How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

How often should you bathe your dog?

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Does your dog need a bath? If your dog is covered in mud or has been rolling in foul-smelling muck, then yes – you should probably give your dog a bath. Aside from these occasions when your dog is obviously dirty, there’s usually no reason to bathe your dog. Your dog’s fur is self-cleaning and can get rid of most minor dirt by itself. You certainly shouldn’t be giving your dog daily baths. This post goes into more detail as to why.

Why should you avoid giving your dog regular baths?

There are a few reasons as to why you should avoid giving your dogs regular baths. 

  • Firstly, your dog’s coat is full of natural oils. Dirt and bacteria is trapped by these oils and removed through natural hair shedding in most cases – so there’s no actual need to bathe your dog regularly. 
  • These oils help to moisturise your dog’s skin. Bathing your dog too often can remove these oils and cause your dog’s skin to become dry and itchy.
  • These oils also give your dog’s fur a natural sheen. If you bathe your dog regularly, you’ll strip away these oils and your dog’s fur will become dull and dry.
  • The likes of worming and flea treatments can be disrupted by frequent baths.

How much bathing is too much? Usually anything more than once per week will damage your dog’s skin and fur. If your dog is getting dirty every day, consider how you can reduce this such as taking alternative walking routes or finding a way to make the garden less muddy. 

What do I need to bathe my dog?

There will be times when your dog gets overly dirty, in which case you’ll need to give them a bath. While your dog’s fur can clean itself up to a point, it cannot clean out thick mud or animal faeces by itself. 

In these cases, you’ll need to give your dog a soak in some water and use some dog shampoo. Dog shampoo is not the same as human shampoo – it is specially formulated to get out thick dirt without containing harsh chemicals that could damage your dog’s fur or skin. You can find such shampoos at sites like www.thehealthydogco.com. A dog bath brush is worth using alongside this product to help thoroughly scrub the muck out of their fur. 

My dogs hates baths! How can I make them easier?

While some dogs enjoy baths, others hate them. Some will refuse to sit still in a tub and may fight to get out. You should consider what is making bath time stressful. A few ways to make baths more comfortable for your dog could include:

  • Putting down a mat on the tub floor to make it less slippery. A lot of dogs don’t like the slipperiness.
  • Making sure that the water is warm, but not too hot.
  • Waiting until the bath is run and the taps are off before putting your dog in the tub. Dogs can find the noise of running water scary. Similarly, avoid using the shower head.
  • Using an outdoor paddling pool. Some dogs may feel more comfortable jumping in this because the sides aren’t as big and it’s not as slippery. 
  • Comforting your dog with treats or standing in the bath with them (if there is enough room)
  • Hiring a professional to bathe them