How often should you wash your dog?

How often should you wash your dog?

Remember that time your doggo jumped straight into the deepest end of that mud puddle? You probably spent a few hours washing the dirt off of your dog, while he probably struggled to get away from the bubbles of soap and you. We can bet you had to clean the bathroom after that bath for a while too. 

Outside of situations where your dog gets really dirty as a result of outdoor activity, do you know how often you should actually bathe your dog? Or if you even should at all? We’ll explore it in this article, so keep reading if you’re interested in finding out more about bathing your puppy. 

Why bathing your dog is important

We already know our furry companions would do anything to escape bath time, but why is it that we need to wash them every now and again? 

Well, first there’s the obvious reasons - dirt. Whenever they get too dirty, they tend to carry it everywhere around your house. Then, they stink up the place too, especially if they rolled in some poop earlier that day. So obviously, this is the number one reason owners give their dogs baths. 

But there’s also the matter of cleaning out tangled fur, especially with longer-haired breeds. Combing through won’t always cut it, so using some dog-friendly shampoo and a good scrub will definitely help. 

Third, a clean dog is more than likely a healthy dog. That’s because washing your dog can get rid of any bacteria or parasites that may harm him. 

How often should you wash your dog?

This is probably one of the most asked questions when it comes to dog grooming. And the answer is… it depends on several factors, like: 

  • Your dog’s breed (specifically his coat’s properties). Take Golden Retrievers for instance. Their coat is water-repellant, so they should be bathed less frequently in order to preserve this quality in their fur. On the other hand, any short-haired breed, like beagles, do just fine with one bath a month, approximately. 
  • Your dog’s activity and surroundings. The more he plays outside, the more likely it is that he’ll need baths more frequently. 

So the magic formula is to actually smell your dog and decide for yourself. Does he stink? If so, reach for the doggy shampoo. Otherwise, give him a breather.

Be careful not to wash your dog too often, as it can strip his fur of natural oils, which could leave it dry, matted, and prone to dandruff or other issues. 

How to wash your dog

We’re not saying you don’t know how to wash your dog, but if you’re struggling, here’s what you should do. 

If you have a big dog breed, the bathtub or shower is your best option. However, if you have a small dog, you can just put him in the sink and wash away. 

When it comes to shampoo, you need to make sure you’re using a shampoo that’s specifically designed for dogs. This will prevent you from over stripping oil layers from their fur or causing skin irritations and allergies. You should be able to find dog shampoo at your local vet, pet store, or veterinary pharmacy. 

Before you start washing up Fido, make sure you give his coat a brush. This will prevent any matting of the fur that could cause problems further down the process. 

Be careful not to get any soap in your dog’s eyes. You know it’s unpleasant when it happens to you, so imagine just how bad it’s for them, since they don’t expect the discomfort. 

Remain calm and nurturing when bathing your dog. They pick up on your mood super fast, so if you’re anxious about washing them, they will sense it and become anxious about it too. Try talking in a calm manner, using a soothing voice. Also, don’t over agitate yourself or him. 

After your done bubbling up the fur, rinse it thoroughly. Any soap that remains on the skin will be able to cause irritation and dryness, which will make your dog uncomfortable with itchy skin. 

Let him shake it off. He will anyways but allow your dog to shake off any excess water before you begin the drying process. 

Use a towel to dry him off at first. Just as you would for yourself, dry your dog off with a towel, to soak up excess water from the fur. Then you can continue with air drying your dog with a blowdryer. Make sure, though the heat is not too high so that you’re not making your dog uncomfortable. 

Reward your dog for being such a good boy, by offering a treat after the bath. In time, this will help associate bath time with a more pleasant experience. 

So now you know. Giving your dog a bath is not rocket science. There are just a few simple things to keep in mind with regards to how often you should wash your pupper, but once you figure those out, you’ll surely form a routine and won’t have to think about them too often anyways. 

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