Blog - demodectic mange

How to Properly Bathe Your Dog with Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo

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Washing a dog is washing a dog is washing a dog, right? Absolutely not! Not when mites are present, especially Demodectic mites.

Demodex burrow deep in your dog’s follicles and pores. They eat the yeast down there so they go down to the darkest, most moist place where yeast grows the best. They push sappy sebum and toxic waste back in an effort to protect themselves. With time that gunk oxidizes. Your dog can end up with layers of gunk that harbors mites, traps yeast and bacteria, fosters secondary infection, increases inflammation, and creates an all-around unhealthy environment.

This is why benzoyl peroxide shampoo is not optional. It is essential when treating Demodex as it is the only thing known that opens pores and follicles and breaks down the walls of impenetrable yuck. A benzoyl peroxide pet shampoo with a concentration of 2½ to 3% benzoyl peroxide is what is required. We offer a basic and enhanced version if you need them.

Benzoyl peroxide shampoo is hard to find and we often get asked about making it at home. This is not the time to put on your chemist hat and attempt to make your own by adding products containing benzoyl peroxide to other types of pet shampoo. It’s too risky. Besides precise proportioning, many other factors such as ingredient grade, component compatibility, particulate size, contaminants, and shampoo base will affect your ability to formulate a safe and effective equivalent.


Flushing a dog with mange using benzoyl peroxide shampooYou need a hand held sprayer for vigorous rinsing. If you don’t already have a faucet sprayer or hand-held showerhead, invest in one or in a removable sprayer attachment that fits over your spigot. The idea is to be able to rinse with copious amounts of warm water. Sluicing out follicles with tons of warm water is the key to flushing out the most gunk and mites possible.

Bathe indoors to keep the dog warm and maintain a warm environment throughout the treatment process. If needed, run hot water during the bath to create a warm steamy environment or place a small space heater in the room.

Bathe and rinse with the warmest water possible. Bathing in cold air or cold water is counter-productive. Warmth relaxes and opens the skin but cold water closes it. Think about how you feel and how your skin reacts in cold air or chilly water. Nothing Is going to penetrate tense skin with constricted pores and follicles. It’s also a pretty miserable experience and we don’t want dogs to learn to fear treatments. This mistake will undermine your hard work and your dog’s recovery.

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 (longer is fine). Massage the skin with your fingers to help loosen accumulated and oxidized crud. 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, lots of rinsing helps remove blockages, surface mites, yeast, detritus and gunk. This cannot be accomplished with light or even normal rinsing. Rinse exhaustively! Work against the grain of the fur in small sections to thoroughly and aggressively rinse close to the skin flood the skin thoroughly with warm water. It’s not weird to rinse as long or longer as you lathered. Our goal is to flush out as much garbage below the surface as possible. This prepares the skin and allows Mite Avenge to penetrate better.

REMINDER: Maintain a warm environment throughout the treatment process. Don’t use cold or cool water, it defeats the purpose! Cold closes the follicles. You won’t get much benefit and a cold rinse could trap soap and nasties inside. And don’t try to spot bathe, it does not work.

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