer of oils that protects their skin. This layer is what protects them from dirt, bacteria, allergens, and all those nasty things they just LOVE to roll in, especially after you’ve just given them a bath. That top layer of oil is what comes off when you give them a bath, so it’s important to make sure that you can replenish this, and allow them to be able to regenerate this layer quickly, naturally, and safely.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it. But here’s the trick: RINSE. That layer of oil cannot come back because their skin gets clogged by shampoo. That’s why is soooooo important to make sure all the shampoo is rinsed out, no matter what type of shampoo you use. We do strongly (very strongly) recommend using only dog shampoos, and with that, oatmeal or gentle natural shampoos unless otherwise suggested by your vet. These shampoos are specially formulated to work WITH your pet’s skin layers to help these layers breathe and to not strip all the oils away. But even when using these shampoos, there are these tips to washing your dog.

Thoroughly wet the dog.

Thoroughly. Your dog’s coat protects it from the elements, and most have a coat that is at least partially water resistant. That’s why when they are wet and they shake, you get soaked but somehow the hair by their skin is still bone dry. Wet your dog thoroughly, but checking close to the skin and holding the sprayer even against the skin (not dragging it across).

Shampoo the dog.

Pay attention to the shampoo, most are designed to be diluted in water before use. A little shampoo goes a long way, and lather doesn’t prove it’s working. Rub the shampoo in and massage the dog while shampooing. It does help.


Rinse the dog thoroughly, until ALL the shampoo is out.

Once you’ve finished rinsing, RINSE again.

Seriously, go over the whole dog once, twice, three more times. Any shampoo residue left on your dog will bother your dog. It will either clog the skin layers and cause hot spots, itchies, or worse.

There are also a number of conditioners available for pets. Some are spray on and leave on, some are rinse off. These are designed to reduce static electricity and softness and shine, but they also help restore the natural oils in the dogs coat, and the protective layer for their skin. Again, a little goes a long way.

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