If you have adopted a dog or welcomed a new puppy into your life, you have likely researched the commitment it means. Feeding and walking are the elements of care you are first warned about, but just as important is bathing your dog.
So, if you have got your furry bundle of joy settled in their new home and are wondering when you should introduce them to the bath, we can help. Here you will find the answers to the most important bath time question, how often should you wash your dog?
How Often On Average Should You Wash Your Dog?
If you’re wondering how often to wash your dog, there is no right or wrong answer, only general advice and guidance. A dog should be bathed once every four weeks, which is typical. However, you can also rely on washing your dog as and when they become smelly or dirty.
But you must remember that washing your dog less than every three months is ill-advised. Washing your dog weekly is also not recommended. Don’t assume that because your dog likes baths, you should do it more often, as this can cause damage to their skin and fur.
Suppose you have been sticking to the guidance of one bath every four weeks and think this isn’t right for your pooch. In that case, you can keep reading to find specific advice for different coat types and skin conditions.
Short Hair Dog Breeds
Short-haired dog breeds do not require regular bathing, and you can use your nose to determine when it’s time to freshen them up. On average, you should look to bathe your short-haired dog no more than once every six weeks to three months. If regular bathing your dog is a difficult task for you to accomplish due to conflicting schedules or limited mobility, then a short-haired dog breed may be most suitable for you.
However, there is always one exception to the rule, and for short-haired dog breeds, it is Basset Hounds. Though they have short hair, basset hounds require more regular washing as their coats are especially oily. This is combined with excess skin rolls, which trap dirt between the folds and short legs that cause their round stomachs to drag across the floor.
Long Hair Dog Breeds
For long-haired dog breeds, bathing and washing are much more complicated. You need to keep them clean whilst maintaining good condition for their coat. With longer hair, more dirt and debris get trapped, made even worse by our dogs' constant running and rolling. So, if you have a long-haired dog breed, ensure you wash them at least every four weeks and take care of how you handle their hair.
We recommend washing your dog from the head down and using plenty of dog-safe shampoo. Doing this ensures a thorough and even lather that reaches every hair without missing a spot. When the bath is done, letting your long-haired dog shake themselves dry is important. This makes the entire drying process much more manageable.
Bathing and managing your long-haired dog’s coat is a difficult job, and so many dog owners opt for regular grooming sessions. However, we understand that this is not an option for everyone. If you prefer to bathe your dog at home, choose a dog-safe detangler spray to simplify brushing and washing long hair coats!
Dogs with Skin Conditions
Other than their coat types and lengths, factors you should consider with your dog’s grooming routine are possible skin conditions. Common skin problems experienced by dogs include fleas, yeast infections, mange, dry skin and allergies. If your dog has any of these, how often and how you bathe them changes to suit their skin and treat the condition. If you suspect your dog has a skin condition, consult your vet, who will diagnose the issue and set you on a course to manage the problem.
Typically, your dog’s vet may recommend medicated shampoo while bathing your dog. Issues like flea infestations will also require specially formulated treatments and warm baths to help eliminate the pests. All of this means that your vet may suggest bathing your dog more frequently than you normally would, but you should always follow the advice of your vet and the labels of your dog-safe products.
The final factor affecting how regularly you wash your dog is their lifestyle. Regardless of breed, dogs that spend much more time outdoors, adventuring in the sea and muddy terrains, will require more frequent baths. Unlike sleepy dogs that spend most of the day indoors or on leisurely walks.
However, you should remember that you shouldn’t wash your dog too often, only if they really need it. For example, short-haired breeds with active lifestyles will benefit from a quick rubdown with a washcloth to remove dirt instead of a full bath.
Keep Your Dog Clean, Happy & Healthy
We hope you have the information and advice you need to keep your dog clean, happy and healthy. Just remember not to overdo your dog’s bathing routine while ensuring you’re not leaving them to smell! Once you have the hang of a routine schedule, you will find this is not such a difficult line to balance.
For more information on bathing your dogs and answers to important questions like ‘Is human shampoo safe for dogs?’ find more guidance in our online information hub. You can also shop for grooming essentials you need to keep your dog smelling great and feel even better from our collection at Poppy + Ted. We are pleased to offer a range of dog shampoos, deodorant colognes and detangler sprays.