Canine Care Explained: How Often Should You Give Your Dog A Bath?

Rhea Nischal
Jan 30, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Oct 13, 2021
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Canine Care Explained: How Often Should You Give Your Dog A Bath?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Did you know dogs require regular baths to keep them clean?

Just like humans, dogs need to stay hygienic too, and require regular baths. However, most of them aren't a fan of bath time.

The number of baths they need depends upon the type of coat of the dog, its activity level, whether it has long or short hair, or whether it has any skin conditions or allergies. Dog owners must perform frequent grooming rituals for their dog which involves washing and scrubbing them properly.

We’re about to cover each factor that you’ll use to determine just how often you’ll be breaking out the dog shampoo. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly how often to wash your dog, what to use, and how it’s done.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about when do dogs shed and how often do puppies pee here on Kidadl?

How often should you give your dog a flea bath?

During warm months of the year, ticks and fleas become a problem for a dog's coat as these parasites cause a lot of itching. This itching can be eliminated by bathing your dog.

A flea bath helps to alleviate flea dirt and fleas from a dog. This flea bath might be needed as often as once every week or every two weeks.

A regular bath is given by the dog owner once a month, but it can be done on a more frequent basis as well, especially if it has allergies. It depends upon the environment, the level of activity, the breed, the coat, and the skin of a dog.

A dog that wanders in dirt may need frequent brushing and regular bathing. However, a dog that spends its day in the house may not need regular bathing.

It can be determined by the smell and look of the dog if it needs some cleaning. Some people bathe their dog frequently while some do it only when they feel the dog is looking dirty.

It is recommended that baths must not have a gap of more than three months.

You must not give a bath more frequently than once a week and not any less than once in three months. Frequently bathing a dog causes dry skin and also dries out the dog's fur.

However, bathing less frequently causes a dirty dog that can easily catch infections. People often brush their dog but do not bathe it which is wrong.

Brushing pulls the loose fur stuck on a dog's coat whereas bathing cleanses the skin and coat as well as pulls out the loose fur, whatever may be the coat type. However, a newborn puppy may not need regular baths.

Best Way To Give Your Dog A Bath

An elaborate bathing ritual is required for every dog so that it remains in good health. This grooming ritual generally includes brushing, shampooing, washing, and air drying.

First off, start brushing your pet dog from its head to its tail. Doing this removes extra fur and also removes dirt from the skin and the coat.

It also detangles knots that can hold on to shampoo later on and could cause problems.

Coming to bathing, the water used must be warm and not hot. The water temperature must be checked before bathing your dog, just like mothers check it for their babies.

This is an essential step as a dog's skin is very sensitive. Hot water can be uncomfortable for the skin of the dog.

Using the right shampoo is also necessary. The shampoo must be massaged into the fur, especially in places that are very dirty or have thick fur.

Similar to the bathing routine of babies, the nose, the mouth, and eyes must be avoided while using shampoo on the dog's body.

After shampooing, wash out the shampoo thoroughly with no residue left behind. Wash it out properly; otherwise, it could potentially dry out the skin of the dog.

It is also crucial to be as gentle as possible when wetting the dog and while you wash it as the majority of dogs do not like being bathed. It is recommended by experts not to blow dry your dog as it can burn a dog's skin and it is not liked by a dog.

It is recommended to dry the dog with a towel by patting it and then letting it air dry. Owners might find it very hard to bathe dogs as it is not easy and dogs don't usually like it.

Small dogs can be easily given a quick shower in a tub or even in a sink, but big ones need to be bathed by professional groomers.

These dogs might even run away when it is bath time. A professional groomer would not only bathe the dog, but he or she would also trim the fur, express its anal glands, brush its teeth, and trim its nails.

Hairless breeds require weekly bathing as their skin lacks coat protection.

Do certain breeds require more baths?

Yes, different types of breeds have different bathing requirements based on their fur, activity level, whether the breed has long or short hair, and whether it has any skin conditions or allergies. Some dogs may be sensitive to certain substances and may need a certain type of dog shampoo or a medicated shampoo.

Thus, it is essential to bathe your dog in the most suitable way to keep it glowing and healthy.

Short-haired dogs that have short coats, like German Shorthaired Pointers, can have less frequent baths as coats of these dogs have the ability to eliminate oil and dirt naturally. These dogs do not smell either.

Oily breeds such as basset hounds must be bathed at least once a week as they won't over dry.

Their natural oils prevent the skin from drying out. Dogs with water-resistant coats, such as golden retrievers, can be brushed and do not need bathing as often as their natural oils need to be maintained.

Breeds like the Chow Chow and the Akita have a double coat and need frequent brushing which will help in maintaining healthy skin and will also spread out their natural oils.

You can bathe your dog if it is dirty or smelly once in a month only if its skin seems to look dry from frequent bathing. A dog must not be bathed too often as it dries the skin which must be avoided so as to ensure a healthy coat and skin with an apt amount of oil present.

Bathing Dogs With Short Hair Vs Dogs With Long Hair

The grooming ritual of dogs with short hair is different from that of dogs with long hair. Short haired dogs do require bathing as they have some hair, but bathing them is not as complicated as it is for long haired dogs.

They also do not need frequent bathing, as that will strip their natural oils. Long-coated breeds need more baths and grooming. These dogs with long fur coats require baths every week or, at minimum, every four weeks.

Short haired dogs need to be combed with a rubber curry comb. This comb can pull out dead hair from the coat and does not scratch the skin.

A coat conditioner is also needed as these dog breeds tend to get dry hair and skin. Apply the coat conditioner on the spine of the dog and massage it all over its coat. It is also essential to keep a short haired dog warm throughout the bath as it can get cold quickly.

Long haired dogs require extra care as the dog's hair is hard to manage. A slicker brush and a bristle brush need to be used as they will aid in detangling knots.

A bristle brush eliminates dead skin and prevents shedding during the bathing of the pup. When shampooing, water down the shampoo by mixing the shampoo with a bit of water as it helps the shampoo reach the whole length of the dog's body easily.

You must also use a conditioner as it prevents dandruff and detangles knots as well as prevents tangling.

Thoroughly rinse out the shampoo and the conditioner from the coat. After successfully bathing long haired dogs, they must be dried well with a towel.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how often should you give your dog a bath then why not take a look at how often do you walk your dog, or Belgian Sheepdog Facts.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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