The question of how often you should bathe your dog is one that continues to puzzle the minds of pet parents today, and no wonder! With so many different dog breeds, hair types, lifestyles and health needs, there is not one fixed answer.
As a pet parent, life can be busy and hectic, and bath time doesn’t make it any easier. Bathing your dog can be both a messy and time-consuming process, so questioning how often it really needs done is expected. In the same sense, dogs are messy and sometimes smelly, so wanting to keep them clean and fresh is only natural, but not necessarily the best option for your furry friend.
What to Look Out For
To understand how often your dog really does need washed, look out for these factors.
1. Lifestyle and Activity Level
It’s no surprise that the activities your dog gets up to can massively affect how often they need to be washed. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, they’re
more prone to the mess of the outdoors. Whether it be playing in dirt or rolling about in things they shouldn’t be rolling about in, the outdoors is a ball pit of dirt and mess that will leave you bathing your dog more often.
Of course, the mess of the outdoors isn’t the only leading cause of a bath. If your dog is the athletic type who loves to run about they may need baths to control their smell. The odour of a smelly dog varies from breed to breed, and you may find your furry friend can go longer before they begin to let off smell, but if your dog likes to break a sweat, you’re more than likely going to need to give them a rinse.
2. Allergies and Skin
When looking at the individual needs of each dog, allergies and skin type are something that can massively impact your dogs’ bathing schedule. Some dogs may require more frequent bathing due to skin conditions that need medicated shampoo. If this is the case, your vet will provide instructions on how often you should be washing your dog with the given medication.
Similarly, some dogs suffer from skin conditions that mean they need regular baths and shampoo to provide relief. If your dog suffers from this, using oatmeal shampoo is a great itch relief for this type of issue.
Although, if your dog is fortunate enough to be free of these types of conditions, the opposite may apply. For dogs who have a healthy skin type; washing them too frequently and can strip their skin of oils, damage their hair follicles and even increase the risk of bacterial and fungal infections. This means that you should really only be washing your dog as they need it, otherwise you could cause them issues down the line.
3. Coat Type
Understanding the breed of your dog and coat type is another great way to know how often to bathe your dog. For example, long haired dogs (as well as curly haired dogs such as a poodle) often require more frequent bathing to prevent matting in between grooms. However, regular brushing should also be done between baths to help prevent this too. Whereas short-haired breeds such as Labradors can get away with infrequent bathing as long as they are clean from the outdoors mess we talked about! Some dogs may be prone to oily coat types and will also benefit from more frequent baths.
How Often Does My Dog Need To Be Washed?
When it comes to the factors that determine how often your dog needs washed, there are some major clues and signals that will guide you on what is best. Although, as a general rule, getting to know your dog through their coat, smell and skin type will help you be the best judge on what time needs to be bath time.
On average, your dog will likely not need to be bathed more than once a month, although the needs of your pet may be completely different. If you are struggling to find a good place to start with your bathing routine, the vet will understand your dogs’ needs and give you the perfect answer.
Caring For Your Dog During Bath Time
Bath time goes beyond making sure your dog smells good, it is an opportunity for you to care and take care of your furry friend. Check for scratches, fleas, bumps and abnormalities, if they’re scratching, bath time will likely tell you why.
Use this time to your advantage to make sure your dog is healthy and content, or if they need some anti-flea shampoo or maybe even a trip to the vet. Like us, keeping clean goes beyond bath time, but unlike us, your dog can’t tell you what the problem is if something is wrong. This means that caring for your dog through the necessary bath times between grooms will help to keep your dog a happy one.