How Often to Bathe a Dog with Ringworm

Finding out your dog has ringworm can be a stressful experience. Not knowing what to do and how to get rid of ringworm to make your furbaby feel better is no walk in the park. Luckily we have the information you need to get your pup feeling bright and bushy-tailed in no time.

Vet visit for Ringworm

If your dog has never had ringworm before, a visit to the vet is highly recommended. That’s because ringworm looks like other skin problems and you certainly don’t want to exacerbate your dog’s condition. 

Once you know it’s ringworm, you’ll probably get a special shampoo from your vet and instructions to bath your dog about once per week, or even more frequently.  This will depend on the product and the severity of your dog’s ringworm. 

The standard prescription is a shampoo containing Miconazole Nitrate at 1-2%. If that’s what your vet advises you to use, it can be found online, over the counter. Here are two options on amazon:

Davis Miconazole Pet Shampoo (affiliate link to product)

Lime Sulfur Dip (Stinks) (affiliate link to product)

We highly recommend that you follow the links and read reviews. The lime sulfur dip is very stinky but definitely works. The Davis shampoo is the best option if you cannot get past the smell.

Ringworm Expert DIY
If you know it’s ringworm because you deal with it on a regular basis and you are skilled with the sulfur dip or fungicidal, over the counter shampoos always follow the recommended frequency on the bottle.  At the very least, you should count on a weekly bath and addressing hot spots daily.

For even more informaiton about ringworm and how your dog may have contracted this mold-like fungus, please continue reading….

What is ringworm?

Ringworm is not a worm at all, but a skin infection caused by fungi that behave similarly to mold. These fungi live on the dead cells of skin, hair, and nails. Ringworm is named for the ring-shaped, itchy red rash the infection causes.

There are a variety of ways to get ringworm as it is highly contagious. Ringworm can be transferred from another person or pet, from contact with an object, and from infected soil.

Ringworm presents as a bump or sore and progresses into flaky, tender skin and hair loss.

How did my dog get ringworm?

As previously stated, ringworm is highly contagious. So how could your dog have gotten ringworm? Here are some possible ways:

  • From another person: ringworm readily spreads from skin-to-skin contact
  • From other pets
  • By touching objects: the fungus that causes ringworm can survive on surfaces, clothes, towels, combs, and brushes.
  • From soil: standing barefoot in soil containing the fungus that causes ringworm can lead to an infection.

Can Humans get Ringworm from bathing a dog?

Yes, coming into contact with the fungus in your dog’s infection can result in you contracting ringworm. Do not bathe your dog if you suspect he has ringworm, take him to a licensed veterinarian for diagnosis.

How to prevent ringworm after contact?

If you realize or suspect your dog has ringworm after petting, brushing, or bathing your pooch, quickly wash your hands, arms, and any other body part that may have come into contact with the infected site.

There are over-the-counter antifungal creams, lotions, and powders that can combat ringworm if you suspect you have contracted it.

If you believe ringworm is in your home (it very likely is), read our article about cleaners that kill the ringworm spores inside the home.

Can you get ringworm from a dog licking you?

No, ringworm is transferred from contact with the infected site or the fungi itself.

How contagious is ringworm from dog to human?

Ringworm is highly contagious in any form, but you are more likely to contract ringworm from your dog if he sleeps in your bed or otherwise often comes into contact with your skin.

Best Practices for Bathing a Dog with Ringworm

After taking your dog to a veterinarian to confirm the presence of a ringworm infection, you may choose to eradicate the infection at home. Here are the best practices to follow when bathing a dog with medicated shampoo to eradicate ringworm.

  • Whenever treating your dog’s ringworm, be sure to protect your skin with gloves and long-sleeved clothing.
  • Thoroughly wash hands and clothes after handling or treating your dog’s ringworm.
  • Avoid getting antifungal shampoo in your dog’s eyes, mouth, or nose.
  • Do not allow your dog to lick himself after application.
  • Do not handle an animal with ringworm if your immune system is compromised.

Ringworm infections can be off-putting but are not usually dangerous unless you or your animal have a compromised immune system. Quick treatment of yourself, your dog and any surfaces either of you may have come into contact with is key to prevent the reinfection and subsequent spread of ringworm.

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