After a long day outdoors or at the dog park, you might be ready to snuggle up next to your dog on the couch as you wind down. There’s just one problem – they stink! You tell them it’s bath time and they begin to squirm. Suddenly, you’re having to run a bath and find yourself wondering how often you should bathe your dog, especially if they only get bathed when they really need it.
The fact of the matter is, regular bathing keeps your dog’s coat and skin healthy. How often you should bathe your dog depends on their individual needs and breed requirements. Some breeds require every few days and some every few months. Ultimately, you know your dog best and can determine their individual bathing needs with the consultation of your veterinarian and groomer. It never hurts to bathe them to prevent them from getting stinky! Bathing is an integral part of proper dog care. Here’s everything you need to know about bathing your dog properly and with love.
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Why You Need to Bathe Your Dog
Bathing your dog depends on three factors: breed, activity level, and environmental factors. Though your dog may be just fine without a bath, there are several things to consider. If your dog loves rolling around outside, they’ll be covered in dirt and other questionable things. If your dog simply just gets stinky, they’ll need a bath. If you and your dog are active together, they might get dirty paws and require a bath.
Even if your dog hates getting a bath, it’s usually not just in their, but in your best interest too. Dogs can track in dirt, filth, muck, bugs, fleas, and other grimey things that you don’t want in the home. If you have a small dog that rarely leaves the home and you live in an apartment complex, you might be able to get away without bathing them for a while. If you and your dog go on frequent outdoor adventures, you’ll probably need to bathe them more frequently. Bathing helps keep their coats and skin happy and healthy!
How Often You Should Bathe Your Dog
You should aim for bathing your dog on a monthly schedule to remove any buildup. Again, some breeds and dogs require more frequent bathing based on their activity levels and environment. As a rule of thumb, once a month is enough to rid your dog of buildup and grime.
Hairless breeds require frequent bathing, followed by short-haired dogs. For example, a short-haired Chihuahua would require more frequent bathing than say, a German Shepherd. This doesn’t mean that medium-haired or long-haired dogs require less grooming. In fact, they’ll probably need regular trips to the groomers as they’re more care intensive and require more upkeep.
Your dog may need more bathing based on the time of year. Your dog might get dandruff or itchy skin in the winter, whereas frequent outdoor outings in the summer might expose them to dirt and fleas. There’s no right or wrong time to bathe your dog. It’s usually a matter of common sense. If you’re confused about your dog’s individual grooming or bathing needs, consult with your veterinarian or local groomer.
How to Bathe Your Dog Correctly
We’ve all been there – you run the tub for your dog and it becomes a wiggle and wrestle fest to get them in. Dogs typically aren’t fans of the bath and it can quickly become a stressful experience for both them and you. Here’s how to make the experience quick and efficient.
Begin by brushing your dog if they have a medium or long-haired coat. This can remove excess hair and prevent it from clogging up your drain. It also helps to remove and loosen dirt so it’s easier to wash away. Then, use a specified dog shampoo to gently cleanse your dog’s coat. Make sure their coat is saturated so the shampoo lathers well. Be sure to use warm or lukewarm water. Water that’s too hot or cold can make the experience even more uncomfortable for your dog. Be sure to avoid shampooing their face and ears to avoid irritation. Rinse them off gently and calmly. Avoid blow-drying and focus on towel and air drying.
When you’re done, reward them with their favourite treat!
Avoid Over Bathing Your Dog
Overbathing your dog can strip them of their natural oils and cause irritation, dryness, and dandruff. Much like humans aren’t supposed to wash their hair every day, the same principle applies to dogs. If you’ve been bathing your dog frequently and notice they’re itching and scratching, it might be time to scale it back. You can also use a conditioner when you wash your dog to ensure you’re not stripping their hair or skin. As long as you take your dog’s coat, lifestyle, and activity level into account, you can bathe them accordingly.
If you’re concerned about overbathing, the groomer can help you properly bathe and groom your dog so you don’t have to worry! Dog groomers are experts in their fields and will know all about the perfect shampoo and bathing routine for your pup.
Don’t Forget to Brush!
Brushing is an integral part of your dog’s skin and coat health, especially for medium or longer-haired breeds like Siberian Huskies and Australian Shepherds. Daily brushing helps remove loose fur, dead skin, and helps spread oils evenly. It’s an integral part of dog care.
All in all, there’s no need to over or under bathe your dog. Experimenting and consulting with your veterinarian or groomer can help you find the perfect sweet spot for bathing your dog. Some dogs can go months, some can go days. It entirely depends on your dog’s individual grooming, bathing, and lifestyle needs. As long as you’re using the correct products, your dog will be smelling good in no time in addition to being squeaky clean! Rest assured, your dog, furniture, and nose will thank you.