Knowing how frequently to bathe your dog might be difficult. With so many diverse breeds, habits, and health requirements, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Continue reading for tips on determining the ideal dog wash frequency for your pet.
How Often Should I Bathe My Dog? Factors to Consider
In general, a healthy dog with short, silky hair and no skin issues does not require frequent bathing. Most dog baths are performed for the benefit of their pet owners rather than the dogs themselves. Even so, bathing your dog at least once every two to three months is a good idea. Bathing your dog allows you to inspect them for symptoms of skin disorders or lumps that might suggest a more serious health condition.
In some circumstances, though, your dog may benefit from more frequent bathing. Here are some things to think about when considering whether or not to give your dog more baths.
The Activity Level of Your Dog
If your dog is really active and spends a lot of time outside, he or she will definitely require a wash more frequently – especially if they swim or play in the dirt. Even if they aren’t prone to making messes, active dogs may require more regular washes to regulate their odor.
Their Coat or Skin Type
According to the American Kennel Club, long-haired and curly-haired dog breeds require more frequent washing and brushing to keep their coats from matting. The AKC also suggests washing these dogs at least once every four to six weeks, with frequent brushing in between washes to keep the coat in good condition. As long as they’re healthy, short-haired breeds like Labrador retrievers may get away with less regular washing.
What if your dog is completely hairless? Hairless breeds, such as the Chinese crested dog, require weekly bathing because they lack the skin protection that a coat gives. Dogs with oily skin, such as cocker spaniels and basset hounds, benefit from more regular bathing to reduce oil accumulation.
Allergies or Skin Problems
Some dogs suffer from allergies or skin conditions that may require regular bathing with medicated shampoo. In these cases, the right dog bath frequency will depend on the instructions provided by your veterinarian or groomer. Dogs with itchy skin may also find relief from regular baths with a colloidal oatmeal shampoo. Dogs who don’t respond well to oral or topical parasite treatments might need regular baths to help keep fleas and ticks under control.
Your Health and Comfort
More regular dog washing might sometimes benefit pet parents. For example, if you’re sensitive to pet dander or your dog brings in allergens from outside, regular washes to clean your pet’s coat may help you breathe better. If your dog is permitted on the couch or in your bed, washing them at the first hint of stench will make them more bearable.
How Much Is Too Much?
If you’re wondering how often you should bathe your dog, keep in mind that too much bathing might be harmful to your pet. According to Reader’s Digest, bathing your dog too frequently might deplete its natural oils, which they require for a healthy coat and skin. This might cause a dry, dull coat and itchy skin. If you must bathe your dog more than once a month, use a moisturizing dog shampoo and follow up with a moisturizing dog conditioner to replace your pet’s natural moisture.
If you’re still unsure about how frequently you should bathe your dog, see your veterinarian or a groomer. They should be able to give specific suggestions to assist you to keep your dog clean and healthy by taking into account your dog’s breed, health, and lifestyle.