Unfortunately, there is no definite answer as to how often you should bathe your dog because it will depend on the type of dog breed you have, their fur quality and length, along with any health issues they may have.
However, most dog owners will bathe their canine companions every 2–3 months. Some will bathe their dog more often if the fur is long and gets dirty quickly, while other dog breeds with short coats who are not prone to skin and fur issues will get a bath less frequently.
If you are interested in learning how often you should bathe your dog and how to determine how often your specific dog breed should be bathed, then this article has all the answers you need!
How Often Should a Dog Be Bathed?
Dogs do not typically groom themselves, which means that they need their owners to provide them with regular brushing and bathing to help keep their coats and skin clean. If your dog is mostly inside your home and is allowed to have access to your furniture and bed, they must be kept clean so that they do not bring mud, dirt, or pests into your home.
Dog owners who allow their dogs access inside their homes will typically bathe their dogs every 2–3 months. You have the option of taking your dog to be professionally groomed at a pet salon where they will also give your dog’s fur and nails a trim, along with a blow dry in a safe environment so you do not have to worry about the hassle at home.
However, if you notice that your dog’s coat smells or that it has visible knots, matting, and other debris entangled in their coat, then you do not have to follow the general 2–3 rule. The smells and trapped dirt in their fur can be cleaned frequently, but if you choose to bath your dog often (every month or a couple of weeks) then it is important to use a gentle shampoo and condition so that you are not constantly stripping their coat of natural oils produced by their body.
Bathing your dog too often or with strong shampoos can also cause your dog’s fur and skin to become dry, because you are removing the protective protein layer (called keratin) which causes damage to your dog’s skin and hair follicles, or increases their risk of bacterial and fungal infections.
How To Determine How Often Your Dog Needs a Bath
Bathing your dog is not a very simple process, especially if you have a dog with a long coat. Each breed of dog has different types of coats of various lengths, so care should be taken when brushing and bathing the dog. How often you bathe your dog will depend on their health, activity levels, coat, and whether they are currently dirty or not. Some dogs can go longer without having a bath, especially if they are not rolling in dirt which means that they will need a bath soon to get rid of the dirt if it gets stuck in their fur.
Dirt, feces, and pests such as fleas or mites will mean that your dog needs an immediate bath to get rid of these issues, with the pests being cleansed from your dog’s fur with a specialized shampoo often recommended by a veterinarian.
Some dogs may also have certain allergies to different types of shampoos, so it is important to find which type of shampoo and conditioner combination works best on your dog. If you have a dog that suffers from dry skin and fur, then you will need to use a shampoo and conditioner that is gentle and moisturizes their skin and coat. Dogs who are sensitive to the strong smell given off by certain shampoos and conditioners will do better with unscented or gently scented bathing products.
You can choose to stick to a bathing routine of every 2–3 months for your dog, and bath them in-between that time frame if they require a bath because they are smelly, dirty, or have any skin and fur issues that make it necessary for them the bath more frequently. It is best to avoid bathing your dog too often as you can strip the natural oils and protective protein layer from their skin and hair follicles. You also have the option of taking your dog to a professional groomer or bathing them from home with the right products.
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