Just like little kids, some dogs are all about baths, while others want nothing to do with them. But hey, it’s super important to keep up with their cleanliness, not just for their sake but also for yours as a responsible dog owner. If you neglect their grooming and hygiene, they could end up carrying nasty germs that can even infect you. So, even if your furry friend puts up a fight, it’s crucial to give them a good scrub-down to keep them healthy and hygienic. In my case, I’ve got one dog who actually enjoys bath time and finds it totally chill and soothing, so we wash him more frequently. On the flip side, our other pup goes running for cover the moment he hears the dreaded word “bath,” so we go easy on him and give him baths less often.
Why does your dog need a bath?
Just like humans, dogs also need to be bathed, but there are several factors to consider before giving your pet a bath. These factors include their level of activity, outdoor exposure, breed, and other considerations. However, it’s important to note that in reality, dogs would likely be fine without regular baths. As many dog owners are aware, most dogs dislike bath time. Some dogs patiently endure the experience, while others can irritate their owners to the point where they begin to dislike bath time as much as their furry companions do.
However, there are various reasons to bathe your dog. Your dog will be filthy if he or she tends to roll around in the dirt or grass or your dog might love swimming in ponds or chasing after birds. To top it off, your dog might be one of the more oily breeds that, after a while, starts to smell a bit too “doggy.”
There’s more to it than just keeping your dog clean and smelling fresh. Fleas and ticks can be a major problem during the warmer months, and bathing can help eliminate parasites and relieve itching caused by their bites. It’s a good idea to use a flea and tick collar as well, especially if you live in an area where you are prone to these pesky insects.
How often do dogs need a bath?
Bathing dogs follow a general rule: the longer their coat, the more often they should be bathed. While a dog with a medium-to-long coat may require bathing every four to six weeks, several short-haired breeds can go for weeks without needing a bath.
However, there are certain exceptions. Certain short-haired dog breeds have extremely sensitive coats and skin that may necessitate weekly bathing. If your dog’s activity level is minimal, you may not need to bathe them every month.
When it comes to how often you bathe a dog, the level of activity can be a big factor. Dogs may release more oils through their skin and develop an odor faster during the summer months or periods of excessive activity. During the summer, many dog owners may give more frequent baths, whereas in the fall and winter, they may go longer between bathing.
It’s also worth noting that you can over-bathe your dog, frequent bathing and the use of strong soaps will dry up your dog’s skin and cause irritation. If you’re unsure about your dog’s bathing requirements, you may always seek assistance from your vet.
The bathing schedule can also vary depending on what breed your dog is. The different breed has different bathing needs, so to understand what your dog needs, make sure to focus on his breed.
● Short-haired breeds with smooth coats like a German Shorthaired Pointer, Doberman pinscher, bull terrier, etc can go months without bathing because they have less fur than others. Their coats shed excess dirt and oil naturally, and they rarely stink.
● Oilier breeds, such as labrador retrievers, may require weekly bathing. Their natural oils may also help to keep their skin from drying out too much.
● Dogs with water-resistant coats like retrievers and other dogs should be brushed often and to preserve their natural oils, over bathing should be avoided.
● Similarly, dogs with thick double-coats like Akita and Siberian Husky should be brushed clean and over-bathing should be avoided to preserve their natural oils.
If your dog enjoys mud puddles, swimming, and rolling around in the grass or whatever, or if you live in the country, your dog will require a more frequent bath than a dog who lives in a condo in the suburbs.
However, don’t bathe your dog more frequently than is absolutely required, or you’ll strip his coat of its natural oils, making it dry and prone to dandruff, frizzes, and mats. Some shampoos may irritate or dry the skin of your dog more than others. If this happens, bathe less often or try using a different shampoo. Here’s a favorite dog shampoo of mine and its tear free for your pup too.
When to take help from professionals?
Giving baths to small dogs is a bit easier, as they can fit easily in the bathtub or in a sink, but sometimes they can have a hard time too. On the other hand, big dogs can turn your bathroom into a flood zone with one good shake.
At some point, it might be a good idea to seek help from a local groomer. A groomer can not only clean your dog, but also cut his nails, brush his teeth, and trim his fur for a reasonable price. For some breeds with long hair, professional groomers are required since, unlike fur, hair does not shed as much and will continue to grow until it’s clipped, just like yours. Groomers can assist if your dog dislikes bathing, even if he or she has fur rather than hair. Groomers use a wide range of tried-and-true methods to encourage even the most adamant canine to behave in the bath.