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?
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 fur-baby have care-free and happy bath time.
When should my dog take a bath: Factors to consider
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 fur-baby! Every dog differs from each other and the answer to that greatly depends on:
Coat length. A dog with a long coat can easily catch dirt and trap debris and will need baths more frequently. On the other hand, a dog with a short coat will less likely be prone to getting dirty and will not be needing baths on a daily basis.
Allergies. Another thing to take into consideration, too, is if your dog has skin allergies. Bathing daily helps reduce allergens on your fur-baby like dried salvia, molds, dander, and dust that are trapped in his coat. It will also help relieve itching, pain, and will promote faster healing.
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 and 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 his time indoors may be a cleaner dog compared to a dog who spends most of his time outside, digging holes or jumping in muddy puddles.
Your Judgment. If your dog begins to smell bad, it’s probably time for a bath!
Is it okay to bathe my dog every week?
We absolutely understand if you want to keep your fur-baby smelling fresh and clean all the time but giving your dog a bath every week is not good for your dog.
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.
Help! My dog hates taking a bath!
Many dogs (and pet parents) struggle with bath time. Aside from the water either being too hot or too cold for your fur-baby, bath times make them uncomfortable because of:
- Bath Traumatic Stress Disorder: Your dog may have a bad memory of baths when he was 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 we 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 him 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.
Take baby steps. Taking baby steps in introducing water and the whole bath process to your fur-baby will help him 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 he will 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 fur-baby rewards every after bath time.
Give him chews. If your dog moves a lot during bath times, provide him with dog chews that will stimulate his body & mind and will keep him preoccupied, making it easier for you to wash him.
How can Pet Parents help?
Pet Parents® can help you keep your dog's skin and coat healthy through its Pet Parents® Skin and Coat supplement. It contains Alaskan Salmon Oil that's a hundred percent from Wild Alaska Pollock & highly concentrated in EPA & DHA; conditions skin, reduces scratching & hot spots, gives a shiny coat, & promotes joint, heart, & cognitive health.
It also contains 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 fur-baby's body and inhibits the degeneration of collagen.
If your dog has skin allergies , it is best to pair Pet Parents® Skin and Coat supplement with Pet Parents® Allergy supplement. It contains colostrum that fuels an underactive immune system or reduces an overactive immune system & helps seal the GI tract, which prevents infection & allergy symptoms. It also has apple cider vinegar, that has antioxidant & antibacterial properties that improves digestion, minimizes GI symptoms, and helps clear itchy skin of bacteria & relieve hot spots.
Gnawtlers® is also a great option in keeping your fur-baby preoccupied during bath times. These are premium antler chews from elks and deers that are natural, safe as these don't splinter or break so easily, and are not added with harmful dyes or artificial flavorings.
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.