how often should you wash your dog

How often should you bathe your dog? This will depend on the breed of the dog, what type of fur it has, and if there are any skin issues that you need to take into account.

The general rule

While there is no specific rule as to how often you should bathe your dog, the general rule is once a month.

Again, this depends on the breed and if there is a skin issue involved.

A dog with dry skin should be bathed less with a moisturizing shampoo such as oatmeal to keep the skin from drying further.

If your dog does not have a skin issue, then it is entirely up to you. You could bathe the dog once a week if you feel that it makes him or her more pleasant to be around.

Skin conditions

What if your dog has a skin condition such as dry skin? Then once a month is enough; however if the dog is not a smelly dog you could go 6 weeks or even 8 weeks between baths.

If you are bathing a dog with skin condition then you need to use a shampoo for dogs that has a moisturizer in it such as oatmeal or vitamin E.

Protecting the dog’s skin is important which is why you need to not over bathe the dog.

You can also try adding a supplement that will help such fish or fish oils to the dog’s diet.

dog bath

Breeds who need to bathe less and why

There are a few breeds that need to be bathed less. The reason is due to the breed and the type of coat that they have. A few of these breeds are;

  • Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees two breeds that have oily coats need to be bathed less. This is so that you do not wash the natural oils away that help them when they are in the water to retrieve prey.
  • Samoyeds, Malamutes, and some other breeds from the north have thicker coats to keep them warm in extremely cold temperatures. These breeds do better with extra brushing to remove parasites and dirt from the coat instead of consistent monthly baths.

You also have to take into consideration with these breeds if they have skin problems such as;

  • Dry itchy skin, this issue will be helped with a shampoo that has aloe or oatmeal in. Also adding fatty acids to the dog’s diet such as salmon or fish oil will help relieve the dryness that is causing the itchy.
  • Hot spots, you need to use an antimicrobial shampoo for this. Speak to your vet for the best antimicrobial shampoo and be sure to trim around the area. If need be, shave the area to make sure the hair does not become stuck in the infected area.
  • Allergies, these can be due to food, shampoo, fleas, and other environmental factors.
  • Hair Loss, should your dog be losing an extreme amount of hair you should consult your vet.
  • Dandruff to relieve this you should use a moisturizing shampoo with vitamin E, aloe, or oatmeal.
  • Sarcoptic or demodectic mange where mange is concerned you really need to have regular baths. In many cases, a medicated shampoo is used which is generally part of the medical treatment.

This also plays into how often and what type of shampoo you use when you do bathe one of these breeds of dogs.

puppies bath time

Tips for bathing your dog

We have gathered 9 tips to help you with bathing your dog. Even if you have been doing it for a while these tips may be of use to you.

  1. Start bathing when the dog is a pup. If you have rescued an older dog introduce them to bathing slowly so as not to make it a bad experience for them. You can use some toys with the older dog to help them feel less anxious about a bath.
  2. Gather all your items, towels, shampoo, etc. before you take the dog to the bath area.
  3. Brush the dog first; this will remove any shedding hair. It will also clean off any loose dirt and untangle any fur that will only get worse when it is wet.
  4. Use lukewarm water.
  5. Place a nonskid mat or a towel in the bottom of the tub to provide the dog traction with their toenails so they do not slip and become hurt.
  6. Apply a small amount of oil or Vaseline on cotton balls to place in their ears to keep water out of the ear canals. This will help reduce the chance of ear infection. Remember to remove the cotton from the ears after the bath.
  7. Use a washcloth to wash the face and inside the ear up to the cotton ball. Wring the washcloth out just as you would when you wash your own face. You need to be careful around the eyes to keep shampoo out of the eyes.
  8. Depending on the size of your dog you can bathe the dog in the sink, scrub sink, bathtub, or in a kiddie pool outside if the weather is warm. If your shower is large enough with a shower head that is moveable, you can even get into the shower with the dog.
  9. Trim the nails after the bath while the dog is inside drying. Keep the dog inside until he or she is dry or you will find the dog rolling in the dirt or mud.

These 9 tips can help make bath time less worrisome not only for you but your dog as well.

Grooming stations where you can groom your own dog

The self-grooming types of stations are popping up and can be less costly than a professional groomer. However, you need to make sure to check out the facility thoroughly.

Things to look for at these types of stations are;

  • Are they clean?
  • Is the water warm, cold, or too hot?
  • What type of tub is used?
  • Is there an easy way to get a large dog in the tub (a ramp or steps)?
  • Cost so you can compare that to a professional groomer.
  • Is there a place to fasten the dog into the tub?

dog shampoo

Professional groomers

If you have health issues, do not have the adequate space, or do not have time to bathe your dog; it may be time for you to find a professional groomer.

When you are looking at groomers, go into their shop, talk to the groomer. Look around see what they have and how they treat the dogs.

Ask about the procedures they use. Do they air dry or do they use dryers and if so what type of dryer?

Request a list of clients you could call and talk to; get an idea of what they think. Are they are happy with the groomer.

In Conclusion

Whether you are grooming your pet or taking them to a professional always take the dog out to do their business before bathing.

Always, use the correct products and lukewarm water.

Start when the dog is a puppy and allow them to learn that bath time is not a punishment. Talk to them soothingly while you bath them.

Make sure that you thoroughly check out the person you hire to groom your dog at their shop or if they are a mobile groomer. Also if you decide to use a self-grooming station be sure it is clean and that the water is the correct temperature before spraying your dog with the water.

Before you go grab a shampoo and have fun with your pooch, have a bubbling video break first :