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 baths. What you should keep in mind however, is that once a week is the absolute maximum on how often you should bath your dog.

Natural Protective Oils

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 the natural variety.

How Often to Bathe a Dog: Only When Needed

The general rule therefore is to bathe your dog as infrequently as possible and only when your dog needs the 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, then chances are you only have to give him a bath every two to three weeks. Active dogs, however, may need baths more often depending on how much dirt and smell you can tolerate inside the house.

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.

how often should you wash your dog

Consider Dog Breed

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 a bath.

What you should pay particular attention to is the fur of the dog. Pooches with heavy coating tend to overheat faster than dogs with a single layer of coat. Therefore, a Chowchow might need more attention in the bath compared to a short-coated Chihuahua. Take this in account together with the climate of your current location. Hot weather requires more frequent bathing to prevent overheating on the part of the pooch. 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.

Bath Alternatives

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.

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