Living with dogs is the same as living with kids. You give them food, shelter, and love. Aside from these, there is also one thing that you should give your dog, and that is a bath. Sometimes, you’ll notice that your dog will stink, or their coat will lose its shine and become somewhat dusty. Have you asked yourself, “how often should I wash my dog?”
We often come across that question at some point in our lives. Luckily for you, we have the answer to that. Without further ado, here’s a short guide to washing your dog.
How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?
Now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, how often do we give baths to our dogs? New fur parents are often confused with this question, and it can be challenging to gauge how often we bathe our dogs. There are many factors to consider before finally deciding the number of times you can wash a dog. Here are some of them:
A dog with an active lifestyle may demand more baths than your indoor dogs, regardless of their breed. This is because active dogs tend to play outdoors or travel with their owner, swimming in the sea, hiking with muddy trails, or even work on the farm. Compared to indoor dogs, these dogs are more prone to be dirty, which, as mentioned, can lead to diseases.
Type of Coat and Breed
The type of coat your dog has is the primary factor when deciding the frequency of bathing. Longer coated breeds such as Collies and Golden Retrievers require more effort to maintain their hair, leading to more bathing frequencies. Dogs with medium to long coat types may need a bath every week or every four to six weeks, depending on how you manage your dog’s coat.
Shorter-haired dogs or hairless dogs are more care-intensive. Since their skin is more exposed, they are more prone to infection. These breeds require a weekly bath. Examples of these breeds are your Peruvian Hairless Dog and Xoloitzcuintli.
As mentioned, always consult your veterinarian regarding your pet’s skin health. If the dog is suffering from skin conditions, it would be best to use the appropriate type of medicated shampoo for their condition. Besides this, your veterinarian will also prescribe the frequency of bathing, mainly if you use a medicated shampoo since these can cause more harm than good if not timed correctly.
Why you should wash your dog?
The first up is why do we need to bathe our dogs? Each dog has varying and unique traits; these may be their breed, exposure to the environment, activity level, etc. Despite the contrary belief, dogs are just fine if you won’t bathe them. Baths or the trip to the groomers give dogs additional stress, but why do we need to clean them?
The reason for the question is simple. Dogs are creatures who love the environment. You may notice that your dog may roll around grass or dirt or maybe even swim in bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, or seas. The bottom line is that dogs become dirty and stinky, leading to your dogs contracting numerous diseases of the skin and other organs.
Not bathing your dogs increases the risk of being infected by numerous parasites. Some of these include ticks, lice, and fleas. During hot summer days, the incidence of heatstroke among pets is high. Bathing is a good idea to freshen them up and reduce their core temperature.
Bathe your dogs whenever they get dirty. However, overbathing dogs may not be a good idea since dogs need their natural oils for their skin to be healthy. Always consider the factors mentioned earlier before bathing.
How to wash a dog
Here’s a step by step way on how to bathe your dog:
- Remove the excess hair by brushing.
- Dampen the coat and skin using warm water.
- Use the appropriate shampoo as indicated by your veterinarian.
- Rinse your dog thoroughly.
- Towel dry your dog to prevent the growth of fungi. You can also use a hair blower to help in drying your dog.
- Give your dog some treats for good behavior.
- Choosing The Best Shampoo For Your Dog
- There’s no such thing as a universal shampoo; it’s not like that one ring to rule them all. There are different types of shampoo that are perfect for the right moment.
Generally speaking, a shampoo that’s gentle to your dog’s skin is recommended. Dog shampoos are primarily available in your local pet stores and veterinary clinics. These shampoos are incredibly soft for your dog’s skin and fur. These don’t hurt their eyes as well, assuming that some shampoo will accidentally touch their eyes. If there are no pet shops or vet clinics near your area, baby shampoo works well for them too.
Next is if your dog has a pre-existing medical condition. Suppose your dog has skin diseases such as pyoderma or fungal infection. In that case, it’s best to give them medicated shampoo that can eliminate bacteria or fungi, helping their body recover naturally from these offending organisms. To be safe, always check in with your veterinarian before buying or using shampoo for your dog. Your vets will always give what’s best for your furry companion.
How often should you groom your dog?
A good idea for owners who own active dogs is to trim their coats now and then. Cutting their fur short makes bathing more manageable, allowing you to remove dirt faster and easier. You can send them to the groomers to manage their hair and coat. You can make a trip to the groomers once a month.
How often to trim your dog’s nails
You can consider trimming your dog’s nails to prevent the risk of unnecessary wounds for you and your dog. Nail trimming can be done whenever their nails are long enough. Proper hygiene is always best for dogs and humans.
General dog bathing guidelines
Generally, bathing is suitable for your dogs to keep their skin healthy and fresh. Always ask your vets before making any move that you are unsure about for your pets.
A point to ponder on
“We should wash our dogs when they are no longer huggable” – Beth Cristiano, owner, Pet Paws LLC