How Often Should I Be Bathing My Dog?
New and old pet owners alike are often unsure how often they should be bathing their dog. Should I only bathe them when they're noticeably smelly or dirty? Does bathing more frequently help prevent skin irritations, fleas, or ticks? Doesn't my dog technically groom himself?
The truth is that the amount you should be bathing your pet depends on a number of factors. We're here to help you determine which factors apply to your and your pet and give a few additional tips for bath time!
Paired with how much research you're willing to do on the subject - how often you bathe your dog also depends on their breed, their lifestyle, and the length of their coat's hair. You are correct in thinking that your dogs do clean themselves in part, which aids in hair follicle growth but you bathing them help this process along. Bathing your pet also offers the opportunity for you to detect any scratches, bumps, or skin irritations you may not be able to see when their coat is dry.
1. Your Dog's Coat & Breed
As you can imagine - the more hair, the more often and lengthy the bathing process is. Dog's with medium to long coats are recommended to bathe anywhere from weekly to every 4 to 6 weeks at the most and this is only if their coat is well maintained with other forms of grooming such as brushing, in between this time. Dogs with heavier coats often trap in more dirt, dust, and other grimy agents.
Dogs with shorter coats don't necessarily require less bathing, and it's recommended that hairless dogs actually be bathed weekly.
Dogs that have very particular coats such as Siberian Huskies and Retrievers require less bathing as well as their coat keeps them insulated throughout the year and too much bathing could disturb their delicate balance of oil for their skin. For these pets we usually suggest a shedding shampoo. You can find our selection here!
It can be wise to look up your dog's breed and learn more about their coat and skin to decide how often you determine will best meet your pet's needs. Just like us, all pet's are different and require different measures for care.
2. Your Dog's Lifestyle
It only makes sense that if your pet is more active and spends more time playing with other dogs, roaming around in parks or back yards, or exploring new outdoors areas with you they are more susceptible to getting dirtier, quicker.
As we mentioned earlier, shorter haired breeds don't lock in dirt quite as easily as longer haired breeds and don't need as much maintenance between baths. You can get away with wiping them down with a wet or damp towel after outings. Of course dog's, even with shorter hair - that are exploring the beach and ocean, scavenging through muddy fields or bogs more often than not will require more bathing.
Longer and thicker haired breeds when subjected to a lot of outdoors activities will likely need a more deeply cleansing bath afterwards.
If your pet is more of an indoor guy/gal and doesn't spend a lot of time rummaging up the earth outside, then they definitely won't require as much bathing and you don't want to over-bathe them as it can lead to dried out and irritated skin.
3. Your Dog's Breed
Obviously your dog's breed determines their coat length but other details of your pet's breed's health can go into how often you wash your dog as well.
If your dog's breed is prone to certain allergies or suffers from any health conditions, we suggest asking your vet if you should consider using medicated shampoo.
4. Tips & Tricks
When it comes to actual bath time, we know it isn't the easiest activity in the world, but being prepared in a few ways can make the world of difference.
Grooming wise - Remember to brush! This step can often be overlooked but it will not only be an indicator to your pet that it may be bath time but it helps release a lot of the accumulated dirt and grime before getting wet, as well as untangles hair and removes any shedding hair.
Have a designated space, consistency is key to keeping your pet feeling safe and comfortable. Bath's can either be a not so fun but 'I"ll live' experience for your pet or a terrifying and traumatic one. Providing a single space that you always go to for bath time will help make your dog feel secure and remain more calm during their bath.
Be prepared with everything you need in one area. You'll have your hands full, either holding your pet still, holding shampoo or a hose or spray nozzle so make sure to have all of your supplies like shampoo, towels, brushes and whatever else nearby!
Make sure to have proper supplies. After doing your research on your pet's breed, hair, and grooming needs stock up on the right shampoo and grooming accessories for them! One of our favorites is King Kalm All Natural & Organic De-Shedding Shampoo! Specifically formulated for your furry best friend, especially those with long haired, heavier coats this hypo-allergenic, eco-friendly, non-toxic shampoo is ideal for the majority of dogs. Comprised of 6 simple natural ingredients - coconut oil, olive oil, Jojoba oil, Rosemary oil, Lemongrass, and Organic Aloe Vera. This delicate formula was created to rinse off easily and will leave your dog not only smelling amazing but also super soft.
Let us know anything that has helped your out during your pet's bath time! We love to hear great ideas on making pet-ownership more fun and easy!