How often should you bathe your dog ?
Having a dog in your life means you are taking on responsibility for all aspects of his well being. Grooming your dog appropriately and at the right intervals is an important aspect in maintaining his overall health. By how often must you bathe your dog? Many new pet parents fail to determine how often their dog should be bathed. The frequency at which you bathe your dog (at home or at the groomers) depends on various factors. Let us explore them to determine how often you should bathe your dog.
Dogs who are more into playing outdoors, rolling around in mud, and doing activities that work up a sweat would require frequent bathing. On the other hand, the couch potatoes, who prefer to stay at home, require minimum bathing. Keeping other considerations aside, dogs with lower activity levels can be given a bath once a month or every other month.
There are few underlying skin conditions which require you to bathe your dog more frequently. These conditions might even require bathing your dog with medicated shampoos. Skin problems such as parasitic imposition(fleas, ticks), mange or a skin allergy can cause an infection, making your pet feel uncomfortable and itchy. The frequency at which you should bathe your dog depends on your dog’s skin condition, the products you need to use and mostly importantly, your vet’s recommendation. For instance, if your dog has a flea infestation, bathe him once every week till the eradication of those parasites. Similarly, skin allergies that cause intense scratching can be treated by bathing your dog once or twice weekly. These conditions require special medicated shampoos. There are various tick/flea shampoos available for dogs, which help to clear out the fleas and prevent re-infestation.
Just like your own hair care routine, taking care of your dog’s coat is essential for his health and appearance. Every pet dog’s bathing routine is different because not all breeds have the same type of coat. Mentioned below are different coats and how often you should bathe these type of coats-
- Short Coat:
Dogs with short coats, like the Pug, Rottweiler, or Beagle, are generally low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Generally speaking, a healthy dog with a short, smooth coat and no skin problems doesn't need to be bathed often. A bath once every two to three months is usually enough for short coated dogs.
- Medium Coat:
Dogs with medium coats like Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, or German Shepherd need bathing once a month. Most dogs with medium coats have soft fur which is why they don’t need to bathe regularly and bathing once a month is enough to maintain the health and softness of their coat.
- Long Coat:
Some dogs with long fur might need more maintenance. Long-coated dogs, such as Pomerian, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, or Cocker Spaniel are more difficult to groom because of the length of their hair. These dogs should bathe roughly every 2-3 weeks, depending on their outdoor activities. You should brush your long-coated dog both before and after a bath, to avoid any matting.
- Wire/Broken Coat:
This type of coat is rough and coarse to the touch and the hair is thick and bristly when compared to the soft coats that some dogs possess. Dogs with wiry coats like the Scottish Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, or Wirehaired Dachshund, should be bathed every 6-8 weeks. It’s important that you don’t bathe a wiry coat too often because it can cause their hair to dry out.
Keep in mind that less hair does not necessarily mean that frequent bathing is not needed. In fact, some breeds are actually very care-intensive and their grooming needs do not depend on the length of their coat. Many breeds have skin that is too oily and they require constant attention. For example, a Basset Hound, a Golden Retriever, and a Labrador are some of the dog breeds that produce a significant amount of oil. It is recommended that these breeds are given a bath every week to prevent oil build up. Similarly, there are breeds who shed excessively and may also be required to bathe once a week regardless of their coat length. Bathing helps loose hair come off and provide a hygienic look. For example Labrador, German Shepherd, Beagle are some of the breeds who shed a lot. Medicated shampoo or deshedding shampoos would be required to combat these special cases.
- There is such a thing as too much bathing. Excessive bathing strips essential oils from the skin and fur which results in dry, itchy skin, and a dull, dry hair coat. Moisturizing shampoos are ideal for dogs who are required to bathe frequently.
- Different skin conditions call for different bathing needs. If your dog has a skin condition, contact a vet to create an appropriate bathing schedule for him. A specific medicated shampoo might be required for that particular skin condition.
- Some dogs might resist a bath. Provide treats to your pooch to make bath time more exciting for him.
- Consult a vet to know what bathing schedule works best for your particular breed.
To put it simply, there is no fixed schedule for bathing or grooming in general. Bathing needs may change over the course of time for many dogs. The factors mentioned above play a vital role in choosing the right bathing schedule and products for your pet. Bathing is also a good bonding time for you and your pooch. It is an important step towards keeping your pooch healthy and hygienic. We hope that this article helped you determine the appropriate bathing frequency for your dog.