We all love our dogs and one way we show them our care is by keeping them clean and smelling good as much as possible. However, did you know that too much bathing is actually not advisable? So how often should you wash your dog?
How often should you bathe your dog?
A clean pooch is a healthy pooch. But too much bathing could be dangerous. It’s your responsibility as the pet-parent to know the right bathing frequency.
1. Answer considering nature
If we’re going to ask nature and biology, the answer is quite surprising – never.
Yes, you read it right. If your dog is healthy and has no skin condition, there’s actually NO need to wash him, like ever. Dogs by nature (which is also evident in wild, feral dogs) don’t bathe and definitely don’t use shampoo.
2. Answwer by dog experts
An average, healthy dog can be washed once every four weeks or once a month. It’s your responsibility to choose the best dog shampoo for your little pooch. It must be a product that doesn’t cause him skin irritation and compatible with his coat. Do NOT bathe your dog more than once a week, unless your vet says it’s necessary to do so.
3. Answer by factors
Coat health, breed, and lifestyle are a few of the factors to consider. Shorthaired breeds don’t need much washing. On the other hand, dogs with thick undercoats need more frequent bathing than the previous type.
- Fog dogs with sensitive skin, it’s better to just ask your vet for how often to wash him.
- A dog’s bathing time could also be affected by a pet-parent with a certain lifestyle. There are also dogs who just simply loves bath time so it’s easy to wash them without too much effort.
The best bathing frequency
While it’s advisable to bathe your dog once a month, it’s still not the universal answer to all. The best bathing frequency actually lies in the reason why you need to bathe a particular dog.
- For instance, a dog with certain medical conditions like allergic skin disease requires more frequent bathing than another dog without such condition.
- A healthy dog who spent most of his days indoors may only need to be washed a few times a year. Just enough bath times to remove the “stinky doggy odor.”
Answer: Again, dogs don’t need bathing by nature. That means there’s no reason to bathe a healthy dog. Dogs can go for months without taking a bath and surprisingly doesn’t smell bad at all (a lot of people can testify to that). You only need to wash your dog is he’s already dirty (more will be discussed later).
When should you wash your dog?
If you’re one of the wise pet-parents who understand that bathing is actually not necessarily as frequent as you think, you can simply follow some “go signals” that tell you that it’s time for your little pooch to take a bath.
- It’s not normal for dogs to stink. If they come near you and you can smell something, it’s a clear signal that you need to wash him already.
- It’s also not normal for dogs to get dirty. So if your little furball loves to play outdoors and one day you found him muddy, then you can consider that as another signal to wash him.
Is too much dog bathing dangerous?
Yes, it’s quite detrimental to wash your dog more often than prescribed. Potential effects of too much dog bathing include damaged hair follicles and skin irritation. Further, another shocking effect of too much bathing is you’re actually increasing the risk of your furball getting fungal and bacterial infections, as well as skin sensitivity.
Why do we wash our dogs?
It’s pretty much just a common passed-on practice for people to wash their dogs. Dog owners often see fellow pet-parents washing their dog and so they go on and do the same. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the quantity of safe bathing.
Most people wash their dogs for home hygiene reasons. Who would want their home to get muddy? Dogs love to roll around so you can’t afford your carpet to get all dirty and stained.
Some useful tips on how to give a dog a bath
Do not force your dog if he doesn’t want to take a bath. Give him some time to adjust and adapt to the water. Sooner he’ll want to bath more than before.
Wash the body of your dog first and wash the head last. Dogs tend to shake their heads once that part gets soaking wet. So it’s better to start below and work your way upwards.
Only use a shampoo that says tear-free or tearless in the label. Even if it says so, you should still be careful in applying and do NOT put the shampoo in your dog’s eyes. Wash carefully around the eyes and rinse right away after a few seconds.
Note: No online advice beats professional diagnosis. This blog is not intended to replace the diagnosis and statements of professional veterinarians and animal health practitioners. If you’re experiencing an animal health emergency, consult the nearest vet immediately.
With all the info above, you can safely conclude that the answer to how often should you wash your dog is simply as – it depends!
Most vets recommend that an average dog should be washed at least once a month or once every four weeks (since not all months have exactly just four weeks).
If you’re not too sensitive to the natural smell of a dog, you don’t actually have to wash them as often as recommended (in fact, you don’t have to, like ever).
You can also consider certain factors like lifestyle and breed. Thick-furred dogs need more washing than smaller ones.
A dog with certain medical conditions must be bathed depending on what your vet prescribes.
Lastly, considering that you don’t actually need to wash your dog, you simply have to bathe him when he is dirty or when he starts to get stinky.