The following has been written by Monique van de Ven, studied animal geneticist, coach for veterinarians and groomer and instructors at the Iv San Bernard Academy:
Bathe or not to bathe is the question – Why do we ask ourselves if we should bathe our dogs or not bathe? Why are there still so many dog owners who believe it is better not to bathe dogs?
The hair (or coat) of cats and dogs protects and isolates their bodies and helps to maintain their body temperature. A healthy coat protects the body from heat loss and mosquitoes. The coat also acts as protection against ultraviolet radiation, heat, cold, moisture and other external influences. This is why, in principle, according to the breed, a healthy coat helps to keep the dog healthy.
Each type of coat has de facto special needs and a good groomer should be able to recognize this and then implement the correct information about the particular facts.
Many important metabolic processes take place on the skin surface, such as peripheral aromatization of oestrogens and androgens. The immune system of the skin has one of the most important protective functions against microorganisms, allergies and parasites.
The skin glands produce a protective layer useful for skin protection, which plays a fundamental role as an external chemical inhibitor against damaging substances. It is referred to as an acid protection coat, the hydro lipid film produced by sweat and sebaceous glands. The fats contained therein allow a better antibacterial function than the lipids produced by the skin glands.
The PH value of the dog skin (healthy dogs) ranges from 5.9 to 6.9, while it is sufficient for the soles of the paws from 7.1 to 7.4. It must be known that a lower PH value (slightly acidic) has more bacteria-inhibiting and bactericidal activity.
Other important facts and measures that lead to a healthy dog
- Grooming products are very important.
- For a professional product range you need products with the corresponding PH value 6.5.
- A shampoo can simply cleanse or contain special substances that penetrate into the skin to fulfil a certain purpose or effect.
- Very important is the conditioner! You should never bathe the dog with shampoo without using a conditioner that is adapted to the different hair types – short, medium, long, junior or senior.
- Conditioners close the skin pores.
- Hair care products and water remove dirt, skin debris and unwanted substances.
- Each breed has its own special needs, for example: the Labrador Retriever is a dog suitable for the water, which therefore needs more grease (oils) than other breeds. These oils are blended perfectly with conditioner.
- A good groomer should be able to accurately dose what the dog she or she is treating needs.
- We can bathe for the purpose of preservation or beauty or as a dermatological treatment at the cosmetic level. Good grooming and good veterinary treatment do not interfere with each other. On the contrary, they complement each other.
- Never use products developed for people and never shampoos without a conditioner following!
- Normally, a dog should be bathed (once a month), as the skin is self-sufficient during this period. This period can change if the dog is living in the city or if he needs a hair treatment, for example a special SPA treatment.
- We should never forget that 300 years ago people died prematurely due to lack of hygiene. Always care for good hygienic conditions!
This is a recommendation by Iv San Bernard for the well-being of your best friend and living together in harmony! Monique van de Ven – International Technician – Iv San Bernard Education