As dog owners, if you have a dog that needs regular grooming trips, it might be that you’ve never bathed a dog. But if you’ve got a short-haired dog that rarely needs a groomer, you might be wondering how you should bathe your dog to keep their natural oils in the coat. What about dogs with allergies or dry skin – should you bathe your dog, and how often? Let’s take a look.
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Can You Bathe a Dog Too Much?
As pet parents, you should know if you bathe your dog regularly, it can either be a relaxing ritual or a frenzied five minutes depending on your pet and whether they like bath time!
Washing your dog too often or too little could cause problems like them losing their natural oils in the dog’s coat and even result in itchy skin, so how often should you bathe a dog?
For most dogs with a healthy coat, bathing about four times a year, or every 2-3 months, is fine for your dog’s lifestyle. This gives you a chance to examine them for any issues like skin irritation and possible skin conditions while you shampoo them up, and it will also loosen dead dog’s hair allowing you to groom them properly afterwards.
In addition to this you might want more frequently to bathe your dog if they roll in something with an unpleasant odor or toxic. Of course, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule – if your dog enjoys a monthly bath and it isn’t causing any problems, it’s probably fine. Some dogs will be bathed more often than this at the groomers as part of their coat care, and this is also unlikely to cause problems.
If you have allergies to dogs, you may find that bathing your dog more frequently helps to loosen and remove dander, which is the likely cause of your allergic reaction. Take care, though, that you aren’t bathing too frequently, which can cause dry skin in dogs.
How Often Should You Bathe a Dog with Allergies?
If your dog has allergies, you might have to bathe them more often. Bathing a dog with allergies has two functions – firstly, it washes pollen and other allergens from the skin, reducing the allergens available to create an allergic response.
Additionally, dog owners, using conditioning dog friendly shampoo or all natural shampoo can improve the skin barrier, helping to keep the allergens out .
Most dogs with allergies are also prone to getting skin infections, which medicated dog shampoo can treat and prevent losing natural skin oils.
Avoid using human shampoo but ask your vet for dog specific shampoo to keep their skin healthy and preventing any harm to your dog’s health after bathing your furry friend.
You should listen to your veterinarian to decide how often to bathe a dog with allergies, as it will depend on their individual problem.
For example, a dog with a skin infection as a result of allergies will need bathing several times a week. Once the infection is gone, weekly bathing with the medicated shampoo recommended by your veterinarian is likely to keep on top of the problem.
Washing your dog too often or too little could cause problems like skin irritations preventing a healthy coat and worsen existing skin conditions.
How often should you bathe a dog in the summer?
In the heat of the summer, the heat can cause more frequent dead skin cells resulting in more frequent bathing to your dog. But how often should you bathe your dog in the summer?
In general, you don’t need to bathe your dog more frequently in the summer, so you can stick to every couple of months unless your dog has allergies.
Of course, how often should you bathe your dog depends on your dog’s skin, and dog’s coat type. If your dog might want to cool off with a dip in a pond or a roll in the mud, in which case it’s absolutely fine to rinse them down and dog shampoo if necessary to clean the smell off!
Different Coats Require Different Care
If your dog has dry skin, the question of how often should you bathe your dog will change. Frequent baths will not be ideal for these dogs as regular bathing may cause loose hairs or irritate the dog’s skin as it disrupts natural oils in the dog’s coat.
Be careful with short haired dogs or hairless dogs during bath time, especially if they have sensitive skin. When it comes to how often should you bathe your dog, be sure to use a colloidal oatmeal shampoo or a medicated shampoo for dogs with sensitive skin.
It’s important not to bathe your dog too much as it ruins a healthy coat and can cause itchy skin, even if you use dog shampoo.
As a pet parent, unless vet advises otherwise, stick to the rule of bathing every couple of months to avoid skin irritation. You may wish to use a gentle, moisturizing shampoo containing oats or a medicated shampoo to help dry skin.
Most hairless cats aren’t completely hairless! They are covered in very fine fuzzy fur, much like peach skin.
How to bathe a dog with fleas
You might have heard of using dawn dish soap for fleas or have found yourselves needing a flea shampoo for your dog’s skin. So how often should you bathe your dog to remove fleas?
That’s actually a trick question – as pet parents you might be surprised to hear that veterinarians don’t recommend bathing dogs to kill fleas.
This is because bathing only kills a very small number of fleas on your dog – the ones that are living on your pet at the time – and doesn’t provide any lasting protection, meaning your dog will be reinfested within hours of getting out the bath.
Flea shampoo also strips your dog’s coat of the natural oils which help spot-on flea treatments to work. Instead of bathing your dog with fleas, you should contact your veterinarian for flea treatment to avoid any skin problems.
In general, bathing your dog every 2 to 3 months is plenty. Some dogs will need bathing more than this, especially if they’re prone to rolling in something smelly. If you bathe your dog with allergies, you might need bathing even more frequently – sometimes as frequently as every other day – in order to help their condition. Bathing your dog too frequently dries out the skin and can cause dogs to become itchy and sore.
Unless your dog needs it for medical reasons, it’s best not to bathe your dog once a week. Your dog’s fur needs the oils that are naturally produced by the skin, and these are washed away when you bathe your dog. If your veterinarian has prescribed a medicated shampoo for your dog or recommended weekly washing for a medical condition then you should follow their directions.
Indoor dogs don’t need bathing as often as those that spend a lot of time outdoors, as they will be less likely to roll in something smelly. Two to three times a year is normally enough for a dog that spends a lot of time indoors, unless they need bathing as part of a grooming regime or due to a medical condition.
Many dogs can safely enjoy short periods of play in the snow or cold weather. Many dogs are well equipped for the cold, with thick double coats. However, some dogs are more susceptible to the cold than others. Dogs that are old, very young, slim, small, have sparse coats, or have health conditions won’t cope well in cold weather.