How Often Should You Wash Your Dog
Ever wondered how often dogs need to get washed? It’s important to bath your dog to keep them clean and bacteria free. Keeping your dog well-groomed is an essential part of living together happily, no one is opposed to having a clean and fresh-smelling pet. This is especially important if there are children in the house who love to cuddle and play with them.
When you make the decision to own a dog, you are responsible for the care that the dog requires to keep it healthy and happy. Dogs require love and care which involves feeding, walking them regularly and bathing. Although some dogs are not the biggest fans of bath-time, bathing plays an important role in their general health and appearance of their skin and coat.
What to consider
The frequency of how you wash your dog will depend on a variety of factors like breed, fur type, skin allergies if any and activity level. Bathing too often can strip away the natural oil layer and expose them to infections, not to mention making their skin dry and irritated. On the other hand, not bathing them enough can result in itchiness, flea exposure, and may make them greasy and smelly.
The time between baths will vary from dog to dog, a good rule of thumb is to bathe them when they get smelly or dirty. A long-haired dog will get tangles and matted hair is going too long between baths – this may also change from one time of the year to others.
Certain dogs benefit from more regular bathing while other breeds can develop skin problems if bathed too frequently. If you have a long-haired dog like a German Shepherd, baths should be scheduled once every two months or so. Some dog breeds may go as long as six to eight months.
Dogs with oily skin like Maltese Terriers need to be bathed weekly to help keep them smelling clean and to keep their coat fluffy and healthy. Short-haired breeds with smooth coats such as Beagles need less frequent bathing.
If your dog is particularly active and spends a lot of time outside, they will need baths more frequently than those who spend the majority of their time indoors. It is also helpful to do research on your dog's specific breed for targeted grooming advice. As a common practice, dogs should be brushed regularly (typically once a day for long-haired breeds) as this will help keep them clean and tidy in-between baths.
Puppies of any breed will require less bathing as it removes the natural oils in their coats unnecessarily, a bath once a month will be sufficient for the little ones. You can keep them groomed and tidy with a soft brush and comb, this will help to avoid the hair from clumping and help to brush away dirt and other outdoor debris.
If your dog suffers from any skin allergies, always consult with a vet so they can recommend customised care and advice on the most suitable bathing routine and products for your dog.
Choosing the right bathing products
If you are bathing your dog frequently, use a moisturising shampoo or soap-free products to avoid damage to your dog’s skin and from stripping the fur from its natural oils. There are shampoos available which will help keep the fur from shredding and keep it healthy and shiny. For dogs with irritated skin and allergies, it’s best to go see an animal doctor who can recommend a soothing or an organic medicated shampoo. If your dog has severe skin allergies, avoid the regular shampoos unless recommended by the vet as this might cause further irritation, particularly if your dog has sensitive skin.
It is important to seek the advice of our local vets and animal doctors to ensure optimum health for our dogs.
Washing Your Dog
Gather everything you need before washing your dog; this may include a gentle shampoo, a soft brush or comb (optional depending on the breed of dog) and a large towel. Remember not to use human shampoos on pets, the pH levels of humans is different to those of dogs. Always test any shampoo first on a small area if you are concerned about any skin reactions.
For those with dogs who are not big fans of bath-time, try to make the experience as enjoyable as possible to make the experience less stressful for the both of you. Choosing a room with a closed door will help to keep pets enclosed. Additionally, choosing a designated corner or keeping them tied with a leash to avoid roaming around can also help to calm your pet and keep them at ease during the bathing process. We suggest investing in a good detachable shower spray nozzle to help make washing and rinsing easier. Using a big tub enough for your dog to fit in comfortably is also helpful. If you’re using a tub for bath times, you can invest in a rubber matt which will prevent your pet from slipping accidently.
To remove loose hair more easily, brush your pet before they get wet. Tangles can become more difficult to remove once wet. Place a non-slip material where your pet is standing to keep them stable while you brush their fur. From here, gently wet their coat and massage shampoo from the shoulders down to the tail. Avoid getting shampoo in your pet’s eyes. When you’re done washing your dog, rinse them with clean water to remove dirt and shampoo until the water runs clear. A conditioner can be applied if desired but make sure to rinse this thoroughly to avoid product build-ups.
If you’re washing your dog more than once a week, look for the animal herbal shampoo that are non-drying and safe to use on a very regular basis.
As A General Rule
While it’s important to keep your dog clean, it’s also essential that you don’t wash them too frequently. Doing so can dry out the skin, interfere with external worming and flea treatments, and can contribute to skin disorders. As a general guide, around once every four weeks is a good time in between baths and this may vary based on their daily activities. If you dog starts to stink or is covered in mud, then there is no better time for a bath.