Our dogs are mud crazy, smelly little monsters, but we love them nevertheless! However, sometimes that, let’s call it, Eau de dogue can get a little bit too much! That’s when dog owners wish they could wash their dogs every single week. This is of course not possible, we know that washing our dogs too much and too often is not healthy. But how often should you bathe your dog? How much is too much? In this article, we are going to answer that question and also share a few tips and tricks on how you can make bath time a little easier.
Dog bathing doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Sure, you can always do it at a wash station, but if you learn how to bathe a dog at home, pet parents could save quite a bit of money. But if you are still wondering ‘How do I give my dog a good bath?’, keep reading for our expert tips on how to be a pet bather.
How often should you bathe your dog
Now this can be a confusing question! How much is too much? Well, the truth is that this completely depends on your dog’s needs. We can’t give you a magic number to solve all of your dog washing questions.
In a way, it similar to washing your own hair. Overwashing will cause their skin to dry out, and it can make their coat fragile and brittle. On the other hand, you don’t want your dog to be dirty or smell bad as well. You want to find a golden middle that will make sure your dog has a healthy and well-balanced coat, but his hygiene is also on point.
There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. There are many factors that determine how often you should bathe your dog like breed, activity level, type of coat, allergies, and so on.
Different breeds have different coats. As we already explained, it’s similar do human hair. Maybe you have an oily scalp, with fine hair, but you also workout regularly. In that case, you probably have to wash your hair at least every three days. Other people with dry hair could be more than fine with washing their hair only every 10 days. It’s similar for dogs as well.
Some dog breeds have finer hair strands that easily tangle. Maybe their coat is also light and gets visibly dirty more easily. In addition to that, some canines just enjoy rolling in mud whenever they get the chance, so it’s no surprise that you will have to bathe these dogs more frequently as well.
Generally speaking, a rule of thumb would be at least once every three months, ideally would be once a month. This is because, according to experts, the way dog’s skin works is, about every 30 days they have a whole new layer of cells. So, the old cells slough off. That’s what makes dander and things like that. So regular grooming or bathing keeps that dander down.
Don’t over do it
A totally bad idea would be bathing your dog every week. You need to keep their natural oils spread out because they help condition your dog’s fur and skin. Too much bathing will strip their skin and in addition to that, blow drying could also dry out their skin additionally.
Excessive bathing will do more harm than good to your dog. By over-washing, you’re stripping their natural oils and your dog will be left with a dull coat and itchy skin. Fewer baths don’t necessarily compromise the good hygiene of your pup. They will however protect his coat and other sensitive areas. Depending on his coat type, you shouldn’t give him regular baths more than once every 3-4 weeks.
Tips and tricks for bathing your dog
Bathing your dog is a true struggle of its own. Not many canines like getting washed, however, it’s something that needs to be done. This is why we put together a few tips for you on making bath time an easy time! Well, at least easier…
While the easiest option definitely would be to go to a wash station, you don’t need a PhD to know how to bathe a dog. A few tries and our safety tips will be more than enough to make you an expert. Your dogs bath will also depend on the coat type he has. Smooth coats are a lot easier to wash than wirred haired pups.
Brush your dog
Before you even start bathing your dog, brush him or her out. Get all the loose hairs out, so the bathing will be easier. Another reason why you should brush your dog is he or she probably has matted hair. Which holds water, leaving your dog with irritated skin.
Decide where to bath your dog
Do you have a large dog or a small dog? Will you wash your dog in the sink or in the tub? If you have a small dog you’re lucky you can wash them in the sink, for bigger breeds go with the bathtub. You also need to figure out if you’re going to wash your dog inside or outside.
Bribe your dog
Well, we don’t mean literally bribe your dog, but there are ways to make them a little calmer during bath time. Get a dog lick mat and put peanut butter on it. Stick it to the bathtub or sink. While your dog is enjoying the peanut butter you can bathe them!
Protect your dog’s ears
Please be careful not to get any water into your dog’s ears. It’s not only uncomfortable but can cause health problems. If your dog lets you put some cotton balls into their ear, if not just be extra careful not to get any water into their ears.
This is also the ideal time to clean the ears of your canine. The easiest way possible to clean dog ears is to take a few cotton balls, a cleaning solution, and a towel and clean the ears of your pooch. We actually have a whole article on that topic.
Use lukewarm water
Always be mindful of water temperature and pressure! Just like you wouldn’t shower with super hot or cold water, don’t do it to your dog either! The water should never be hotter than what you’d run for a human baby. Ideally, you should keep it even cooler for large-breed dogs who can easily overheat.
Use dog shampoo
Always use dog shampoo on your dog. You don’t want something that will cause your dog to scratch or that dries out your dog’s skin. Don’t ever use human shampoo on your pup. Cheap, drugstore shampoo is full of silicons and can only irritate the skin of your canine. Ask your veterinarian for good dog shampoo suggestions.
We can’t tell you what the best brand of dog shampoo is. There are even medicated shampoos to fulfill different medical needs that your pooch may have. If you, however, don’t want to splurge on special dog shampoo, you can try our DIY dog shampoo.
Work it in well
Work the shampoo into a gentle lather and massage it all over your dog’s body, being careful not to get soap in their eyes and ears. After this, rinse well! Any soap left in their fur can irritate your dog’s skin once they’re dry. Rinse, rinse, and repeat the rinse. Make sure your dog has ideal water conditions in terms of temperature, and keep rinsing. Leftover shampoo could irritate the skin of your pup additionally.
Hot air from a blow-dryer can be too harsh and too hot for your dog. So stick to air-drying or use the “cool” setting. If you have the budget for it, you could even try a special pet-friendly blow dryer. These are gentle on the coat of your canine, while still drying their coat.
The one we would recommend is the Uahpet dog hair dryer. This is a light-weight, portable, but still powerful pet dryer. It has detachable nozzles that can be used on all kinds of furry pets, not just dogs. It will make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable, and it can fast even large breeds with double coats in as little as 25 minutes. Giving your dog a blow dry will prevent that wet dog smell, it will help fight skin issues such as fungus overgrowing, and it also prevents hot spots from forming.
Bathing your dog will be a chore, but it’s something that needs to be done! Don’t forget that you should bathe your dog only once a month and stick to the tips we have you! It’s not as complicated as it may seem at first, it’s just that your dog will have to cooperate.
To make things as easy as possible for both of you, try to teach your dog that bathing is a good thing right from his puppy stage. Grooming will be so much easier if your canine companion gets used to it early on. If you adopted an adult dog, grooming regimens may be a bit more tricky. But even older dogs can make new habits.
Another important tip we didn’t mention is always reward your dog. Follow up with abundant praise, petting, or play. Treats are welcome too! Even though it may seem to you that you are the one who needs a treat, by helping your dog to link bathing to reward, he will be calmer while in the process.