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Do I Need to Use Conditioner on My Dog?

Many pet parents reach for the dog shampoo when they bathe their pups to remove the dirt and grime from their coats, but have you ever used dog conditioner? 

Just like in humans, dog conditioner is specially formulated to add moisture and hydration to your dog’s fur, leaving their coat smooth and shiny. 
In addition to a healthy, moisturized coat, conditioner can also have a variety of other benefits for your dog. Read on to learn if dog conditioner is right for your pup, and how they can benefit from its addition at bath time. 

Dog being bathed with shampoo and conditioner

4 Benefits of Using Dog Conditioner During Your Dog’s Bath Time

If you’ve never used conditioner on your dog’s skin and coat before, here are 4 great benefits of adding it to your dog’s bath time routine. 

1. Soothe Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

For dogs with allergies, skin irritation from too many medicated baths, or other skin inflammation, conditioner adds moisture and hydration back into your itchy dog’s skin. 
This not only helps to soothe your dog’s itchy skin, but it can wash away the irritants causing your pup to itch. 
This can be helpful for dogs with seasonal pollen allergies—the more thoroughly you can rid your dog’s skin and fur of the pollen, the better your dog will feel. 

2. Keep Your Dog’s Coat Healthy and Shiny

Because traditional shampoo strips your dog’s coat of its natural oils, especially after an intensive bathing session, it can leave your pup’s fur looking dull and lackluster. 

Conditioner adds much-needed moisture and replenishes the oils that the shampoo stripped away, leaving your pup with a soft, healthy, and shiny coat. 
To avoid stripping your dog’s skin from bathing, look for a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo that is designed for dogs with sensitive skin, like Dandylion Soothe Gentle Cleansing Shampoo.

3. Detangle Your Dog’s Long Coat

Pups with especially long fur, like Afghan Hounds or Maltese breeds, are prone to tangles and mats that can be hard to brush out after their bath. 
Conditioner helps soften their fur and loosen stubborn tangles, making their after-bath brush a breeze. This also helps reduce the time it takes to groom them, which both you and your pup can appreciate.

4. Help Your Dog’s Skin Retain Moisture After Baths

Conditioner helps restore your dog’s natural oils, leaving the skin feeling elastic and moisturized. This added hydration can help prevent dry, irritated skin before it becomes itchy. 

Conditioner can also be extra helpful for pups with sensitive skin that use medicated shampoos. These shampoos can be especially harsh on your dog’s skin, leaving them dry. Conditioner adds that hydration and moisture back into your pup’s skin.

Is Dog Conditioner Right for Your Dog?

While dog conditioner may not be necessary for every dog, it can provide benefits for every dog. 
Before you add conditioner to your dog’s bath time routine, here are a few factors you should consider. 

How Long Your Dog’s Coat Is

As previously mentioned, dog conditioner is great for pups with long hair that often tangles. It helps to soften their fur and makes removing tangles easier. If your pup has long hair, dog conditioner can be a great option. 
If you have a short-haired dog, dog conditioner may not be helpful for brushing your dog, but it can still help your dog in other ways.

How Often Your Dog Gets Bathed

If your dog is a regular in the bathtub, whether they love playing in backyard mud puddles or they have medicated shampoo from their vet, dog conditioner can have a significant impact on your pup’s skin health.  
The conditioner will add the hydration and moisture that your dog’s skin will desperately need, leaving them feeling soothed and refreshed. 

How Sensitive Your Dog’s Skin Is

For dogs with sensitive skin, your instinct may be to limit the products that you use on your dog, especially products that you apply directly to your pup’s skin, like conditioner. 

Conditioner can actually benefit your dog’s sensitive skin, as long as you reach for gentle formulations. Look for dog conditioners made without:
  • Artificial fragrances and dyes
  • Essential oils
  • Sulfates
  • Drying alcohols

All these ingredients only serve to further irritate and dry out your dog’s already sensitive skin. With a gentle conditioner, free of harsh ingredients, the added moisture will help soothe your dog’s skin.

How Easy Bath Time is With Your Dog

For some pet parents, bath time is a dreaded chore. If your dog hates baths, or they turn bath time into a wrestling match, you’ll want to keep their baths as short and sweet as possible. 

In those cases, adding an extra step with a conditioner may seem daunting and unnecessary, even if your dog’s skin and coat could benefit from the conditioner’s moisture and hydration.

If you prefer to keep bath time as short as possible, opt for a quick rinse formulation, like Dandylion’s Nourish Gentle Hydrating Conditioner
While we prefer to use a separate shampoo for deep cleaning your pup and a separate conditioner for adding moisture, you can also opt for a 2-in-1 formulation. 

Dog being washed in a bathtub

Can You Use Human Conditioner on Your Dog?

While it may be tempting to reach for your own conditioner, human conditioner can be harmful to your dog’s skin.

Ingredients in human conditioners have been formulated for human skin which is a different pH level than dog skin and fur. 

Because of this, human conditioner can have the opposite effect than what you want with conditioner—it can strip your dog’s skin of moisture and leave it irritated and inflamed. 

Gentle, Plant-Powered Dog Conditioner to Nourish Your Dog’s Skin

Every dog can benefit from using conditioners, but not all dog conditioners are created equally. For pups with sensitive skin, we recommend looking specifically for a gentle conditioner.

These are specially formulated without harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, artificial dyes and fragrances, and formaldehyde that can be irritating to your dog’s sensitive skin. 

Dandylion’s Nourish Gentle Hydrating Dog Conditioner is specifically created for dog’s with sensitive skin issues and is created to help bring moisture back to the skin and soften the fur.

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