Bringing a pet home is certainly one of the happiest moments in life, especially if the pet is cute, loyal, friendly, and energetic. However, when it comes to bathing them, apart from the other duties of grooming and caring, there are many theories and opinions suggested.
One of the major confusions about dog grooming and care is how often do you need to bathe it. Some believe that dogs never need to be bathed, while others say that a bath once a week is compulsory. There are many others, who claim that bathing a dog once a month is beneficial and healthy.
So, you see, the opinions are never-ending. So how often is too often? While some dogs require weekly baths, some might not need a bath for a whole year.
The following four factors need to be considered in this regard:
1. Breed of the Dog (Type of Coat)
3. Lifestyle (Habits & Activities)
4. Environment (Indoor/Outdoor)
Breed of the Dog (Type of Coat)
While some dog breeds will create a big fuss even when they are taken near the bathtub, other dog breeds, such as the Golden Retriever, love the water and are always ready to take a bath. The choice of breed plays an important role while deciding how often to bathe your dog. The purpose of bathing is not only for them to look clean, but also to protect them from skin diseases. The bathing interval depends on the coat of the dog.
›› Dogs with coarse, or wiry coat, like Schnauzers and Terriers need to be bathed every 4-6 weeks.
›› Double-coated dogs, like the Cocker Spaniel and the Pekingese, need to be bathed every 4-8 weeks.
›› If your dog has a smooth coat, like the Chihuahua, you will need to bathe it only once in 8 weeks.
›› The last category of dogs — the non-shedding dogs, like poodles, need to be bathed every 6-8 weeks.
If the dog is suffering from any kind of allergy, it needs to be bathed frequently. Dogs tend to absorb allergens through the skin. Weekly bathing can prevent itchiness and wash allergens away before they get a chance to penetrate into the skin. However, it is necessary to consult a vet to know the exact time interval between two baths.
Another point that you need to take into consideration is human allergies. If any member of your family is allergic to dust, dirt, or dander, you will need to wash your pet more frequently. To remove the dander that accumulates on your pet’s fur, groom it every day, and give it a bath once a week.
Lifestyle (Habits & Activities)
Giving your dog a bath depends on its lifestyle as well. For instance, if you have a Labrador Retriever who loves to exercise with you, swim in ponds, and roll, or dig in dirt, you’ll probably want to bathe him more often. On the other hand, if you have a Japanese Chin that rarely goes outdoors, you wouldn’t need to bathe him that often.
If your dog lives indoors and sleeps in your bed, then it’s a good idea to give him a bath frequently. You do not want your dog to stink and leave a heap of dirt in your house. You will obviously want a fresh-smelling dog that you can cuddle up to. Depending on the breed, the bathing interval can be anywhere between one week to a month. On the other hand, if your dog lives outside, you can increase the bathing interval.
Note:- Frequent washing is required in summer, as all dogs are likely to face the problem of tick and flea infestation. (*Frequently does not mean every day! Once a fortnight or week should be enough.)
Drying Your Dog After a Bath
This is a very important aspect that many tend to ignore. If the undercoat of the dog is not dried properly, it can lead to moist eczema spots. These spots are itchy, and the dog will chew, or scratch it, which can result in an infection if not treated. Thus, it is very important to dry your dog thoroughly after you give it a bath.
Another thing to be kept in mind is, don’t let your dog loose after a bath. If you do so, it might run wild, roll on the ground, rub up against furniture, and create a mess. Thus, it is advised to put him in his crate or dog house immediately, until he is completely dry.
It is recommended that you bathe your dog with natural dog shampoo, or human baby shampoo. Regular human shampoos have harsh chemicals, which strip the hair/skin of its natural oils and cause hotspots, or skin irritations. If you want to clean your dog more often, use a soap-free, or gentle moisturizing shampoo to prevent the skin from becoming dry.
No matter what the bathing interval is, groom your dog every day. This will not only keep the tangles and dander away, but also prevent mess brought about by shedding of hair. What’s more? It will also strengthen the bond between you and your dog! As a general rule, if you find that the dog is smelly and/or his coat is dirty, you should go ahead and give him a bath. Remember, a clean dog is a happy dog!