Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.
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This review guide was updated in February 2019.
Knowing how often it is suitable to bathe a dog will vary from one breed to another.
Some breeds may be bathed once a week while others may require more prolonged gaps in between bath time.
What you should keep in mind, however, is that once a week is an absolute maximum on how often you should bath your dog. If you do currently wash your dog more frequently than once a week, 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 bathing them too often, you’re 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 more significant chance of rashes or welts forming due to the constant exposure to soap – even if it is the natural variety.
This means you should look to settle into a routine that allows for your dog to efficiently wash naturally while also giving them a helping hand now and then when they need it – such as after a particularly messy walk.
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 particularly 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 bath them every month or so.
Outdoor 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.
When it comes to Bath Time 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 bathing them.
What you should pay particular attention to is the fur of your dog.
Pooches with a heavy coat tend to overheat faster than dogs with a single layer of coating.
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 are 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 merely 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 bath your dog.
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 adequately trimmed there will be fewer instances of dirt sticking to the fur thereby limiting the need to 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 only when they need it, 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 bath your dog 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, don’t panic if you haven’t yet settled into a regular bathing routine.
You will soon work out exactly how often your pet should be 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 routine that is perfect for you both.