A Little Water Goes A Long Way (From Janet)
You know the feeling. You’re hot, sweaty, itchy and dirty from an afternoon of gardening in the hot sun. You have dirt underneath your fingernails, on the insides of your socks, and sweat running between your shoulder blades. Or maybe you’ve spent an afternoon at the park, having a picnic on a blanket or sitting under a pavilion. The sun is out, but it’s muggy and humid. You fend off mosquitoes and flies, and the ice in your drink has melted a dozen times no matter how much you refill it from that styrofoam bucket.
Think of YOUR summer scenario. Everyone has them. Good times mixed with the effects of summer heat.
When you are hot, or itchy, or sweaty, you have the option – the luxury – of going inside to cool off, jumping into the swimming pool to alleviate the discomfort, or taking a quick shower to cool off and get refreshed.
Think about all the wonderful ways you can cool down.
Now think about the thousands – THOUSANDS – of domestic animals that are kept outside 24/7 in ALL weather types, with no hope of warm weather alleviation in site.
If YOU know of an animal kept outside 24/7, go see if their owner would allow you to spend some time with him/her. And maybe, take that one step farther and see if you can give that animal a bath.
Oh, how a bath can matter to an animal that remains soiled 24/7 in their outside environment. Even after a short time outside, a 24/7 chained animal can quickly become victim to being in the same spot day after day, after day.
The common courtesy of a bath makes a difference.
- The obvious: bathing removes dust, dirt and grime. No animal likes to be unclean – just like you.
- Animals sweat. Sweat can be an irritant, and attracts mosquitoes.
- Animal self-grooming only “cleans” so much. It’s a myth that self-grooming takes the place of a bath. Note: if you see a domestic animal self-grooming excessively, that can be an indication of an allergy, a sore or infection, or something on the fur/skin that is bothering that animal.
- Animals have allergies. Bathing helps alleviate allergy symptoms and soothes itchy skin.
- A bath is a wonderful way to cool off, refresh, renew and energize on a hot day.
If given an option, any animal will avoid standing and lying in filth. But many – MANY – animals are not provided an option, especially when forcefully confined to void, eat, sleep and live in the same place every day.
- Fur becomes coated and encrusted with whatever is on the ground that they are forced to live on (example: dry dirt turns to mud when wet)
- Stepping in urine and feces
- Tipping over food bowls – food on the ground can spoil and/or attract other animals and bugs
- Vomitus being stepped into and attracting bugs and other animals
- Many bugs (biting and non) live in the grass and dirt, and will ‘ride’ around in fur and skin
There are many discussions on the pros and cons of regular bathing a domestic animal (of course always check with your vet if you have questions and concerns about bathing).
However, NOT bathing an animal out of neglect, lack of motivation or laziness is being a poor pet owner. Especially if you have made the decision to keep your pet outside 24/7. A dirty pet can be considered a sign of animal neglect. How far you take that determines whether you are neglecting or abusing your pet.
In between formal (shampoo) bathings, why not just turn on the hose and enjoy a little cool water play with your four-legged family member? Water play is a great way to cool off, alleviate boredom and wash away the day’s dust. Just remember NOT to tease or abuse ANY animal with water. That includes never turning a hose on any animal forcefully, or deliberately spraying water into eyes, ears, mouth, or anus.
And don’t think for a minute that bathing only applies to domestic pets. Farm animals enjoy the water JUST AS MUCH, for ALL the same reasons.
Four legs, or two, everyone has the right to feel and be clean.
So, roll up your sleeves or put on your bathing suit, and get wet for your pet!