Dogs can be DIRTY, I will be the first to admit it!
They seem to always find the perfect mud puddle in which to play.
They don’t hesitate to throw their noses into the trash can.
Dog owners should make bathing a regular part of their routine. Bathing your dog will keep bacteria, parasites and dirt at bay, as well as keeping their skin and coat healthy.
It makes cuddling up on the couch so much more enjoyable!
Those are my thoughts…
Baths are important and should not be skipped, but it can be dangerous to bathe your dog too often.
Doggy Dan, a dog cannot be too clean?
It’s not about cleanliness.
Too often bathing your dog can strip their natural oils and dry out their skin. This can lead to severe irritation.
Labrador Retrievers, for example, have natural oils that insulate their coats. This can cause them to shed less and may even stop their normal shedding process.
How many times is too often?
That depends on many factors.
Dog Hygiene 101: How Many Times Should You Bathe Your Dogs?
Dog hygiene is not the same as human hygiene. We wash our dogs daily but we don’t have to do it every day.
Some breeds can even go several months without washing!
It all depends on the coat your dog has.
You can always bathe your dog more often if your vet tells you to or because your dog has a medical condition.
A good rule of thumb is to give your dog a bath only once per month.
There are exceptions to this rule, but that all depends on the breed of your dog and how they live.
Oily coats can cause matting so it is important to bathe your pup more often (but not more than once per week). Basset Hounds have an oily coat.
Because their hair grows faster, short-haired dogs with smoother coats require fewer baths. Beagles, Weimaraners and other short-haired breeds are examples.
Water-repellent breeds need to be bathed less often in order to maintain their natural oils and natural shedding process (as I have mentioned). These types of coats are found in breeds such as Great Pyrenees and Golden Retrievers.
Double-coated breeds don’t really need to be bathed as often. Brushing is a good way to remove dead and loose hair, and keep your skin and coat healthy. Malamutes, and other Northern breeds, are double-coated.
Your dog’s bath frequency will depend on its breed, lifestyle, and activity level.
Let’s face the facts, a super-active dog who loves to play in the mud outside will require a bath more often that a dog who lives in a city condo.
You might need to take a deep bath if you get a whiff from your dog and start to turn your nose up.
Even though I don’t want to forget, many dogs smell because they eat poor or processed foods. They are unable to stay healthy on low-nutrition food and their bodies constantly expel toxins through their skin. Read my blog about a raw dog food diet for more information.
Pay attention to the hair and coat of your dog. It might be time for your vet to inspect the hair and groom it.
How to implement a dog hygiene routine: What to do if your dog refuses bath time
Dogs aren’t usually thrilled to take a bath. In most cases, they just tolerate it with a few treats and lots of coaxing.
What if your dog hates bath time?
I mean nipping at brushes, flailing and trying to escape the sight of running water in a tub.
It is important to create a positive association when taking a bath.
Show them what brushes you will use, and then give them praises and treats. To help them get comfortable in the water, bring their favorite toys or beds into the tub. You can rub them down and give them a bath, but without any water.
You can then start to introduce water. If they are afraid of baths, be careful not to spray directly. To help them get used to running water, run the water near you. Next, start to rinse a small area such as a paw or a leg. Give them lots of praise.
To ensure that they feel confident and comfortable, it is important to stop frequently. Gradually increase the amount of water you use to wash them.
This technique can be used for older dogs and puppies.
You don’t have to change the place. You can bathe your dog in a small pool in summer, or in your bathtub. This will give them more space to move about.
If all else fails, you can always enlist the help a groomer to take care of your dog.
Dog bathing tips
Talking calmly and reassuringly to your dog will help them understand that baths are good for their health (and sometimes even fun).
Do not be afraid to make a mess. You can be sure your dog will shake and splash water all over the bathroom floor. Don’t stress and make baths a bonding experience between you and your dog.
Be sure to thoroughly brush your dog before you give it a bath. Additional moisture can cause skin irritation.
You can also get skin irritation from hot or cold water. Keep the water at a temperature similar to that used to bathe a baby.
Use dog shampoo. Dog shampoos can dry your dog’s skin.
Although it may take longer, let your children air dry after they’re finished with their bath. Blowers can dry their skin and cause them to get too hot. Towel drying is an option if your dog has a longer or thicker coat.
It’s important to praise your dog often. Play with your dog while you bathe, and then let them tug at the towel.
When professionals are worth your trust
You might find it hard to imagine your dog being wrestled into the tub while you try to rinse, lather and dry them.
They can work with all breeds, temperaments and coat types.
Professional groomers are needed for certain breeds, such as Maltese and Poodles.
Even if your pooch does not need a haircut or a bath towel, groomers can help.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes more than just keeping your dog clean. A healthy 2022 begins with understanding the best times and techniques for bathing your dog to keep him in top shape.
Doggy Dan answers important questions regarding healthy dog hygiene habits: Doggy Dan answers important questions about Smelly Pups, The Online Dog Trainer