How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog
Splish splash splish splash. How often should you bathe your dog? For us, pet parents, we find ourselves taking a bath once or twice every day. But is this applicable for our dogs, too?
"Many dogs (and pet parents) struggle with bath time. Aside from the water either being too hot or too cold for your furbaby, bath times make them uncomfortable."
In this article, get ready to get down and dirty on things you should consider that will determine how often you should be bathing your dog and tips to help your furbaby have care-free and happy bath time.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
When should my dog take a bath: Factors to consider
How often should you bathe your dog? In general, it's advised by most veterinarians to bathe your dog once every three months. Others also recommend bathing your dog as regularly as every other week. But this is not always the case as all dogs are different.
It can be confusing to know when's the exact right time for you to wash your furbaby! Every dog differs from each other and the answer to that greatly depends on:
Coat length. How often should you bathe a dog with a long coat? A dog with a long coat can easily catch dirt and trap debris and will need baths more frequently. Breeds like Shih Tzus, Bearded Collies, Yorkshire Terriers, and Afghan Hounds might need baths every four to six weeks. On the other hand, a dog with a short coat will be less likely to get dirty and will not need baths as often.
Allergies. Another thing to take into consideration, too, is if your dog has skin allergies. You might be wondering, “How often should I bathe my dog with skin allergies?” Bathing more frequently helps reduce allergens on your furbaby like dried salvia, molds, dander, and dust that are trapped in their coat. It will also help relieve itching, pain, and will promote faster healing. Talk to your vet about a medicated or pet-safe shampoo and how often to bathe dogs with skin allergies. The frequency will depend on the severity and lifestyle of your dog.
Skin conditions. Some dogs do not have skin allergies but they do have certain skin conditions like yeast infections, allergic dermatitis, shedding, hair loss, mange, ticks & fleas infestation, dry & flaky skin, and hot spots to name a few. These skin problems make them predisposed to needing a bath more frequently.
Activity levels. A dog who spends most of their time indoors may be a cleaner dog compared to a dog who spends most of their time outside, digging holes or jumping in muddy puddles.
Your Judgment. If your dog begins to smell bad or gets dirty, it’s probably time for a bath! Keep in mind that a lot of dogs will smell “like outside” when they first come in after playing or walking. This smell usually fades and does not need a bath every time.
Is it okay to bathe my dog every week?
How often can you bathe a dog? Is it okay to bathe a dog once a week? We absolutely understand if you want to keep your furbaby smelling fresh and clean all the time but giving your dog a bath every week is not good for your dog. Although how often to bathe dogs depends on activity and coat, is it not recommended for any dog to get a bath every week.
How often should you bathe your dog if not every week? Your dog requires natural body oils that are produced by the skin to help promote healthy skin and proper hair growth. Bathing every week can also cause skin dryness and irritation. Try to go at least a month between baths to help these oils form.
Help! My dog hates taking a bath!
Many dogs (and pet parents) struggle with bath time. Many dogs (and pet parents) struggle with bath time. Aside from the water either being too hot or too cold for your furbaby, bath times make them uncomfortable because of:
- Bath Traumatic Stress Disorder: Your dog may have had a bad memory of baths when they were younger and the fear is triggered every time they hear water running.
- The way they process smells. It is common knowledge that dogs are able to smell better than us and smell plays a great role for them to process information and of things they don't want to forget. They don't want you to wash it off.
- Uncomfortable bathing places: A bath would be nice if only the place was comfortable to stand on. Some dogs detest bath times because they find bathtub floors too slippery and hard to stand on when they can't get enough traction.
- Handling issues and anxiety: Not all dogs love to be cuddled and held (Surprise!!). This handling issue can cause anxiety and can cause him to be traumatized by baths.
How do I help my dog learn to love baths?
It can be disappointing when your dog hates bath time and even if each dog has different levels of anxiety when it comes to taking a bath, you can actually help them learn to love it by making it an enjoyable experience!
Take a walk or play first before taking a bath. Use your dog's natural instincts to your advantage as most dogs love the feel of the water when they're feeling exhausted and hot. Also, they'll have lesser energy to fight you off.
You can also use a snuffle mat, like Pet Parents® Forager™ Mat to provide mental stimulation before a bath that will help mentally tire them out.
Take baby steps. Taking baby steps in introducing water and the whole bath process to your furbaby will help them calm down whenever the water starts running. Do not give your dog the plunge right away. Be gentle, patient, and understanding. Your dog will easily sense if you're irritated, angry, or stressed out and they may feel the same way, too.
Make it a positive experience. It's important to make sure that your dog has a positive experience every bath time. Give your furbaby rewards during and after every bath time.
Give them something to chew. If your dog moves a lot during bath times, provide them with dog chews that will stimulate their body & mind and will keep them preoccupied, making it easier for you to wash them.
How can Pet Parents help?
Pet Parents® can help you keep your dog's skin and coat healthy through Pet Parents® Skin and Coat supplement. These soft chews contain Alaskan Salmon Oil that's a hundred percent from Wild Alaska Pollock & highly concentrated in EPA & DHA. These supplements help condition skin, reduce scratching & hot spots, give a shiny coat, and promotes joint, heart, & cognitive health.
Pet Parents® Skin and Coat SoftSupps® also contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that increases white blood cell activity, improving immune function. It works as a natural antihistamine & helps minimize allergies. As an antioxidant, it acts as a “scavenger" for free radicals in your furbaby's body and inhibits the degeneration of collagen.
If your dog has skin allergies , it is best to pair Pet Parents® Skin and Coat SoftSupps® with Pet Parents® Allergy SoftSupps®. These contain colostrum that fuels an underactive immune system or reduces an overactive immune system and helps seal the GI tract, which prevents infection & allergy symptoms. These allergy-fighting soft chews also have apple cider vinegar, that has antioxidant & antibacterial properties that improve digestion, minimize GI symptoms, and help clear itchy skin of bacteria & relieve hot spots.
Gnawtlers® are a great option to keep your furbaby preoccupied while drying your dog after a bath or as a reward. These are premium antler chews from elks and deer that are natural, safe as these don't splinter or break so easily, and are not added with harmful dyes or artificial flavorings. Plus, they have no odor and will not put you right back where you started with a dirty dog.
"Skin and Coat SoftSupps® contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that increases white blood cell activity, improving immune function."
Now back to the question: How often should you bathe your dog? It depends on your judgment and your dog's pre-existing conditions and lifestyle. Bathing can be a bonding experience for both you and your dog, just don't overdo it to avoid skin problems.
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