How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

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When your dog rolls in something unidentifiable but definitely stinky or comes back from a hike extra muddy, you know it’s time for bathing. But how often should you wash your pup?

Many factors influence how often to bathe a dog, including coat type and activity level. The following guidelines will help you determine the ideal bathing frequency for your pet.


Dogs with Oily Coats

Using a shampoo formulated specifically for dogs is recommended, as it will help keep the skin hydrated and prevent irritation. Certain conditions, such as dandruff, require regular bathing with medicated shampoos that are prescribed by your vet.

In general, the length of a dog’s coat and its activity level is a good guideline for how often they should be bathed pet shops. For example, a cocker spaniel who spends its days frolicking in the garden may need to be bathed more frequently than a chihuahua who lounges around the house all day.

Long-haired breeds like collies, terriers, and Australian shepherds may need to be bathed more frequently since they pick up more dirt, mud, and debris than shorter-haired dogs. Dogs with thick or double-coated coats, such as Huskies, may benefit from being bathed more regularly during their summer shedding phases.

Dogs with Water-Repellent Coats

Many dog owners wonder how often they should wash their pet, but the answer isn’t as cut and dry as “every three months.” Dogs’ coat types, activity levels and skin conditions are all important factors in determining bathing needs.

For example, hairless dog breeds like the Chinese Crested and Peruvian Hairless may require regular bathing to keep oils from building up on their skin and in their fur, Wigfall says. Additionally, dogs with itchy skin often benefit from regular bathing with a medicated shampoo prescribed by a veterinarian.

As for activity level, dogs that spend most of their time indoors tend to get greasy and smelly faster than active outdoor pups. Consequently, an active outdoor dog will need to be bathed more frequently—every few weeks, for instance, compared to every month for a sedentary indoor dog.

Dogs with Long Coats

Just like people, dogs need regular baths to keep their fur healthy and smell great. Bathing helps prevent dirt, bacteria and other debris from building up in a dog’s coat, causing matting and irritation, says veterinarian Katie Billmaier. Dogs with long hair or those who are prone to tangles should be bathed more often than those with shorter coats.

While most dogs don’t need to be bathed every day, they do need to be washed regularly to prevent buildup of dirt, odors and other debris Dog Nutritionist Myrtle Beach. Pet parents can use their nose and eyes to let them know when a dog needs a bath.

A dog’s lifestyle and activity level can also impact how often it needs to be bathed. For example, a working dog that comes home covered in livestock feces will likely need to be bathed more frequently than a sedentary dog with a short coat. Likewise, a dog with allergies or other health conditions will need to be bathed more frequently as well.

Dogs with Short Coats

A dog’s activity level, coat type and skin condition should be considered when deciding how often to wash your dog. For example, a dog romping around in the woods and underbrush may need to be bathed more frequently than one who lives in the city or has a short coat.

A short-haired dog is easier to keep clean than a long-haired dog because their fur doesn’t trap dirt and debris as easily. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be washed, especially if their activities take them into the yard or into mud and water.

Thick, double-coated dogs like Huskies should be washed every two to three months because their shedding can lead to an accumulation of dirt. However, daily brushing will help minimize this need.