How often should you wash a dog?

Many factors determine how often your dog should get a bath, making it hard to give just one generic answer. Many pet owners just assume that their dog should get a bath whenever they get dirty or start to smell, but the truth is, too frequent bathing can be bad for your dog and create uncomfortable and unhealthy skin irritations.

The best way to determine how often your dog should hit the grooming tub is by talking to your vet and your groomer. However, you can read through the following to get an idea if you’re washing your dog too much or not enough.

The Coat

In general, dogs with long or curly coats are most likely to get the most attention when it comes to bath time. However, this doesn’t mean that all short hair dogs get to skip the groomers. Hairless breeds require a lot of maintenance, including weekly baths. Certain designer breeds may also take frequent trips to the dog saloon to prevent matting. The color of your dog’s fur could also play a role. Salt and pepper dogs may hide the dirt better, while white and light-colored canines are likely to show more of their stains.

Allergies & Skin Conditions

If your dog suffers from allergies, or chronic skin condition, or has skin sensitivities, you should check with your veterinarian and groomer before determining a washing routine. Bathing a dog with chronic skin conditions could do more harm than good, or it may be just what the veterinarian ordered. It all depends on the type of condition your dog has. In addition to determining how often your dog should visit the pet wash tubs, you should also inquire about what kinds of shampoos to use.

Personal Preference

Let’s be honest. Most dogs don’t get a bath because they need it. They get one because we need it. It’s natural for dogs to have a little bit of dirt and smell a little. However, when you’re living in close quarters with a dog (especially if they’re accustomed to furniture living), the hygiene level may not meet our standards.

If you like to give your dog regular washes, make sure you use gentle shampoos, look for signs of irritation or dryness, and look for ways to replenish your dog’s natural oils.  Over-washing can be damaging to your dog’s skin. If your pet isn’t ready for the dog grooming tubs, but you are, try using non-soap grooming techniques.

Non-Shampoo Grooming

Keeping your dog clean doesn’t always have to involve soap. Brushing your dog is a great way to break up and remove loose dirt, dust, and hair. It is also something that should be done daily for many breeds (or at least weekly). It’s OK to use water to give your dog a good rinse to remove any stuck-on mud. Dry shampoo, powders, and other fresheners are also great for battling the tough dog smells between bath times.

Direct Animal Professional Equipment

Direct Animal designs and manufactures affordable, durable, and ergonomic equipment for groomers, veterinarians, shelters, pet lodging facilities, and more. View our products to see why so many pet-based businesses have chosen us for their animal equipment needs.

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