Dogs need baths as part of their regular grooming care. While they don’t need to bathe on a daily basis, as many humans do, they do need to be washed often enough to keep their skin and coat clean and prevent pet odor from building up. How often you should give your dog a bath depends on certain factors, such as how dirty she gets or whether she has any skin conditions. Keep the following in mind while deciding when to give your dog a bath again.
Normal Bathing Schedule
In general, dogs can have a bath around every one to three months. Washing your dog too often, such as weekly, could irritate her skin by drying it out. Not washing your dog often enough, especially if she’s been in mud or dirt, can lead to unpleasant pet odor and make her coat look dull instead of clean and shiny. Your dog might also need more frequent baths with medicated shampoos if she has fleas or a skin condition.
What Kind of Coat Does Your Dog Have?
Your dog’s coat can affect how often you should give her a bath:
- Oily coat: Oily coats are an exception to bathing dogs every one to three months. Basset hounds and other breeds with oily coats might need to be bathed more often, such as every week or every other week, or their coats can look greasy.
- Smooth, short coat: Dogs with a smooth, short coat, like beagles, don’t need to be bathed very often. These dogs are typically fine with baths every few months.
- Thick coat: Dogs with thick coats, especially those with double coats such as Akitas, also require fewer baths, although it’s important to brush them more often to prevent mats.
- Water-repellent coat: Dogs with water-repellent coats, such as Portuguese water dogs, also need fewer baths than usual.
Dog Bathing Tips
Use the following tips for giving your dog a hassle-free bath:
- Use dog shampoo: Never use people shampoos on your dog, since these can bother her skin. Dog shampoos are specially made for use on dog skin and fur.
- Brush before a bath: Brushing your dog before a bath helps get rid of mats, which can also irritate your dog's skin when they get wet.
- Rinse thoroughly: Make sure all traces of shampoo are gone before taking your dog out of the tub. Shampoo that's left on can cause skin irritation.