Should you wash your pets: dogs, cats, rabbits and horses? How often?

Is it healthy to bathe dogs cats rabbits horses pets how often

How to keep your fur kid clean: Best bathing tips for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses

We are often asked how often you should bath dogs, cats, rabbits and horses! The answer to the question depends entirely on what animal you have as a pet. Some animals never need to be bathed at all, while others need to be cleaned on a regular basis!

We know you would love to keep your pet/s groomed and squeaky clean in the most healthy way, so we're going to help you figure it out. In this article, we're going to focus on maintaining clean, healthy skin and coats for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses!

The dangers of commercial pet shampoos and conditioner

But first, a word of caution! You would be horrified to learn about the chemicals that are found in most commercial pet shampoos! No wonder skin problems are one of the top ailments dealt with by vets! Apart from the damage they do to your pet's skin, they are also absorbed into the system where they further compromise health. And let's not even get started on what they do to the environment!

We know that our pet parents care about the environment and also about the health of their fur kids and that's why we love natural pet shampoos and conditioners for dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and horses. Now you can keep your pet clean and smelling like nature, while promoting skin health AND environmental health too! It just makes sense! 


Certain professionals say that you HAVE to wash your dog at least once every 3 months while other professionals say that you only need to wash your dog when/if they get smelly and dirty. So what's the correct answer? 

If you look at it from a natural, healthy and holistic perspective, dogs were never bathed or groomed before they were domesticated. When they got dirty, they cleaned themselves with their tongues. They most likely always had a 'dog smell' because they didn't have the assistance of a freshening shampoo or conditioner as they do these days. This natural 'dog smell' does not indicate uncleanliness, as long as it's not excessive - although it can be rather off-putting for pet owners. After all, no-one REALLY wants a house that smells of dogs!

Since the domestication of dogs, they stay cleaner for longer, as they're not out hunting in packs and roaming the wild as they used to. Sure, they still pick up dirt when they're outside playing, but we recommend to only wash them as often as needed - not too often! Some dogs are never ever washed and lead a healthy and happy life!

The best advice we can give any dog owner is if your dog is an active dog who loves being outdoors, wash them once a week, maximum (only if needed); it's not very pleasant cuddling a twig-infested and dirty pup, is it? So less is best for dogs – unless they have been kind enough to roll in something really smelly! When you bath your dog, be sure to use one of these natural, healthy and organic pet shampoos and conditioners that won't strip their skin of natural oils or expose them to harsh chemicals. 

If your dog suffers from itchy skin, Natura Pets has formulated a wonderful Natural Itch Relief Shampoo and Conditioner for Dogs, using 100% natural ingredients. If they are outdoors often and very active, wash them once a week, otherwise every 3 weeks is perfect for dogs who prefer to be indoors and tend to be fairly clean. 

Keep an eye on the health of their skin. If you notice their skin starting to flake, you're probably washing them too often!


In most cases, cat's don't need to be washed at all. Cats wash themselves thoroughly and do a very good job at it! While most dogs enjoy splashing around in a bath, cats are quite the opposite. Even if you HAVE TO wash your cat for certain reasons, it can be very dramatic, humiliating and disastrous for ALL parties involved!

There are certain cases where you're forced to subject your cat to bathing for their own good. For example, if your cat falls asleep under a car that has an oil leak, they will have to be bathed, otherwise they'll lick themselves clean and ingest harmful car oil. You may also need to wash your cat if it suffers from a skin condition such as seborrhoea or eczema. We recommend Allergy Itch Ease – a 100% homeopathic remedy to calm and soothe the itchy skin, as well as Skin & Coat Tonic, a herbal remedy to heal and strengthen the skin and repair the coat.

Cats who have long hair tend to get pieces of dirt and twigs tangled in their fur. Instead of washing them, rather comb through their fur to pull out any foreign debris. If cats are bathed too often, they can lose essential oils from their fur and can even end up traumatised!

We suggest using this Dry Pet Shampoo Lavender Powder`that's great for pets who hate baths. The concept of not needing water to 'bathe' is absolutely genius and your cats (as well as dogs) will thank you endlessly! 

If you're still unsure about bathing your cat, read this article that explains when you should and shouldn't bath cats, as well as a detailed description of HOW to bath them in the most peaceful way.


Rabbits often go into a state of shock when submerged in water. Consult your local vet to advise you on bathing you rabbit, or to perhaps even do it for you.

Rabbits can be considered OCD when it comes to grooming themselves, but there are certain cases, just like with cats, where bathing them may be necessary. If you need to wash your rabbit, fill a small sink with a bit of warm water. Do NOT fully submerge them in the water, rather let the rabbit stand on their hind feet while you support its upper body from the front. Use a cup to gently rinse their body. Towel them dry - a hairdryer may stress them further!


Horses, like cats and rabbits (and even some dogs) do not appreciate being bathed. In fact, it's not healthy for any animal to be squeaky clean all the time, as the natural oils and healthy microbes are necessary in protecting their skin from infection and imbalance!

It's a no brainer that your bath is not the place to wash your horse. So when the day comes when your horse needs to be washed, the only other option is to use a hose. Many horses freak out under the hose and we don't blame them.

It may take a while for your horse to become accustomed to being washed. We recommend that they're bathed by someone who the horse already trusts and has a strong bond with. Secondly, treats and gentleness make a world of difference!

Once again, using bathing products that contain chemicals are not great for your horse or environment. Our top selection of natural pet shampoos and conditioners for dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and horses are all 100% natural and eco-friendly! Your horse will certainly appreciate this Nourishing Hoof Balm to top it all off!

From natural pet shampoos, natural flea control, poop bags and other grooming and pamper products for your dogs, cats and horses, you can trust Feelgood Pets to make the selection for you every time! 

If you have any concerns or questions, please don't hesitate to contact our passionate team for FREE advice!

Saskia Michele natural holistic pet health blog

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  • Feelgood Pets Team - January 01, 2019

    Hi Jolanda

    Thank you for reaching out to Feelgood Pets. Sorry to hear that you’ve been battling with your fur baby!

    For the sake of your bunny’s emotional well-being, it’s NOT advisable to bath your bunny at all, unless in certain circumstances such as oil spills or being very dirty etc. Bathing them may induce trauma and stress, which is why we only advise you bathe them in extreme circumstances. The way you went about ‘cloth bathing’ your bunny is admirable and much better than what your vet advised.

    If the colloidal seemed to help, perhaps you should persevere with that, on a strict routine. If you’re wanting to stay away from harmful chemicals and synthetic ingredients, maybe you should also look into antimicrobial essential oils to massage into your bunny’s skin (with a carrier oil – NB!). PLEASE first do proper research as certain essential oils are harmful to delicate bunnies.

    Another safe, natural and healthy product you can use is coconut oil. I’m sure you’ve heard the powerful and vast benefits of this wonderful substance..? Read more about our favourite organic coconut oil here –

    We trust that our advise guides you in the right direction and that your bunny recovers fully!

    Warmest regards
    Saskia – Feelgood Pets Team

  • Jolanda - January 01, 2019


    I have a bunny, she suffers from skin infection on and off, she has white flakes on her skin and sometimes hot spots,
    The Vet recommended that I bath her with F10 and subscribed antibiotics
    Re the antibiotics, I asked it it will sort out the problem, the reply was that, she does not know which one of the Infections it is, and maybe this Antibiotic will sort it out and maybe not
    so …. she is very sensative and did not react well to antibiotics …. so with other word I did not give it to her as I did not feel comfortable with doing so … I instead gave her Colloidal and it seemed to ease the infection ….
    Re – giving her a bath …. I also did not feel comfortable with the fact that I need to bath her with F10 which is chemical base and secondly, I was aware of the fact that they do not react well being submired in water … so I only gave her a cloth bath if that makes sense … I whiped her with a wet cloth that is squeesed the water out … but i dont think it reaches the skin … I made a tee with some herbs that I dipped the cloth in

    Can you please give me advice here, it is so difficult to get holistic advice for bunnies, everyone is catering for dogs cats and horses

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