As all dog owners know, it’s not often that your canine companion stays clean for very long. Dogs have a desire for rolling in things that they shouldn’t and frustratingly, a love for muddy puddles. It can be impossible to keep your dog clean 24/7, so Petplan takes a look at the burning question: How often should I wash my dog?
When To Bathe A Dog?
First things first, when should you wash your dog? While there is no exact science that will apply to every single dog, it is generally advised that you should do so once every three months at least; although it’s not uncommon to wash your dog up to once a week, provided that you’re using a gentle shampoo and you’re not overcleaning your dog.
Just like humans, overcleaning can be just as harmful as under cleaning. For instance, like us, dogs need to build up a level of natural oils in their hair and skin to keep them healthy. Just like you shouldn’t wash your hair every time you shower, your dog probably doesn’t need to be given a wash the second they have a speck of dirt on their coat. While they have a natural instinct to maintain a basic level of hygiene, their idea of clean is very different to what we would call clean!
Before you commit to a regular bathing schedule for your dog, there are a few things you need to consider, such as: how active have they been?
While you should be taking your dog for regular walks, some dogs may prefer digging up dirt and rolling around, whereas others may prefer a gentle stroll. Naturally, one of these activities will be dirtier than the other.
Similarly, you also need to consider how long your dog’s hair is; is there an increased chance for dirt and other muck to become trapped in it, or are they short-haired with a coat less likely to become dirty? Also, do they have a skin condition? Your vet will explain this to you but if your dog has an allergy they may need to be washed more or less frequently than others. Remember to always consult your vet if you think your dog has a skin condition.
Why Do You Need To Bathe Your Dog?
Why do we need to bathe our dogs so often? Well, it’s not just for cleanliness and to eliminate unwanted smells. Bathing our dogs gives us a chance to give them a rudimentary check-over to make sure there are no suspicious lumps or fleas. Of course, your dog should still be having regular check-ups with a vet, but bathing highlights a good opportunity to have a quick scan yourself.
How To Bathe A Dog?
So how do you wash your dog? It’s not like washing a car, unless your car likes to jump out of the driveway when you’re trying to wash it. First, you need to make sure that your dog will be able to stand in your bath on a plastic bath mat, or in a plastic tub if you’re doing it outside – this will help to ensure that your dog feels secure and isn’t sliding around.
Next, you need to make sure that you’re using the correct dog shampoo. Baby shampoo is best avoided as dogs have very delicate skin and even weak shampoo can cause irritations. For these reasons we would recommend only using dog shampoos in order to make your dog as safe and comfortable as possible.
Once your dog is completely soaked through, with water at a reasonable temperature, apply the shampoo thoroughly but be sure to be careful with the eyes and mouth and pay particular attention to their hindquarters. Rinse and repeat, and dry your dog thoroughly with an old towel afterwards.
So, there you have it, while bath time can sometime be a challenge for both you and your dog, ultimately this is in their best interests so try and make it as calming or fun for them as you can, and you should have no problems washing your dog.
Do you have any stories regarding your dog being too clean or far too dirty? Let us know in the comments below...