How often should you bathe your dog?

Some love it, some hate it, but how often is it really necessary to bath your pooch? We’ve got the lowdown.

Whether you have a posh poodle who goes to the doggy parlour for a wash, cut and blow or a rough and tumble Africanus who enjoys a spray down with a hosepipe – bathing is one of those regular pet parent chores. Find out what you should be considering when it comes to your hound’s hygiene.

Short, curly or naked?

It’s safe to say that dogs with short fur require less maintenance. A good brush to get out those pesky, tiny Jack Russell hairs that get stuck on your clothing and a bath every couple of months will be just fine.

Curly or fluffy, long coats found on Poodles, Chow Chows and the like, call for more grooming. Make time to brush every couple of days and bathe every one to two months to avoid matting.

Ironically, hairless dogs such as the Chinese crested, need to be bathed weekly as their skin has no coat to protect it, keep it hydrated and protect it from infections.

Nip itching and hot spots in the bud

If your dog has itchy skin or you have a breed prone to skin problems or allergies, such as Labradors or German Shepherds, make sure to choose a reputable, sensitive skin shampoo and bath them monthly. This is particularly important if you live in a humid climate, which can often worsen skin problems, especially in summer. More serious skin issues need to be seen by the vet, who will prescribe a medicated shampoo with strict bathing instructions.

Can you bathe too often?

Absolutely! Unless otherwise recommended by your vet, most dogs do not need to be bathed more than once a month. Bathing too often, especially with the wrong shampoo, can strip the natural oils in your dog’s skin which helps to give a natural shine to the coat. If your dog loves getting muddy and dirty and you need to bathe weekly, opt for a moisturizing shampoo to ensure you do not dry out the skin. 

Gareth Drawbridge

Digital content producer
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