The best way to use the Nature's Specialties shampoos is to dilute in warm water. This makes bathing easier and your shampoo last longer. It also allows even distribution of the shampoo and makes it much easier to lather correctly without over shampooing.
Shampoos & Conditioners
Colloidal Oatmeal shampoo
Basically it means that you're going to use water for the larger number of the ratio and shampoo will be the 1 part. For instance, with the Oatmeal Shampoo you’re going to dilute to a ratio of 11:1 - which would be 11 parts water to 1 part shampoo.
I find the easiest way to dilute the shampoo is to use a mixing bottle as below:
You could also use a regular water bottle and work out the ratios yourself. For example, using a regular 16 oz water bottle (and with the ratio of 11:1) this would be about 2.5 tablespoons of shampoo and fill the water bottle up with warm water.
You can save any shampoo not used in your mixer bottle for next time. How much you need to mix depends how big and furry your dog is!
The Oatmeal Creme Rinse is 24:1. I usually use a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of conditioner to every 3 cups of water.
For the Re-moisturizing Conditioner, fill your mixing bottle up to the 20:1 line and add the conditioning rinse to the top fill line. The amount you need will depend on the size of your dog. For my 90lb German Shepherd, I make two to three mixing bottles full and transfer to a bowl then pour over my dog after shampooing and rinsing
How often is enough?
Well, that depends on your dog and how much scratching is going on. For severely itchy dogs, start bathing two or three times a week for a month. After that, scale back to once a week for a month, and then finally once a month.
For Ava as soon as I see her scratching her ears and chewing her paws, I bathe her once a week for about a month and then once a month after that. This routine usually gets her through the summertime without continually itching and scratching. I also use an anti-itch spray in-between baths for those one-off butt scoots or the occasional paw chew I witness.
The frequency of baths will depend on the severity of your dog's itching. If you start with at least a weekly bath, you can increase or decrease the frequency based on your own dog's symptoms. I find that the best way to control the yeast is to start strong with more frequent baths and then go on a maintenance program of once a month.