Being a dog parent is perhaps the best full-time job in the history of the universe. There are a lot of things you need to know and a lot of responsibilities to becoming the best dog parent you can be.
There are tons of opinions on the best way to care for Fido, from all sorts of experts, especially when it comes to giving your dog a bath. Let’s talk about some factors that are important when deciding how often to bathe your favorite doggo.
My dog is a 5-year-old Pitbull Wiemereiner mix named Sophie. She is a girly girl from way back and doesn’t like to get dirty if she can avoid it at all. The snow is melting today and I can barely get her to go outside because she doesn’t like all the mud.
Sophie is pretty easy to keep clean, and she also has a short coat. These are both factors that weigh in and make her a very lucky dog because she only gets a bath every three months or so. I say lucky because she hates the water.
WHY BATHE A DOG?
The top reason for giving your doggy a decent scrub is for their health. Without a bath, your pupper’s skin could become infected or irritated and their coat can become matted and difficult to maintain.
As to how often you should bathe your dog, that depends on a couple different factors. Their breed, skin needs, coat quality, and activity level should all be considered. Do some research on the breed of dog you have and start there.
Following are a few other factors that you should consider when determining if doggy needs a scrub:
- Does he smell? If Puppy is stinky, it’s definitely time for a bath.
- Consult the professionals. Find a groomer and ask them about your dog. They know the most about different breeds and how their skin and fur tend to react.
- Medical reasons. Sometimes dogs have conditions that require regular baths with special medicated shampoos. Make sure you always follow the instructions closely.
- Pay attention to your doggy’s skin. If you watch closely and notice that your dog’s skin seems to be getting dry and flakey, you are likely giving them too many baths and you should adjust their schedule.
- Special double-coated breeds take special care. Puppy’s with double coats like Samoyeds, Alaskan Malamutes, and Chow Chows likely need fewer baths and more brushing to help keep those glorious coats healthy and free from snarls.
- Oily-coated breeds require baths more often. For example, Bassett Hounds have oily coats and they may require a bath up to once a week.
- Short-haired dogs and dogs with water repellent coats like my Sophie require fewer baths. Dogs like Weimaraners and Dalmations require few baths because their coats are short and that makes the oils largely self-regulating.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- Shampoo – Choose a shampoo for your dog that matched the type of hair they have as well as the frequency in which you bathe them. You should never use human shampoo on your dog, as they could be too harsh and harm their skin.
- Use lukewarm water – Please use lukewarm water when you are giving your dog a bath. You don’t like a cold shower, why should they?
- Brush – Brush your dog pre-bath to remove any tangles and dead hair from their coat. Once they dry after their bath, brush them again to help keep their fur free of knots and help the natural oils spread out.
- Dry carefully – Please do not use your personal hair dryer on your dog. It is most likely too hot and could burn their skin. Instead, pat them dry with a towel or use a special blow dryer made just for dogs.
- Wet alternatives – They do make dry shampoos and/or dog wipes that you can use for a faster clean-up. Do not use the wipes that are made for babies, as they may contain ingredients that could be harmful to your dog.
The most important thing to remember is to treat your dog with patience and love. Bathtime can be stressful at first because many dogs hate the water. Always remember in those times that the poor pupper is just out of their element and learning about this new scary thing and they’re WET! Gasp!
Most of all, have an amazing time and try to make bathtime as special as you can. Oh, and good luck staying dry the first few times. Perhaps try a bathing suit.