Green > Pet green living > How to Give a Cat or Dog a Dry Bath

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08/08/2011 18:17:51 PM by K.T.Riffic   Send Message to K.T.Riffic  5210  views, category: Pet holistic handbook, Pet green living view all blogs

Dogs and cats do not sweat like humans do. However, they do create oils and fats that are excreted from the skin that help to keep their fur clear of dirt and foreign objects. Washing pets with grease fighting shampoos is sometimes thought to be more of a danger to healthy pets than a help.

The benefits of oils and fats
Dogs and cats naturally produce oils and fats just as humans do. You know how this works if you miss taking a showing or two, especially in the summer. Your hair becomes greasy and itchy. For humans, the build up of these oils is a problem. For pets, it is actually beneficial.

The oils and fats are created under the skin at the roots of the fur. They then move up towards the tips of the fur, pushing any dirt or foreign objects up to the surface with it. As the oils move, they react with the air and dry up. By the time the oils reach the tips, they are dried into dirt and are blown away. That is the white dust that you can sometimes see on dry pets.

Washing dogs too often rids the pet of these beneficial oils and fats. In return, the pet’s bodies naturally produce more oils to balance themselves out. The more they are washed, the more oils they start to produce, causing the owners to think they need to be bathed more often.

Instead of using harsh shampoos to clean the excess oils and fats from the pet, try a dry bath or plain water. A quick swim often works and is what they would do in the wild. A dry bath, however, is something you can do with your pet at home when he or she is itchy due to too much oil on the skin.

A dry bath
Corn starch and baking soda are not only good for cooking with. They can also be used to clean dogs and cats without water. Here is how.

1. Put some corn starch in a container that will be easy to use, even with one hand. It is very effective to put it in a container with holes in the top to sprinkle over the pet.

2. Find a pet brush. The bigger the better for larger dogs.

3. Put something down on the floor for the corn starch to fall on for easy cleanup if you will be doing this inside.

4. Grab the pet. For some, this step might be the most difficult.

5. Use the brush to ruff up the pet’s fur.

6. Begin at the neck and work towards the tail. Sprinkle some corn starch directly on the pet’s fur at the neck.

7. Rub the corn starch into the pet, making sure it gets all the way to the skin.

8. Use the brush to brush the fur back into place and brush out the corn starch.

How it works
That’s it. Nice, easy, and effective. Not only will the pet be clean and less itchy, s/he will also smell pleasant. The reason corn starch or baking soda works is by absorbing the excess oils but not completely washing them away. Both of these products are non toxic and safe for pets to lick.

About the author: Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor... more >>

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