Be honest – how much do you enjoy washing your dog? Based on the observation of all that takes place during a bathing session; dogs don’t much enjoy this activity.
It’s messy, the dog won’t sit still, and no matter how much you love lathering him/her up with shampoo and brushing his/her coat, the whole process is just too tedious, albeit necessary. So how often should you bathe your dog?
Like is the case with most things, the answer to how often you should wash your dog is “it depends.”
Dogs naturally groom themselves for several reasons:
- To improve the health of their skin and coat
- To help facilitate the growth of additional hair follicles
It’s important to bathe your dog because it supplements this process. However, bathing your dog too often can also cause him/her some harm.
Not only can frequent baths irritate the dog’s skin, but they could also damage the hair follicles and increase the chances of your dog getting fungal and bacterial infections.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
There are several factors that come into play when it comes to deciding how often you should bathe your dog.
If you have a healthy dog that spends most of his/her time indoors, then you might only need to wash him/her only a few times every year.
On the other hand, if you have a dog that is very active and tends to play outside a lot, then you might have to wash him/her a bit more frequently.
Here are some factors that determine how often you should bathe your dog:
- The health of the dog
- It’s breed
- The type of coat on the dog
- The dog’s activity level
- Where the dog plays
One of the best ways to determine when it’s time to wash the dog is to use your nose. If the dog comes into a room and you can smell his/her doggy odor, then you know it’s time to bathe that dog.
If, however, you have a dog with skin conditions that need extra care, then you should rely on your vet’s guidance on how often and when to bathe the dog. Your vet is also in a very good position to give advice on which kinds of products to use on your dog.
Why is it Important to Wash Your Dog?
While there is no absolute rule on when or how often you should bathe your dog, it’s clear that this exercise is quite important in both you’re and the dog’s life. Here are some excellent reasons why you should bathe your dog every so often:
- It helps to remove odor and general dirt: Although this might seem a little obvious the best way to know when it’s a good time to wash your dog is when he/she begins to stink. Using a reliable doggy shampoo and conditioner is a great way to get them smelling fresh and hygienic.
- It gives the dog a softer coat: Frequent baths using a nice coconut-based conditioner will help keep your dog’s coat soft and nice.
- It’s a good way to reduce shedding: Are you tired of constantly picking up clumps of hair or vacuuming your floors every day because your dog won’t stop shedding his/her hair? One of the best ways to keep this from happening is to give your dog frequent baths and thorough brushing. The more often your dog gets a bath, the less they will shed.
- It helps you to monitor the health of their skin: Whenever you take the time to bathe your dog, also take the time to inspect their skin, teeth, and ears for unusually red spots of other occurrences. Visit your vet as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary.
There is one other wonderful reason why you might want to bathe your dog as frequently as possible without causing them harm – it strengthens the bond between the two of you. While your dog might already be your best friend, it doesn’t hurt to strengthen that bond.
These bath times are a good way to do that, especially if your dog enjoys them or if you provide him/her with treats. Your pet will enjoy the repetitive motion that comes with the brushing of their skin just as much as they will enjoy spending time with you.
Tips on How to Properly Bathe Your Dog
Unlike humans, your dog won’t necessarily enjoy jumping in the shower. As such, there are certain tips and steps that you need to take to ensure that both of you have a good time whenever you bathe your dog. Here are some tips on how to properly bathe your dog:
- Use the right products: The very first thing you need to know is that your dog’s skin is quite different from your own. While the human skin tends to be quite acidic with a pH under 5, your dog’s skin tends to lie more on the neutral side with a pH of about 7. This means that some of the products you use on your skin can be very irritating to your dog’s skin. You are therefore advised to use the right products such as an Oatmeal-based shampoo for dogs.
- Always brush before bathing your dog: This is a very important step when it comes to bathing your dog. Give him/her a thorough brushing before you bathe them to ensure that you have gotten rid of any tangles and excess hair. Here are some of the best dog brushes you could use.
- Try to wash the head last: If you start by washing your dog’s head first, he/she will keep shaking the water off throughout the process, and this will make it generally very messy and difficult to execute.
Bathing your dog can be a great deal of fun for both of you and a wonderful way to bond. However, you don’t have to bathe your dog every day; in fact, it’s ill-advised to do so.
Try to wash your dog at least once a month or when you feel as though they need it or have started stinking up the place.
If they have special skin issues, then your vet should tell you how often to bathe them and what products to use.