Have you wondered when you should give your dog a bath? Let's talk about 8 Ways to Know When to Give your dog a bath.
The answers seem to vary wildly depending on who or which support group you ask. I’ve seen answers from every week to only once a year! Now I couldn’t imagine only bathing my Goldendoodle or my Labrador Retriever once a year!
The realistic answer is that bathing is an essential stage in your dog’s life, how often depends mainly on the animal’s lifestyle.
Active dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors will need a bath more often than those who prefer to stay indoors.
How Often Should You Give Your Dog a Bath?
For the vast majority of dogs and after much discussion with my veterinarian, we recommend that you bathe your dog about once a month.
Some dogs need a bath more frequently, but be careful not to over-bath as you risk removing natural fatty acids that keep their skin and coat healthy, drying out their skin, and causing dander.
A successful bath includes brushing your dog before giving a bath. It helps to remove dead hair and dirt from your dog’s coat, including any fluff or knots, which can be difficult to untangle once the coat is wet.
If your dog has an allergy, infection, fungus, or any other skin problem, keep your veterinarian’s recommendations in mind.
Just like some foods, certain types of shampoos and conditioner products may cause an allergic reaction in your dog while bathing. You’ll often notice this by the reddening of the skin.
If your dog has a prior infection or other types of pathologies, they may require special treatments, ranging from placing antibiotics or another product to daily washes.
Always check with your veterinarian on what products to use for your dog’s skin condition prior to giving your dog a bath.
Try to check the condition of your pet’s coat and skin, including areas such as the ears, paws, and tail, to prevent any potential problems.
8 tips you need to know when you want to bathe your dog.
- For normal hygiene (without special skincare), veterinarians recommend leaving four to six weeks between two baths. Depending upon your breed, some even advise giving your dog a bath every two months.
- Judge the temperature of your dog’s water the same way you would a child. Neither too hot nor too cold, just above luke warm.
- Make sure it is easy for your dog to get in and out of the bath. This will simplify your task and prevent your dog from panicking.
- Some large dog's may have an easier time walking into a walk-in shower versus tub. This may be easier for you and save your back, especially if you have a dog wand. Plus, you can control your surroundings, there’s less chance of your dog trying to escape and you won’t have to restrain your dog from trying to escape.
- In theory, a smaller dog may be easier to bathe because you often bathe them in a kitchen or laundry room sink. In addition, you can easily wrap a small dog in a towel to help prevent the inevitable shaking of the water.
- You should start teaching your dog from the minute you bring home your new puppy that bathing is a good fun bonding time. With time, your dog will come to love its bath time. It is best to start the bathing routine when your dog is still a puppy. This will help your dog to welcome new experiences and will learn to remain calm for not only its bath time, but grooming.
- When first give your dog’s their baths, you’ll want to reward their exemplary behavior by having a few treats on hand.
- Always use a mild dog shampoo, this will prevent your dog’s skin from drying out or damage your puppy’s fragile skin.
How to Give Your Dog a Bath
- Begin by soaking your dog’s coat from the neck. If you don’t have a pet wand or detachable shower head, you can use a pitcher, or cup. When getting your dog wet, be careful not to get water in your dog’s ears. Take care not to get water around your dog’s eyes and mouth.
- Use only a mild dog shampoo as human shampoos can dry out and irritate your pet’s skin.
- Squeeze out some shampoo on your dog’s coat, applying the shampoo from top to bottom of your dog’s neck. You may need to add more shampoo by the handful on your dog’s underbelly and legs. Steer clear of their eyes, mouth and ears.
- Using a scrub brush to bathe your dog, will get the shampoo down to the skin and can get your dog cleaner than if you use your fingers. Once you’ve finished with your dog’s body, underbelly and legs use a damp washcloth to wipe your dog’s face and head.
- Run your hands or scrub brush down against the grain while continuing to lather up your dog.
- In order to keep your dog’s coat silky and easy to brush, especially if long-haired. You’ll want to use a conditioner to keep your dog’s coat easy to brush and shiny.
- Once finished with the condition, you’ll want to rinse your dog completely. Run the water over your dog’s coat to make sure all the suds are completely gone.
- Use a large towel to dry your dog when you're finished with the bath. Be prepared for your dog to shake the water. If you want to keep something dry, move it out of the way. Every dog I know shakes their coats, no matter how dry you get them with the towel.
- Dogs like Labrador Retrievers can air dry once the bath is complete. Other dogs with longer hair will need to be blow dried. While hair dryers can work, they will take twice as long as a dryer made to dry dogs. I really like the Amzdeal Dog dryers. A lot of people also like the Shelandy Dog Dryer. This dryer can dry my Goldendoodles coat in about 15-20 minutes.
Now that your dog’s bath is complete and they are smelling good, there're all kinds of bandanas, bows or pretty collars to put on your dogs.
Giving your dog a bath can be a bonding experience for you and your dog.