How Often Should You Bathe a Dog?
Is your dog starting to smell stinky? Or have they rolled around in mud again on their walk? Well if so, it’s probably time to give them a bath. While some dogs don’t mind the occasional soak, others are really not a fan, which makes you wonder, ‘how often should you bathe a dog?’.
It's not as straightforward as you may think. How often you should bathe a dog depends on a wide number of factors including breed, activity level, coat, allergies and where they spend most of their time.
1. Breed/Type of Coat
Since all dogs are different, their bathing requirements will be different too. Your dog’s coat will play a big part in how often you should bathe them.
Long coated breeds like the Collie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bernese Mountain Dog, Shih Tzu and many others require frequent grooming and a bath every 4 to 6 weeks to prevent matting.
While short haired breeds like Beagles, Chihuahuas, Boxer, American Staffordshire Terrier and Greyhounds would benefit far less often because their coat is easier to maintain.
Breeds with coats that repel water like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Dalmatian and Newfoundland, will only benefit from seasonal baths since their double layered coats rebel water which makes it very difficult to rinse shampoo out of their coat. Frequent bathing will also strip away their essential oils which can cause dry and itchy skin.
However, there are some other breeds who have oily coats like the Basset Hound which may require a weekly bath.
2. Activity Level
Another factor to consider in figuring out how often you should bathe a dog will depend on how active the dog is and where they spend most of their time.
If your dog enjoys running around in mud or digging holes in the garden, they may need a bath more often than dogs who much prefer napping on the sofa for most of the day.
A good general rule of thumb is if you can smell your dog and they don’t smell as pleasant as they normally do, they need a bath. For active dogs who enjoy the outdoors, more frequent baths will also help to get rid of anything on your dog’s skin that can irritate them like dust, mites and pathogens.
3. Dogs with Sensitive Skin or Allergies
Dogs who suffer from allergies or skin conditions like parasite infestations (fleas), hormonal imbalances and autoimmune diseases will need a lot of care in helping to keep their skin condition under control and prevent discomfort.
If your dog suffers from a common skin condition, your vet will have already advised you to regularly bathe your dog and use the appropriate sensitive dog shampoo that helps to soothe your dog’s skin and coat.
There are also certain dog breeds that are prone to allergies like the Poodle, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pug, Shar Pei and Maltese, who would benefit from regular bathing every 2 to 3 weeks. Although, not every Pug for example is guaranteed to suffer from a skin allergy, so this amount of frequent bathing will depend on if they have a common skin allergy and what your vet suggests.
Choosing the Right Dog Shampoo
Whether you bathe a dog every 3 weeks or 6 depending on their coat type, activity level or skin condition, all dogs will need a dog shampoo and conditioner that is suitable for them.
You should only use products that are made for dogs, not human shampoo or conditioner because they will irritate your dog’s skin. The reason for this, is that a human’s skin has a PH of 5 which is quite acidic compared to a dog’s normal PH which is a 7.
The best dog shampoo and conditioner to look out for are the ones that are chemical-free and have no added colours or dyes. It is also best to use both shampoo and conditioner when you bathe a dog because they will have longer lasting effects than if you just use shampoo alone.
At Betty & Butch, we have developed dog shampoo and conditioner that only use natural plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your dog’s skin and coat. An option between a gentle blend of Orange, Bergamot, Chamomile and Wild Sage or Coconut, Chamomile and Wild Sage, we have 2 calming options for both dogs and puppies in shampoo and conditioner.
Don’t Bathe Your Dog Too Often!
While these time frames on how often you should bathe a dog are useful, always pay attention to your dog’s skin. If you notice your dog’s skin is looking dry and flaky, you may be bathing them too often and striping away their essential oils that protect their skin.
If you are looking for ways to keep your dog's skin and coat healthy and shiny, you should consider adding Cold Pressed Salmon Oil onto your dog’s food.
Salmon Oil has many health benefits which are contributed to the DHA and EPA fatty acids found in salmon oil. They provide a healthier, shiner coat, especially for dogs with irritated or itchy skin. Check out our blog on The Health Benefits of Salmon Oil to learn more about the positive health benefits for your dog.
We hope you found this blog useful and if you are finding that your dog’s skin and coat is looking particularly bad, you should always seek professional help from your veterinarian so they can provide the best course of action.