Bathing your dog helps remove dirt and debris from their fur, making them look and smell good. Our Pittsboro vets will explain how often you should bathe your dog and the bathing process to make it a smooth experience for you and your furry friend.
How Often Should you Bathe your Dog?
Regular dog bathing is crucial, but excessive bathing can lead to skin irritations and dryness.
The frequency of bathing varies depending on several factors such as coat type, health condition, and lifestyle. Longer-coated dogs require a monthly bath, while shorter-coated dogs may need one every three months.
Active dogs that enjoy playing outdoors may require more baths. Giving a bath to a dog covered in mud or dirt, with an oily coat or an unpleasant odor is fine, but avoid overdoing it.
Your vet may recommend more or fewer baths if your dog has allergies or specific health conditions. It's best to consult your veterinarian to determine your dog's specific bathing needs, but a good rule of thumb is to bathe your dog every 2 or 3 months.
Why Should I Bathe My Dog?
Although dogs can clean themselves to some extent, they may require extra assistance, particularly if they enjoy activities such as rolling in the mud or swimming in lakes, or if their fur is naturally oily.
Regular dog bathing offers various benefits, such as reducing shedding, improving their smell, and strengthening the bond between you and your furry friend.
Here are some reasons why routine dog baths are essential:
- It removes dirt and debris from their fur
- Helps prevent skin conditions
- Reduces shedding
- Helps them smell better
Bathing your dog also gives you the opportunity to monitor your dog's health and look for any signs of arising conditions such as redness, swelling, or unusual bumps on their ears, paws, nails, or skin. You even have a chance to check for external parasites such as fleas, mites, and ticks. If you see any of these unusual signs or external parasites, call your vet and schedule an appointment.
How To Bathe Your Dog
Knowing how to bathe your dog and being prepared for the task can make the process easier for both you and your canine companion. Here, we have provided you with a step-by-step guide on how to bathe your dog at home.
- Pick where you want to bathe your dog, it can be a sink, tub, patio, or kiddie pool. Make sure to bathe them in the same place every time, so they know what to expect.
- Gather the supplies you need such as a slip-resistant mat (if you are using a tub), a brush, scrubber, and a shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs. Never use human shampoo or conditioner on your pup because it can irritate their skin. Your vet will be able to inform you which shampoo will be best for your pooch.
- Start by brushing your dog's fur from head to tail to loosen dirt, and remove knots and mats.
- Use lukewarm water when washing your dog (never use hot water) and keep the water out of your dog's face.
- Talk to your dog in a calm and soothing voice, pet them often, and offer praise and treats when they are behaving. If your dog starts to resist and struggle, wait for them to calm down again before continuing.
- Lather and massage the shampoo all over your dog's body, be sure not to get any in their eyes, ears, or face. You can start at their paws and work your way up to the head, to provide fewer opportunities for the shampoo to run into their face.
- Rinse your dog from head to tail. Continue rinsing in this pattern until you have gotten all of the soap out of your dog's skin because any soap left behind can cause irritation.
- Dry your dog well with a warm, clean towel to help your dog air-dry faster.
- Let your dog's fur air-dry. Don't use hot blow dryers that are designed for human hair because they can be too hot for your dog's skin. If you'd like, you can use a blow-dryer designed for dogs' that operate at a lower temperature.
- Reward your dog. They have made it through the bathing process, give your dog a treat, lots of praise, and maybe even some playtime!
When Should I Bring My Dog to the Groomers?
If your dog resists taking a bath and struggles when you try to put them in the tub, consider taking them to a professional groomer. Groomers have the necessary tools and training to safely bathe dogs of all breeds, sizes, and temperaments. [Hope Crossing Animal Hospital provides professional grooming services for dogs, including nail trimming, de-shedding treatments, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, haircuts, and more upon request.