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How often should I bath my dog?

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Dog owners love it when their pooches are clean and fresh and smelling lovely. What is often not realized, however, is that frequent bathing is actually not the best thing for your dog. There is a real difference between the pH levels of human skin and dog skin, and losing sight of this can very definitely lead to skin irritation and other problems for your darlin' doggy. We know that some wash their dogs every day with special dog shampoos and conditioners, but this frequency is almost always a mistake, and the fact that the shampoo and conditioner is specialized for dogs does not actually solve or eliminate the potential problem.

So, apart from the fact that you, and maybe even your dog, simply enjoy bathing, why bath and how often? Well, quite simply, and perhaps obviously, bathing helps to remove accumulated dirt on the skin and dead hair during times of shedding, and also eliminates the odour in those dogs with oily coats. It can also, of course, improve the appearance of your dog's coat. All of which are good things. And in fact, there are no absolute rules about how often you should bath your dog - some vets advise a maximum of 3 or 4 times a YEAR, while others suggest a bath as frequently as every week or monthly. It doesn’t matter if your dog is almost always indoors or goes outdoors a lot too; dogs with normal, healthy skin actually self-clean. The argument against washing dogs too often is that in doing so, you're actually stripping the skin of the natural oils it needs because of the frequent washing and rubbing. Ultimately, while we know we should not bath too often, the actual frequency for a dog with normal skin really depends on your dog's type of hair, whether it's silky, curly, smooth or wiry. For example, short-hair dogs such as Labs, Beagles and Pugs, do not need frequent bathing unless they get themselves especially dirty. Even so, you can still wash them with water only to remove the dirt, and by not using shampoos, help to protect their skin. Long-haired dogs should not be bathed too often either, as it tends to tangle their coat. Brushing them on daily basis should be enough to remove the dirt stuck in the coat.

This all said, if your dog has a skin condition the whole thing changes and it does become advisable to wash him or her more frequently - but this will always be on the advice of your vet and with a medicated shampoo.

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