Some dogs can’t help rolling around in mud, dirt, or worse. This calls for a quick bath. Aside from these dirt emergencies, it isn’t as necessary to bathe your dog. But how frequently should a dog be bathed and do they require daily baths?
Generally, a healthy dog with a short, smooth coat and no skin issues doesn’t require frequent bathing. Dog baths are typically performed more for the convenience of the dog owners than for the benefit of the dogs themselves. Nevertheless, giving your dog a bath at least once every two to three months is a good idea.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
Generally speaking, you should wash your dog every two to three months. Short-haired breeds only need a wash every three months but must be brushed every week, while double-coated breeds need to be bathed once every month or every two months, depending on whether they are shedding. Give your long-haired dog a bath every two to three months, and brush out any tangles.
Although that is a good excuse for an extra bath, bathing your dog is about more than just cleaning them up after a day of splashing through puddles at the dog park. Regular bathing is crucial because it cleans your dog’s skin of dirt and debris and aids in preventing the emergence of potential skin conditions like clogged pores, itching, and dry or oily skin.
The breed heavily influences the frequency of your dog’s baths. As a starting point, consider the following principles:
In the spring and fall, when there is shedding, double-coated breeds require bathing once a month, and every two months in the summer and winter, when there is no shedding.
Breeds with double coats have an undercoat and an outer coat that are both distinctive. Usually, the undercoat is thinner, lighter in color, and shorter than the outer coat. It has two major releases each year, one in the spring and one in the fall, though it “sheds out” throughout the year. The outer coat does not shed out and is longer, thinner, and typically darker. As long as it stays healthy, it will grow to a certain length and maintain it year after year—plan to bathe your double-coated breed every eight weeks during the non-shedding seasons if you have one. To help get rid of any loose undercoat hairs, make sure to brush and comb the coat before turning on the water. This will reduce the time needed to bathe them and help avoid potential skin problems if their skin and coat do not dry quickly. Make plans for monthly baths and daily brushing during the shedding seasons. If you find it difficult to brush every day, try to do so at least three times per week to help control the undercoat’s shedding.
Short-coated breeds should be bathed roughly every three months, and regular (once-weekly) brushing will help maintain their skin and coat health. The natural oils in your dog’s coat are distributed by brushing, which helps to keep it moisturized and glossy.
Give your long-haired dog a bath every eight to twelve weeks if you have one. It is important to note that the coat must first be free of all tangles and mats. The bathing and brushing process will take longer, be harder on your pet’s skin and coat, and possibly irritate them if you bathe them first.
It’s best to bathe your puppy once every month or so. It’s crucial to avoid bathing them more frequently than necessary because doing so runs the risk of depriving their delicate puppy coat and skin of natural oils. However, depending on your puppy’s breed, developmental stage, lifestyle, and other factors, you may need to wash them more or less frequently. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian to determine the best routine for your puppy.
While every dog has different bathing requirements, Dog Experts advise that if in doubt, wash your dog every four weeks and also set aside time for de-shedding (if double-coated), clipping their nails, brushing their teeth, and checking their anal glands (expressing if needed).
The quantity and timing of your dog’s baths may vary depending on the season. Pet owners may want to plan baths every eight to twelve weeks in the winter, for instance, as too many baths during the drier months may cause the skin and coat to become dryer. To reduce tangles and help distribute natural oils, which can ease itching, you should still brush your pet at least once per week. The increased bathing frequency may be required in the spring to help remove the dead coat when pets are shedding.
Other Factors Need to Consider When Bathing Your Dog
Generally, a healthy dog with a short, smooth coat and no skin problems does not need to be bathed frequently. Most dog baths are performed for the benefit of the dogs’ owners rather than the dogs themselves. Even so, it’s a good idea to bathe your dog at least once every two to three months. Bathing your dog provides an excellent opportunity to inspect them for signs of skin problems or lumps that could indicate a more severe health issue.
In some cases, however, your dog may benefit from more frequent baths. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to give your dog more baths.
Dog’s Activity Level
Your dog will require a bath more frequently if they are very active and spend a lot of time outside, especially if they often swim or play in the mud. Athletic dogs may require frequent baths to control their odor, even if they are not prone to making messes.
Allergies or Skin Issues
Some dogs have skin conditions or allergies that require regular medicated shampoo baths. In these circumstances, the recommendations given by your veterinarian or groomer will determine how frequently your dog should be bathed. Regular baths with a colloidal oatmeal shampoo may also provide comfort for dogs with itchy skin. Frequent baths may be necessary to keep fleas and ticks under control on dogs who don’t respond well to oral or topical parasite treatments.
Health and Comfort
More frequent dog baths can occasionally be advantageous for pet owners. For instance, regular baths to clean your pet’s coat may help you breathe more manageable if you are allergic to pet dander or if your dog frequently brings outdoor allergens into the house. Additionally, bathing your dog as soon as they start to smell will make them easier to live with if you let them on the furniture or into your bed.
How Much is Too Much?
If you’re wondering how often you should bathe your dog, you should know that overdoing it can be detrimental to your pet. Overbathing, your dog can remove the natural oils necessary for a healthy coat and skin. Itchy skin and a dry, dull coat could result from this. If you must bathe your dog more frequently than once every two weeks or so, be sure to moisturize your dog afterward to help your pet’s natural moisture levels recover.
Ask your veterinarian or dog groomer if you are still trying to figure out how frequently you should bathe your dog. They should be able to give you tailored advice on how to keep your dog clean and healthy by taking into account their breed, health, and lifestyle.