How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
Knowing how often to bathe a dog varies from one breed to another. Some breeds may be bathed once a week while others may require longer gaps in between bath time. What you should keep in mind however, is that once a week is the absolute maximum on how often you should bath your dog so if you do currently wash your dog any more frequently than that we do recommend cutting back slightly.
The reason for this is because dogs have natural protective oils that keep their coats shiny and healthy. By giving them a bath too often, you’re basically stripping these protective oils off their body, making them vulnerable to various skin-related issues.
Not only does this encourage your dog’s fur to become unhealthy but there’s also a bigger chance of rashes or welts forming due to the constant exposure to soap – even if it is the natural variety. So settling in to a routine that allows for your dog to effectively wash themselves naturally while also giving them a helping hand every now and then when they really need it – such as after a particularly messy walk – has a number of benefits for your dog.
So How Often Should You Really Bathe Your Dog?
The general rule therefore is to bathe your dog as infrequently as possible and only when your dog needs a bath.
You’ll be able to tell when a bath is needed if the pooch is particularly dirty or smells bad especially after a long messy walk. If your dog is an indoor pet using a treadmill instead of going for outdoor walks, then chances are you are only going to have to give them a bath every month or so. Active dogs, however, may need baths more often depending on how much dirt and smell you can tolerate inside your home, but again remember to bear in mind that it is possible to wash your dog too much.
It should also be noted that dirt and a bad odor are just two of the many reasons why it might be time to bath your dog. An attack of fleas is also a reason many dog owners will be familiar with. Although a bath is only a temporary way of treating fleas, it does offer an excellent solution in controlling the problem and by combing bath time with an excellent flea and tick prevention shampoo you are attacking the intruders in more ways than one.
Consider The Breed of Your Dog
Of course, you should also take into account the breed of your dog when figuring out how often you should wash them. Some breeds have skin that is more tolerant and can therefore take more instances of washing. Others, however, are more sensitive and will necessitate gentleness on your part when giving them a bath.
What you should pay particular attention to is the fur of the dog. Pooches with heavy coat tend to overheat faster than dogs with a single layer of coat. Therefore, a Chow Chow might need more attention in the bath compared to a short-coated Chihuahua. Take this in to account together with the climate of your location.
Hot weather requires more frequent bathing to prevent overheating on the part of your furry friend. During cold weather, however, such measures may not be necessary.
Also note that some breeds are happier in water than others. If your dog loves the water then perhaps you can incorporate exercise with bathing, therefore giving your dog enjoyment even while you ensure cleanliness.
Alternative Grooming Routines
The good news is that bathing is not the only way you can keep your dog clean. For the most part, brushing and grooming is enough to keep your dog’s coat smelling fresh and looking tidy.
Unless the dirt is made of stubborn stuff dog coating can be sufficiently cleaned by simply brushing the area and using a wet towel to wipe away any accumulated dirt. Some dog owners like to use dog powder to keep their dogs smelling fresh which can also double as an anti-flea treatment. Keeping the fur properly trimmed also reduces the need to give your dog a bath. This is especially true for long-haired dogs like the Shih Tzu, which can often get a dirty snout while eating. By keeping this area properly trimmed there are fewer instances of dirt sticking to the fur thereby limiting the need to actually give your dog a bath.
All in all, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often to bathe a dog. It’s usually a good idea to hit a balance wherein you give a bath as often as possible without stripping the pooch of its natural oils. By offering the pooch a bath often, you can enforce a routine that will hopefully lower your dog’s reluctance to water. Keep in mind that it’s not just about how often you give your dog a bath but also how you bathe your dog and particularly the shampoo you choose to wash your dog with.
If you’re a new dog owner than don’t panic if you haven’t yet settled in to a regular bathing routine. You will soon work out exactly how often your pet should be being bathed, they are likely to tell you by the smell they’re giving off if you don’t remember! In no time you will have a regular routine that is perfect for you both.
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