How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?
No one likes a stinky pup, but it’s nothing a bath can’t fix. Bath time is not known as dog’s favourite activity, but regular bathing is actually an essential part of caring for your dog. So what constitutes “Regular Bathing”? How often should I bathe my dog? The answer to this question is- It Depends because every dog is different. It depends upon how long your dog’s coat is, how active they are, their lifestyle and if they have any skin problems. It could range from a couple of times a week to once every few months. In most cases, dog baths are more for the benefit of their pet parents than for the dogs themselves.
Bathing your dog is not just good for their hygiene. It is also excellent chance to check for usual scratches, bumps, fleas and other abnormalities. These things are easier to see when their hair are wet and flat against their body.
Dog Coat Type
- The type of coat your dog has is a big factor in how often he requires baths. The texture of coat is even more important than the length of coat.
- When it comes to the length, dogs with medium and long coats should get frequent bathing usually four to six weeks and dogs with short coats can be bathed every one to three months.
- Hairless breeds like Chinese Crested dog, who lack the skin protection a coat provides, need to be bathed weekly with specialised shampoo.
- Dogs who tend to have oily skin like Basset Hounds, also need frequent baths to prevent oil-build up on their skin.
- Some dogs have coats that naturally repel dirt, while others seem to held on it.
- Drop coated breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzu also tend to collect oil and debris and need frequent bathing to ensure their coats look and smell fresh.
- Thick and double coated breeds like Huskies, can be bathed every one to three months. These dogs are prone to shedding and when a dog sheds, the coat naturally gets rid of dead skin cells and bacteria that could be harmful, so it is not necessary to bathe a dog frequently in addition to natural shedding process.
- Activity level should be the prime factor in determining how often you bathe your dog.
- If your dog loves swimming in the ocean, rolling around in the mud, playing in the rain or any other activity when he gets dirty, you should give him a bath after each activity.
- If your dog is mostly indoors and stays out of trouble when he is outside, then he will need to be bathed less frequently.
- The key is to observe the condition and smell of your dog’s coat and bathe him as needed rather than bathing him according to schedule.
Age of the Dog
- The frequency of bathing a dog depends heavily on the age. During their first 8-12 weeks of life, puppies rely on their mother for everything, including proper cleaning and grooming. If they are not with their mothers, you may need to occasionally wipe them down with a wet warm cloth to remove dirt and grime that has gotten stuck to them.
- When puppies are younger than 8 weeks old, they don’t have puppy coat, that means they cannot regulate their body temperature on their own. So bathing them cause them to get too hot or too cold.
- If puppy gets poop on himself or steps in something equally nasty, then he needs a bath. But make sure your puppy stays warm, gets thoroughly dried off and use puppy shampoo.
- Once your dog has reached his senior years, the bathing schedule will depend upon their health and lifestyle. If your senior dog enjoys a nice warm bath, you can give them spa treatment not more than every 4-6 weeks.
- Seasonality may also affect the frequency of your dog’s bath.
- In winter, pet parents may want to bathe and condition their dog’s skin more frequently to cut down on dryness and itching.
- In the spring, when the pets are shedding, more frequent baths may be needed to help remove dead coat.
- The third factor that is important in determining how often you should bathe your dog is your pet’s skin.
- Some dogs have a temporary or mild skin infection that requires frequent application of prescribed shampoo, then in that case, your dog needs to be bathed twice a week for 2-3 weeks depending on the infection.
- Dogs with itchy skin may also find relief from regular baths with medicated shampoo.
- Dogs may need regular baths to help keep fleas and ticks under control.
Excessive bathing can actually harm your pet. Bathing your dog too often can strip their natural oils which they need for healthy coat and skin. If you are still not sure how often you should bathe your dog, ask your Vet or groomer. They should be able to provide personalised guidelines by taking your dog’s health, breed and lifestyle into account.