Bathing is 'not essential, but grooming is'

Monday, 10th September 2012

Owners of mammalian pets, such as cats, dogs, rabbits and rodents, do not need to bathe their animals unless it is advised by a vet.

That is according to Dr Candy d’Sa, an animal behaviour consultant and expert witness in animal law, who said that while bathing is not essential, grooming is.

She said: "Grooming removes dirt (therefore maybe preventing infection), removes dead hair (therefore stimulating new hair growth) and generally strengthens the pet-human bond. Thick-coated/long-haired pets require more grooming, often daily.

"Many pet species/breeds have been selectively bred to have long coats purely for aesthetic reasons - these coats are often not practical and grooming is essential."

If an animal's coat has something noxious on it, a vet may well suggest bathing, she explained.

Dr d'Sa added that pet birds do need to bathe, and should be provided with a large water bowl to do this. Tropical birds, such as parrots, will also need to be mist-sprayed with water on a regular basis, she said.