Dogs are so inquisitive and fun-loving that it’s no wonder they don’t stay clean for very long, especially given their penchant for muddy puddles and general tendency to roll around in things they should stay away from. Unlike cats, our canine companions depend on us when it comes to grooming, causing a lot of dog owners to wrestle with the question: how often does a dog need bathing?
In the article below, you will find the answer to that and more!
How often should you bathe your dog ?
Even though every dog is different, a good general rule of thumb is to provide your pooch a nice, thorough bath once every three months. That being said, dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors or carrying out tasks, will require more bath time, maybe up to once a week. Also, the longer their coat of hair is, the more frequently they’ll need to have a bath.
You should not wash your dog too often
It’s perfectly understandable to want your dog to be clean and look vital, but you should avoid over-cleaning or treating their coat with overly abrasive products. First of all, what is over-cleaning? If you wash your dog too often, their hair and skin will lose most of the natural oils keeping it shiny and healthy, causing skin irritation and inflammation, in the very least.
So before you choose the best bathing schedule for your dog, these are the three things to consider:
- How active is the dog, especially outdoors?
- Is it a long-hair or short-hair breed?
- Does the dog have a medical reason for more frequent or less frequent baths?
Dogs with more active lifestyles will require more grooming to achieve a satisfactory consistent level or cleanliness, as will all long-haired breeds.
Healthy dogs who spend most of their time inside might only need a few baths per year to regulate the inevitable “dog smell”. On the other hand, frequent bathing may be prescribed for certain medical conditions, such as allergic skin disease.
Therefore, it’s up to every owner to determine their dog’s specific needs and apply an adequate routine. If you think that your dog may require special care or shows signs of skin disease, consult your vet before taking any further action.
Why do dogs need bathing at all?
Well, it’s not just about the smell. The entire washing and grooming process is about the removal of harmful residues, such as dirt, grime, shedding fur, ticks, seeds and other kinds of plant material that dogs gather from the environment, prevention of painful hair tangles and scraping away build-ups of old skin oil, all of which ultimately protect your dog’s health. In addition, this is the best time to do a regular scan for suspicious lumps or fleas.
Keep in mind that dogs have very delicate skin and you need to carefully select the bathing products you will be using – we recommend always opting for specially formulated dog shampoos, because even baby shampoos can irritate canine skin.
How do I give my dog a bath?
If your dog has medium or long hair, brush them and remove mats and tangles before the bath. When you’re ready for water, get your dog in a comfortable standing position on a plastic mat in your bath or in a plastic tub, making sure that they are not sliding around.
Treats are a great way to get off to a positive start. Wet your dog with lukewarm water, starting at the tail area.
Once he is thoroughly soaked, apply the shampoo all across the coat while avoiding the eyes and mouth. Rinse and repeat.
After you’ve scrubbed every part of your dog, rinse them meticulously – just when you think your dog is completely rinsed, go ahead and rinse them some more, because dog fur is great at hiding pockets of soap. Afterwards, dry them from top to bottom with an old towel.
Bath time can sometimes be a real challenge for both you and your dog, but there are many ways to make the experience bonding, calming and even fun, so make sure you don’t miss out on that!
You might also be interested : How often should you bathe your cat ?