Dog Bath 101: How Often Should I Wash My Dog?

Dog bath

“Dog bath time!” you say, just as your pup darts away at full-speed. Not all dogs enjoy bath time, and not all humans enjoy giving their dog a bath. After all, the process can get rather wet and messy. As fellow dog owners, we get it… but as tedious as this chore may be, it’s still necessary. So, just how often is often enough for a dog bath? And, is there such thing as giving too many dog baths?

Wash Your Dog Enough, But Not Too Much

Dogs groom themselves with their tongue on a regular basis, a process that helps facilitate the growth of hair follicles while supporting skin health. Still, that doesn’t mean your dog is in the clear when it comes to bath time. Bathing can help supplement the self-grooming process when done right. Bathing your dog with the wrong shampoo, or even too frequently, can have negative drawbacks.

Indoor dogs with healthy skin typically require as little as a few baths per year. On the other hand, dogs with skin allergies or other medical conditions may require more frequent baths. A dog who spends a lot of time outdoors getting down and dirty is going to need more time in the tub than a dog who spends most of his days sleeping on a clean couch.

Other factors that influence how often your dog needs a bath include:

  • Their breed
  • Coat and skin condition
  • Activity level
  • Natural environment where they spend most of their time

Dog Bath Specifics Depend on Breed

Dog breed influences how often to give a bath and even what processes to use. For instance, a dog with a thick shedding coat requires a lot of brushing prior to soaking and moisturizing. They need to be brushed again post-bath, and may also need a dog conditioner.

Conduct a quick Google search or talk to your veterinarian about the best bathing practices for your dog’s specific breed; taking their health, lifestyle, and other conditions into consideration as well.

Signs Your Dog Needs a Bath

  • He or she smells
  • Your dog is covered in mud or dirt after rolling around outside (brush first before bathing)
  • Dog skin is dry or irritated, baths help remove allergens that promote irritation
  • He or she comes into contact with a known allergen or irritant

Can You Bathe Your Dog Too Much?

Yes, it is possible (and rather common) to give too many dog baths. For the most part, dogs don’t need more than one bath a month. Too many baths can cause your dog’s natural coat oils to strip away, leaving their skin irritated and their coat lackluster.

Using the Right Shampoo for a Dog Bath

The soap or shampoo you use to bathe your dog can make all the difference. Human shampoos should not be used on dogs because humans and dogs have unique pH levels. As a result, using human shampoo on dogs can leave pH levels out of whack, leading to issues.

Even if a shampoo is made for dogs, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good option for your dog. Always read the ingredients and search for dog shampoos made from all natural ingredients. Avoid shampoos with artificial colors or scents, as these can irritate dogs.

Dry, flaky dog skin?

Natural Dog’s Silky Soft Shampoo Bar is exactly what your dog needs to combat dry and flaky skin. This all-natural organic dog shampoo is specially formulated to deeply nourish your dog’s skin, promoting a silky-smooth coat.

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Itchy, inflamed, or irritated skin?

Natural Dog’s Spruce Up Pup Shampoo Bar is the perfect option to help combat certain skin issues. Made from a combination of organic essential oils, this dog shampoo offers cleaning properties, as well as anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial qualities. The result? A pleasant-smelling soap that soothes on contact and helps heal and hydrate dog skin. All while leaving your pup’s coat smooth and delightfully scented.

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6 Tips for Dog Bath Success

  1. Use lukewarm water to bathe your dog.
  2. Instead of filling up the bathtub, use a handheld detachable shower head to make things easier, and a little less messy.
  3. Never use human shampoo on your dog—even if it’s all natural.
  4. Massage shampoo into your dog’s fur for a couple minutes before rinsing. This is more effective than simply leaving shampoo to sit.
  5. Brush your dog before and after a bath.
  6. Cushion the bath area with plenty of towels to limit mess and to have something readily available to dry your dog post-bath. You know, before he has a chance to scamper away and make a wet mess out of your house.