Every dog owner wants the answer to this question: “how often should you wash your dog?”
If your dog can read this, he probably hates you right now. He hates me more because I’ll be telling about dog bathing.
Just say “let’s go for a bath” two times and see your dog disappear. It’s magic!
I know it’s hard but it has to be done. However, you can’t just go ahead and do it whenever.
So, when and how often to wash and bathe your dog? Let’s find out down below!
When to Wash Your Dog?
Dogs hate baths. Therefore, you can’t just take them to the bathroom anytime you like. There are certain times when you should.
Dog Begins to Smell
Like humans, dogs tend to smell bad when they have not had a bath for a long time. If you are snuggling with your puppy and you think he smells bad, it’s probably time to start the water.
That being said, ask a friend or someone if your dog does smell. If they say yes, that means it’s definitely time to take it for a bath. If they say no, make sure they are not being polite.
Dog Plays in Dirt
If you live in the countryside or you have your own backyard, your dog will have plenty of dirt to play with. Over time, too much dirt will hurt his skin. To avoid that, you should wash your dog and clean him up before allowing him to play more in the dirt.
Your Vet Says So
I don’t know your dog as much as your vet do. But I know the vet only wants the best for your dog. Therefore, if he or she asks you to bathe your dog, go ahead and do it.
Here are a few general guidelines for dog bathing.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
The most important question regarding bathing your dog is how often to do so. Generally, you should NOT bathe your dog more than once a month. But there are a few things to consider:
The Breed of Your Dog
Some dog breeds require more bathing per month than others. Generally, once a month is enough, but in some cases, you may have to do it 2 or 3 times (maximum). Anything more than that and your vet will be very mad at you, let alone how the dog will feel.
The Coat & Skin of Your Dog
Each dog breed has a different coat and various skin problems. Some of those skin problems are avoided by washing and brushing your dog more than usual, and some are caused by too much bathing.
As for the coat, dogs have natural oils in them. Therefore, a warm bath helps redistribute them over your dog’s body. However, too much water may make all those oils disappear. That will make your dog’s skin dry and more prone to dandruff, frizzies, and mats.
So, although a bath keeps your dog healthy for most of the time, a little too much of it may cause more health issues than what you’d imagine.
What’s Your Dog’s Favorite Thing to Do?
As I said above, you wash your dog when he starts to smell bad and/or when he plays too much in the dirt.
Two dogs from the same breed, both with healthy skins, won’t have the same numbers of baths per year, especially if they live two entirely different lives. The environment where your dog grows up will have a lot to say about how many times you put him in a bathtub.
Your Vet’s Advice
When you take your dog to the vet the first time, be sure to ask how often is the best to bathe him. After examination and checks, your vet will be able to tell you the healthy amount of bathing needed for your dog.
Here is what an expert vet has to say about bathing your dog.
Here is a great video on how often should you give your pet a bath.
5 Tips to Make Bathing Your Dog Easier
These 5 tips will help keep your relationship with your dog after the bath as friendly as possible. As I said, he hates you and me just because you are reading this. So, let’s try to be friends again.
Make It a Fun Activity
Instead of pulling your dog by the paws from under the table to the tub for a bath, making him think it’s an enjoyable experience. Use positive reinforcement by putting his favorite toys in the tub, treat him with the best food. Make his day awesome before and after the bath so the next time you bring out the towel, he is more willing to jump in the water.
Groom Your Dog Before the Bath
You need to brush your dog’s hair before the bathing time, so it is easier to dry him later. Also, put cotton balls in his ears so as to keep the water away. Your dog needs to be comfortable in his bath for him to accept doing it again.
Use Appropriate Products
Your shampoo hurts your dog. His shampoo helps his skin. Remember that!
Many (lazy) dog owners decide that it is okay to use their own shampoo on their dogs. The ingredients in each are very different as human and dog skin are different. You are not going to use your dog’s shampoo on yourself, so don’t use yours on him.
Here is our own list of the top 5 shampoos for dogs.
And here are the 10 best dog grooming products according to Independent.
Bathe Your Pet with Lukewarm Water & Air-Dry
Once again, human skin is more resistant to hot water than dog skin. That means what’s hot enough for you may be too hot for your dog. Keep it as a warm as possible and even colder even your have a large dog breed that tends to overheat.
A few more tips and tricks to bathe your dog.
Avoid All the Trouble in a Pet Salon
Some people know how to bathe their pets, and some have realized that not many do. So, they opened shops specifically to help do the hard task for you. If your dog is intelligent, he’ll be more resilient the second time you take him for a bath in a saloon. But the pros have proven techniques to calm him down like magic.
They can, also, cut hair, clip nails, and all the other grooming stuff you have so much trouble with at home. The pet salon is a solution to a very, very, frustrating problem.
When was the last time your gave your dog a nice bath? Let us know in the comments down below how well your dog behaved and what you have learned from your first time bathing your dog.