How often should I bathe my dog?
Should I wash my dog weekly or twice a month?
This is one of the common concerns among new or first time dog owners.
Like humans, dogs tend to get stinky faster compared to other animals.
According to dog experts, unless a dog has skin problems, there is no precise guideline as how frequent you should wash your dog.
However, some dogs prefer to skip bath which is not ideal for it is a necessary activity to keep them healthy.
Washing your dog’s skin and coat helps to get rid of parasites and dirt plus, it keeps your furry friend pleasant and smelling good. During the old days, pet owners prefer to bathe their dogs for only several times a year.
The arguments surrounding the question “How often should you bathe a dog?” usually points to stripping off the natural oils on the dog’s coat.
Apparently, the more you wash it, the more frequent you are also washing the sebum (oil) which keeps the coat healthy and shiny.
So as a good rule of thumb, some pet owners only wash their dogs when they are noticeable smelly or obviously dirty. However, there are few other things to consider while deciding to bathe your dogs, such as the dog’s breed and length of hair.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
Dogs also need to sustain the natural oils found in their skin and coat to keep it soft and silky and to prevent from being damaged. Whilst they need regular baths, they don’t need to be scrubbed daily.
As to how often the dog should take a bath depends on factors like its type of coat, lifestyle and environment.
For Bassinet Hounds and other dogs with an oily coat, bathing should be done once a week. On the other hand, short-haired breeds like Weimaraners and Beagles which have smooth coats can have less frequent baths.
The Great Pyrenees and Golden Retrievers are examples of dogs with water-repellent coats. They could be bathed at least twice a month to preserve their coat’s natural oils.
In the case of Malamutes, Samoyeds and other Northern breeds with thick, double coats, fewer baths, but plenty of brushing is required to sustain and distribute natural oils, gets rid of dead hair and keep their skin overall healthy.
For dogs that love swimming, or are extremely active that they can roll, play and enjoy a puddle of mud, they certainly require a lot of bathing compared to the dogs living in a condo or a “homebody”.
In general, avoid bathing your dog more often than extremely necessary or it will result to dry skin, frizzy hair and dandruff.
Moreover, some shampoos may cause irritation to your pet’s skin so you should bathe him less and use another shampoo without harsh chemicals.
Still, the easiest way for you to find out if your fur baby needs a bath is to give it a good sniff. Likewise, if your dog sleeps in your bed, you should wash him regularly.
Normally, dogs are playful, enthusiastic and are always active all of which, warrant regular washing.
For most dog breeds, it is ideal to bathe them once a month, but for dogs who usually sits on the sofa or interacts with a baby at home, might as well keep them tidy more frequently to avoid dirt, insects, poops and other grime.
How to Bathe a Dog?
Perhaps you are a first-time pet owner, bathing a dog seems challenging. It is not the usual bath routine that humans do since dogs are furry, and you cannot really tell if they are really clean with those wet coats.
Follow these steps to thoroughly clean your dog.
First, carefully brush your dog’s hair before giving it a bath. Matted hair tends to hold water, which may result in irritated skin. If you are not sure as to how to properly cut the mats or brush your dog’s hair, you may seek the help of a professional groomer.
To keep water out of your dog’s ears, put a cotton ball in both ears. This will also help prevent ear irritation and infection.
Do not use hot water as this can burn your dog’s delicate skin. Use lukewarm instead.
For you to better gauge the water temperature, make sure it is not hotter than what you use for a human baby. Since large-breed dogs tend to become easily overheated, cooler water is ideal for them.
While bathing him, talk to your dog calmly. This will make your dog understand that bathing won’t hurt him.
Do not use the regular shampoo you are using as this product can cause them irritation and dandruff. Look for a mild, dog shampoo, lather and massage it all throughout your dog’s body without getting into his eyes.
Rinse the soap rigorously. Soap left in his hair will again, cause irritation and dry skin. Repeat the rinse at least twice.
Never use a human blow-dryer to dry your dog’s fur since it is too hot for them to handle. Air-drying is still the best option. However, there are blow-dryers designed for dogs so might as well purchase one for faster drying time.
Implement a reward system every bath time by giving him plenty of praise, petting or letting him play.
Precautions to Take Washing Your Dog
Aside from bathing frequency, dog’s environment, the level of activity and the temperature of water to use, there are other considerations to think of such as knowing the specifics of your furry friend’s health and breed.
Some breeds prefer frequent bathing because they tend to release excess oil while other breeds would suffer from the dry skin if bathed more often.
Likewise, dogs with rashes or skin allergies could also need more washing to sustain cleanliness and help their skin to heal faster.
For active dogs that love to play outside, bath them once a week to remove dirt and parasites.
Remember that dog grooming should not be a big deal for both of you. It could take you only 5 to 10 minutes to finish grooming procedures daily.
Make sure your supplies are complete and are within your reach so you won’t need to look for them while your dog is dripping wet. Not doing so gives your dog the chance to run away from you and hide.
To control fly away hair and maintain shiny coat, a dog conditioner may help. Use a wide tooth comb to smooth tangles and designate a large towel only for your dog’s use.
The technique here is to start while your dog is still young so he will get used to bathing and bath time will not be a traumatic activity for him. If you start late, your dog might get scared of the water.
It will also help to brush his hair as frequently as necessary to break up tangles and mats and stimulate oil production.
Avoid getting the shampoo or conditioner in your pet’s face and if you accidentally touched his face with soap, carefully rinse it with water.
Only use dog products since these are designed specifically for dog’s pH level.
To prevent him from running away while bathing, always keep your hands on his body. Ready his towel and let him have that good shake.
When to Seek Professional Help?
As an owner, it is best to handle simple grooming procedures and brushing yourself. It will strengthen your bond as pet and owner and allows you to check the overall condition of his nails, skin, teeth, fur, eyes and ears.
However, thorough grooming and other special procedures may require the help of professional groomers. This is also true if your dog is afraid of bathing.
Despite the tips and tricks mentioned above, still there are some dogs that hate bathing and may choose to hide or wrestle with you every bath time.
To solve this problem, take your dog to professional dog groomers. Aside from proper bathing, these groomers will also clip their nails, trim their hair, dry them off, style their hair, help them when they are shedding excessively, and upon request, can also express anal sacs.
Certain dog breeds such as English Springer Spaniels, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Poodles need certified dog groomers since their hair tends to grow long compared with other dog breeds. Their hair doesn’t shed that much so it will grow longer until you cut it.
For dogs with fur, groomers can also help, especially if your dog hates bath time. Just make sure that you are only getting help from a licensed dog groomer to avoid untoward incidents.
Watch the video below for more information on how to bathe your dog properly.
So how often should I bathe my dog? Not too often or not too seldom, again, there are several factors that will help you decide on how frequently you should bathe a dog. Most important factor is the health of your dog.
Your first time to bathe your fur baby could be quite tough, but with proper knowledge, you can easily follow the procedures.
Make sure that every bath time serves as your bonding activity while at the same time, you are checking his skin and looking for lumps that might be dangerous for your dog’s health.
A well groomed and clean puppy is a healthier puppy.