How often should you wash your pet dog?

You have to be careful about bathing pet dogs. Their skin and fur coats are sensitive and if not dried off carefully, can cause problems. Whether your best friend is still an accident-prone puppy, a mud bath-loving adult or that elderly statesman with a familiar “old dog smell,” our pets go through life stages where their need for baths can vary.

Bathing frequency for puppies?

Puppies inevitably get into messes, mostly of their own making. Potty training takes time, and naturally curious pups end up in all sorts of odorous situations. It goes without saying that if a puppy soils itself, it should be cleaned up immediately.

However, on the matter of whether your puppy requires regular baths, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian about the frequency, the best pet shampoo suited for your dog’s breed and fur type.

How often should an adult dog be bathed?

Adult and senior dogs need only be bathed when necessary, not more than that. As a thumb rule, wash your dog only if he is dirty or starts giving out that distinctive doggy odor.

Veterinary dermatologists opine that it’s safe to bathe adult dogs with appropriate shampoo every week. However, be cautioned that there is such a thing as too much cleanliness.

Overdoing your bathing sessions, especially with strong shampoos or detergents, can strip away the beneficial oils from your dog’s fur coat causing irritation. Be warned that the pH of human shampoos, even mild baby shampoos, will not suit dogs. This is why it is recommended to use a shampoo suggested by your veterinarian or a shampoo specially formulated for use on dogs.

Of course, some breeds will need more baths than others. Dogs with shiny coats, like hounds and spaniels, may require frequent washing to keep their coats healthy while also smelling fresh and clean. Breeds like the basset hounds, beagles, and Labrador retrievers are especially prone to greasy coats, so it’d be wise to share your shower on a fairly regular basis.

Short-haired vs. long-haired breeds

The length of a dog’s coat doesn’t really affect the frequency of a dog’s bathing schedule. Each breed’s lifestyle and fur-coat type are unique, so the frequency of bathing dog will depend on the state of their coat, the odor accumulation and their tendency to get dirty.

Dog breeds with sensitive skin

Some dogs possess sensitive skin. It’s best to talk with your veterinarian and make sure there is no underlying cause for your dog’s sensitive skin before deciding on how often to bathe sensitive pups.

Your veterinarian can also recommend a suitable medicated shampoo to treat any adverse symptoms, but that said, it is always a good idea to use unscented shampoos on breeds that have sensitive skin.

So the next time your pet needs a bath, to be allowed anywhere near the upholstery, it’s best to grab some doggy shampoo and head to the dog wash. But only as long as you don’t overdo it – not more than once a week, and not without consulting your vet.

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