Bathing a dog is important in maintaining a perfect coat. But the importance of bathing isn’t much talked about. According to a study, 56% of dog owners don’t bathe their dogs as frequently as they should. This negligence isn’t good for dog hygiene. Now a question arises about how often a dog should be given a bath. There’s no one size fits all answer to how often you should bathe your dog. The answer to this question varies for every dog depending upon the breed, lifestyle, activity level, and body condition. In this article, we will discuss some factors that decide how often you should bathe your dog. Some tips on bathing your dog will be shared in the latter part of the article.
Factors to Consider
1.Type of Coat
The size and shape of hair present on the body are the most important factors in deciding the ideal frequency of bathing a dog. Breeds with long and curly hair, such as Collie and Maltese, need frequent bathing and grooming to prevent matting. According to AKC, dogs with long and curly hair should be given a bath once every four to six weeks. The coat should be brushed regularly between baths.
Dogs with a bit shorter hair length require a bath less frequently. Examples include Labrador retriever, golden retriever, etc.
“Shorter the length of hair, less frequently the bath needed” shouldn’t be taken as a general rule. Hairless breeds also require frequent bathing as they lack skin protection provided by the coat. Such dogs should be bathed once weekly. Some exceptions also exist in dogs having long hair. For example, Puli is technically a long-haired breed, but they don’t really require frequent baths like other long-haired breed dogs.
2.Activity Level and Lifestyle
Activity level and lifestyle are important factors in deciding how often you should bathe your dog. Dogs who are very active and spend most of their time outdoors need a bath more frequently than couch potatoes. Dogs who like to dig holes, roll in the dust or play in the mud need more cleaning than those who don’t engage in such activities. Frequent bathing in such dogs also helps in preventing outside allergens and pathogens.
If your dog enters the room and you can smell him, you should bathe him. In short, if your dog isn’t huggable, he needs a bath.
Allergies are one of the most common skin problems in dogs. If your dog is suffering from any skin disorder, he may need regular bathing with the recommended shampoo. The exact frequency of baths will depend on the recommendation of your veterinarian. If your dog has ectoparasites, regular baths can help in keeping fleas and ticks away.
As mentioned earlier that dogs having skin issues can benefit from regular bathing. Apart from that, it can help you as well. For instance, if you are allergic to dust or different allergens brought home by your dog, bathing him can save you from their effects. Moreover, if your dog has a lot of dander, bathing him will decrease the allergic shed.
How to Bathe a Dog?
Dogs are sensitive pets and you should make sure your dog is comfortable when he is being bathed. Following are some steps that you should follow when bathing your dog.
Step 1: Selection of Shampoo for Your Dog
The first step is the selection of shampoo for your dog. Dogs have delicate skin and can get irritated easily. It is recommended that only products that have been made for dogs should be used. Your dog will also feel comfortable and safe with dog shampoo. Any product that has been manufactured for humans will be a misfit for your dog. Even if you use baby shampoo for your dog, the probability of irritant reaction is always there. The pH of human skin is around 5 so it is slightly acidic while that of dog is nearly 7 which is neutral.
Your dog may show itchiness and redness of skin if the shampoo used isn’t right for him. If the dog ingests shampoo, vomiting, drooling of saliva and decreased appetite are possible symptoms.