How to Bathe a Dog with Oily Skin

by Sandra Ketcham
    Oily dogs require more frequent bathing than other dogs.

    Oily dogs require more frequent bathing than other dogs.

    Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Bathing a dog with oily skin is not complicated and should never be stressful. His breed and lifestyle will generally determine when he needs a wash. If your dog tends to have oily skin or hair, he'll likely require more frequent bathing than a dog with dry skin and a dry coat. Consult your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns, or if your furry friend suffers from a chronic skin condition.

    Step 1

    Remove debris and tangles from your dog's coat before soaping him up. This will make bathing easier and will help prevent matting after the bath.

    Step 2

    Bathe your oily dog once every four weeks, as is recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association. If your dog's skin or coat becomes very oily before the next scheduled bath, increase the frequency of baths to every two or three weeks.

    Step 3

    Choose a shampoo made specifically for dogs with oily skin. If your dog has allergies or dandruff, the right shampoo can make a big difference in the health and appearance of your dog's skin and coat. Never use a human shampoo.

    Step 4

    Wet your dog's coat before applying shampoo. You'll need less soap this way and it'll make it easier to get the shampoo closer to your dog's skin, which is where most oil accumulates.

    Step 5

    Lather your dog's back, sides, neck, belly, legs, feet, tail, and other areas. If his coat is very oily, you may need to do a partial rinse and then add more shampoo.

    Step 6

    Rinse your dog's coat thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid using very hot water, as it can dry out your pup's skin. Rinse the area around his eyes carefully.

    Step 7

    Check your dog's skin frequently for dryness. Dry skin can cause itching and flaking and is likely to occur if your dog is bathed too often or in water that's too hot.

    Step 8

    Squeeze as much water from your dog's coat as possible using your hands, allow him to shake, and then blot him with absorbent towels. If the weather is cold or you must use a blow dryer for another reason, keep it on low heat to prevent damaging your pet's coat.

    Items You Will Need

    • Brush
    • Dog shampoo
    • Absorbent towels


    • If your dog enjoys bath time and suffers no ill effects from frequent bathing, give him a bath whenever you or he wants. As long as you use a quality shampoo and keep an eye on your dog's skin and coat, frequent baths should not be a problem for most breeds.

    Photo Credits

    • Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."

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