Are you one of those extra-conscientious owners so concerned about how Fluffy smells that you feel compelled to shampoo her diligently immediately before every vet visit? Well…you might want to rethink that.

For starters, most vets and vet staffers aren’t as horrified by basic pet aromas as the average pet owner. We spend our days mired in animal hair and surrounded by wayward bodily fluids, only occasionally donning gloves to ward off the more potent “ears and rears” smell that can linger on fingers through lunch. (There’s nothing worse that paying a hard-won eight bucks for a high-end Caprese sandwich on fresh-baked Italian bread only to have the basil fail to stand up to the stink of a yeast infection. Yuck!)

Back to the bathing thing: when you bathe your beloved just before bringing her to the vet, you generally succeed in one or more of a few unwanted goals:

1-Imparting her with “eau de wet dog”: This is especially true for the Goldens and furry, slow-drying arctic breeds. Add in a muggy Miami day and even the other clients in the waiting room will give you “the look.”

2-Washing away the evidence I need to help determine whether I should get a sample off her skin for chronic infections, treat for ectoparasites or consider the possibility of other skin disorders.

3-Yes, I really do want to see what’s growing in her ears and between her toes!

The upshot? You don’t need to prove how much you love him by bathing him first. That will be evident by your level of concern for other aspects of his care. If you must, simply apologize for the odor and explain your rationale for leaving him “au naturale.” We’ll seriously appreciate it!