Washing a dog is washing a dog is washing a dog, right?
Absolutely not! Not when mites are present, especially Demodectic mites.
Demodectic mites are follicular parasites that burrow deep in your dog’s follicles and pores where they do everything they can to keep themselves safe. They create protective walls of yuck that oxidizes into brick-like obstacles. Since Mite Avenge can’t kill them if it can’t touch them, you need a special shampoo to open the pores and follicles and gradually break it up. The only thing that will get the job done is a pet shampoo containing 2½ to 3% benzoyl peroxide.
When treating Sarcoptic or Cheyletiella mange, benzoyl peroxide shampoo is optional. It will soften the skin and can help clear a more open path to reach the mites.
- If you don’t already have a good sprayer that delivers a bit of pressure, consider investing in a hand-held showerhead, faucet sprayer or removable sprayer attachment that fits over your spigot. The goal is to be able to aggressively rinse every inch with copious amounts of warm water with a moderate amount of pressure. Sluicing out follicles with tons of warm water is the key to flushing out the most gunk and mites possible.
- Always use the warmest water possible for bathing and rinsing. Cold air or cold water is counter-productive. Warmth relaxes and opens the skin but cold water constricts pores and follicles, which prevents the shampoo and Mite Avenge from penetrating enough to do their jobs. Chilly baths are also pretty miserable and we don’t want dogs to learn to fear treatments.
- The shampooing and treatment process should take approximately half an hour. Anxious or fearful dogs may benefit from calming aids administered at least 30 minutes prior to treatment. There are many homeopathic and natural products on the market as well as calming essential oil blends. Soothing music during the process can also be helpful.
The perfect bath:
- Flow warm running water over the dog for several minutes to encourage faster opening of pores and follicles.
- Apply generous amounts of shampoo. Cover every part of the dog’s body, including facial areas, leaving no safe places. Use protective eye drops if necessary. Avoid using Flush & Kill if open wounds are present
- Lather well for at least 10 minutes using massaging and kneading motions to help loosen accumulated and oxidized crud within the follicles. Your final step prior to rinsing (if skin condition permits) is to express out whatever loosened subcutaneous matter you can. Gather folds of skin as close to the body as possible without causing discomfort. Gripping both sides of the skin, gently squeeze as you slide your hands upward to push out whatever you can.
- Once the shampoo has done its thing, it’s time to clear out the follicles. Light or even normal rinsing won’t cut it. Hold your sprayer close to the skin and spray against the grain. Work in small sections, thoroughly and aggressively flooding the skin with warm water. Make sure you rinse exhaustively! It’s not weird to rinse as long or longer as you lathered. Your goal is to flush as much stuck garbage as possible, some of which is six layers down.
Good to know:
- Treats are your friend.
- Benzoyl peroxide shampoo for pets is a specialty product that’s hard to find. People often ask about making themselves. Don’t. This is not the time to put on your lab coat and whip up your own. Adding benzoyl peroxide to other types of pet shampoo is too risky. Besides precise proportioning, things like component grade, compatibility, particulate size, and contaminants will affect safety and effectiveness.