How Often Should Dogs Take Baths?

by Susan Revermann Google
    Only bathe him outside if it's warm out.

    Only bathe him outside if it's warm out.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    Although your four-legged companion might smell, well, like a dog, you don’t need to bath him every day. Even though you may be tempted to make him smell more aromatic, don’t do it. You can actually do more harm than good by doing that. He probably won’t like it too much either.

    Scrubbing your pup down every three months or so is sufficient. You can bath him more regularly if it’s needed. If he’s decided that skunks and oily gutters are his new best friends, by all means fill up the tub.

    If you bath your dog too much, it will strip the healthy oils that coat his fur and skin. This can make the skin dry, itchy and irritated. He may start scratching if this happens. These oils actually help repel dirt and water.

    When you do give him a bath, there are a few things to keep in mind. Wash his eye area with damp cotton balls and work from nose out. You don’t want to scare or drown the guy, so keep the water level about three or four inches high. Use warm, not hot, water and a mild doggie shampoo. If you’re bathing a puppy, wait until he’s at least 4 weeks old and use a mild puppy shampoo. Wash him from the head area back toward the tail. Rinse with warm water and avoid dumping water over his head. Dry with a clean towel or a hair dryer. Watch the temperature on the dryer so you don’t burn him. Don’t be surprised if he heads straight for the grass or dirt to roll around in after his bath -- it’s in his doggie nature.

    Brush him frequently. Preferably you will do this daily, but make sure to do it at least once a week. This not only removes dirt and debris, it also helps remove excess hair and evenly distributes his natural oils. Frequently brushing also helps reduce the amount of tangles and mats that can accumulate in his fur. If he’s a hairy guy and the weather is nice, brush him outside if you want. Wash your hands afterward.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.

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