A clean dog is a healthy dog, but how do you know how often to bathe your dog? The right bathing schedule will help your furry friend maintain their skin and coat health and keep them feeling comfortable. How often you should bathe your dog depends on a few different factors, and we’ll cover all of them! So, let’s get started.
Related: Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath
So, How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
How frequently your dog needs a bath varies greatly based upon their breed, coat type, activity level, and allergies. Other than being good for their hygiene, bathing your dog is a good chance for you to check for any scratches, fleas, bumps, or other abnormalities.
Here’s what you need to know to answer the question of “How often should I bathe my dog?”:
Breed and Coat Type
Your dog’s breed and type of coat is a significant factor in how often you need to bathe them. However, it’s not as simple as short hair equals less bathing. Hairless breeds, like the Xoloitzcuintli and Chinese Crested dogs, need a lot more intensive care and require weekly baths.
On the other hand, long-haired breeds like the Collie and Maltese have a lot more fur and need more frequent baths, but not as often as hairless ones. Dogs that have medium-large coats typically need a bath every four to six weeks, as long as you properly maintain their coat in between bathing.
Related: The Best Dog Coats
But, some breeds like the Puli, which are long-haired, do not need to take baths as often when corded. They don’t develop the typically doggy smell, and Puli’s don’t really require the amount of bathing as many other breeds.
But, what about dogs that fall in between these categories? Dogs with double or thick coats, like labs, retrievers, and huskies, can suffer from over-bathing. Bathing them too often strips the oil from their skin and disrupts the natural insulation that their coats provide. For these breeds, it’s also important to use dog shampoo meant to prevent shedding.
While it might seem obvious, we want to mention that dogs that are highly active and spend lots of time outside probably need a bath more often, especially if they like to swim or play in the dirt regularly. Even for active dogs who aren’t prone to making and getting into messes, they can usually benefit from more frequent baths to control their doggy smell.
Allergies or Skin Issues
Some dogs that have issues with allergies or skin conditions may require more frequent bathing along with the use of medicated shampoo. In cases like these, the right bathing frequency will depend on what your professional groomer or veterinarian recommends. Dogs that have itchy skin might also find some relief from regular baths and oatmeal shampoos. Dogs that don’t respond well to topical or oral treatments might require regular baths to help keep bugs like ticks and fleas under control.
Related: Your Guide to Dog Allergies
Tips For Bath Time: How to Bathe Your Dog
Now that you know how often you should bathe your dog, here are some tips on the best way to do it! Also, it’s important to note that over bathing your dog is a bad thing: it can irritate and dry out their skin and is typically detrimental to their overall skin and coat health.
1. Use High-Quality Shampoo
Dog-specific shampoos are important to keep your pup healthy. Preferably, you’ll use all-natural and hypoallergenic shampoos to reduce the chances of any eye or skin irritations and dryness. Non-stick bath mats in the tub also help keep your dog from slipping around too much!
Related: Best Dog Shampoo Brands
2. Don’t Forget to Brush!
It’s easy to forget, but it’s important to prep your pup for bathtime by brushing them to get rid of any tangles or excess hair.
3. Pick the Right Spot
Many dogs dislike bath time. One of the best ways to keep them calm is remaining consistent on where, when, and how often you bathe them. It can be uncomfortable for your furry friend, so bathing them in a familiar place can help make them feel better about getting washed.
4. Get Everything Ready Beforehand
Once your pup is in the tub, your hands will be full. It’s important to get everything ready before you start, including your shampoo, a clean towel to dry them off with, and some treats to reward them for their good behavior. Please, never leave your pup unattended in the tub.
5. Water Temp Matters
Water too cold? Your pup will be miserable. Water too hot? You might burn their skin. The best temp for bathing your dog is lukewarm water. Think of a temperature that would be suitable for a young child: not too hot and not too cold.
6. Wash Bottom to Top, Rins Top to Bottom
Start by washing their paws and work your way up to their head. When you’re ready to rinse, start with their head and work your way down to the paws. Bathing them this way helps to keep the shampoo away from their sensitive areas.
Related: How to Shampoo Your Dog
Drying your pup off with a towel has two benefits: it helps them retain some warmth and protects your bathroom from them shaking off too much water! If it’s cold or you have a dog with long hair that takes a long time to dry, you can use a blow dryer to speed it up—make sure it’s not too hot, though!
2. Make the Bath Fun!
If your dog hates baths, try to make it more fun! Let them take their toys, offer them treats, and show them plenty of affection. It can also help to slowly introduce your pup to baths: take it a little at a time and get them used to the water.
3. Try CBD Oil
Many dogs get anxious during bath time. You can help ease their anxiety by offering them a CBD-infused treat or giving them a dose of CBD oil. It can help them feel more relaxed and learn to enjoy bath time!
Related: What Dog Owners Need to Know About Dog Anxiety
Looking for the best CBD treats and oil for your pups? Check out Dope Dog’s selection of high-quality, dog-safe CBD products!