Bathing a dog normally tends to be a time consuming, complicated and downright messy affair. It often makes us wonder whether it is even necessary to bathe a dog and if so, how often to bath them. The simple answer to this question is of course that “It depends” – on several factors.
Bathing a dog can remove any dirt and debris from the fur coat as well as any foul odors emanating from his body. In addition to being good for overall hygiene, it also gives you an opportunity to examine your pet’s mouth and also to check and clean his eyes and ears.
Bathing helps with the rejuvenation of damaged hair as well as the healing of inflamed or infected skin. While wet and flat against the body, your dog’s fur coat makes it easier to detect any abnormal swelling, scratches or fleas.
Bathing your dog helps in fighting allergies and with a regular washing routine, the less allergens he is likely to carry around and the easier life will be for all around.
If your pet dog is active and outdoors most of the time, he will need frequent baths to keep him clean and smelling good. On the other hand, if all he does is loll around inside the house, he would need only less frequent baths.
Some breeds possess long hair that attracts dirt and debris like a magnet. In general, the thicker the fur coat, the more the need for grooming. Short-haired breeds won’t require baths as frequently.
In addition to the length of the hair, the type of fur is also a very major factor to consider. Breeds like collies or golden retrievers with thick or double-coats should be treated to more frequent baths in order to prevent matting of furry undercoats and remove any lice.
Allergies and Skin Ailments
Humans tend to absorb allergens in the environment through nostrils and the mouth, while dogs absorb allergens through the skin. You can help them battle this and the resulting itchiness by regularly bathing them to wash allergens away before they get a chance to penetrate the fur coat.
Bathing too often can be detrimental for your pet. Dogs need the natural oil produced by their skin to promote hair growth. Overdoing the bathing routine can cause dryness and irritation of the skin, damage the hair follicles and increase the risk of fungal or bacterial infections.
It is very much recommended to treat your dog with medicated bathwater in order to treat fleas, lice, and other uncomfortable skin conditions.
So, How Often?
To be safe, it’s advisable to bathe your dog at least once every couple of months. It is probably time for a bath when he starts to smell foul. You can wash dirtier pets every other week (with a gentle and natural shampoo if possible).
Consider yourself lucky if your pet is used to bathing as a routine affair in his life, and do not detest this valuable practice of hygiene and grooming much. Remember, it’s always best to consult with your vet when in doubt.