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Q&A: Is It Okay to Wash My Dog With Just Water Every Day?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Consistently wet fur can be a problem, especially for Golden Retrievers, who are already prone to skin issues.

Consistently wet fur can be a problem, especially for Golden Retrievers, who are already prone to skin issues.

My Dog Gets Muddy and Wet Every Day—What Can I Do?

"We have a 4-year-old Golden Retriever that goes to a farm every evening and comes back muddy and wet. We use spot-on flea and tick medicine once a month after a shampoo and dry him with a Stanley 500 blower after his daily rinse. Is that okay?" —Sai

Problems to Watch Out For

Goldens love the water, so it is no surprise he is going to a place where he can get muddy and wet every day. There are a couple of potential problems though.

Moist Skin Can Lead to Hot Spots

Goldens have a thick coat and are prone to allergies, so they tend to develop moist dermatitis more than other dog breeds if they are consistently wet. Hot spots can sometimes be treated at home, so make yourself familiar with this problem and take care of it as soon as you see signs.

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Spot-On Flea-and-Tick Medication Needs Time to Set

Your dog definitely should be not allowed in the water for a few days after the medication has been applied. After that, it is considered okay but no testing has been done on dogs that get wet every day.

I have a dog like that and she takes Sarolaner (Simparica®)—an oral flea-and-tick preventative—since the spot-on only lasts a week or so. You will need to get it from your regular veterinarian.

Leaf Blowers Can Cause Noise Phobia

I have no idea if the leaf blower you use is strong enough to cause skin damage, but just the noise is bad enough that it can produce a phobia in some dogs. (1) (Dogs are a lot more sensitive to sound than we are and cannot bear loud noises.)

This may never happen, but if it does your dog is going to need behavioral therapy to get over it. A cheap human blow dryer is not nearly as loud and is a much better solution.

Source

  1. Grigg EK, Chou J, Parker E, Gatesy-Davis A, Clarkson ST, Hart LA. Stress-Related Behaviors in Companion Dogs Exposed to Common Household Noises, and Owners' Interpretations of Their Dogs' Behaviors. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Nov 8;8:760845. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8606548/

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

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