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Is your furry friend starting to smell? Bathing your playful pup isn’t an easy task, but it’s an important part of pet ownership. Even if your dog doesn’t mind their own stinky stench, it’s up to you to maintain their hygiene.

One of the hardest parts of cleansing your canine companion is knowing how often they need it. Should you wash them every day? What about once a month?

At a Glance

  • Bathing your dog keeps their skin healthy and prevents mats and infections.
  • Most healthy canines only need to be washed every one to three months.
  • Dogs with long hair or soft fur might need to be washed once a month.
  • Short-haired breeds or canines with thick fur or double coats can often get away with one bath once every three months.
  • Be sure not to overwash your pup, as this can irritate or dry out your pet’s skin.

The answer depends on a few different factors. Keep reading to learn more!

See Related: Dog Walking 101: How Often Should You Walk Your Dog?

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Why Is Bathing Important?

If you don’t regularly cleanse your furry friend, they’re bound to get a little stinky. Though your nose might be able to bear the stench, your dog deserves to stay squeaky clean! There are a few factors that can affect their bathing frequency, but you should also know the immense importance of washing your furry friend.

The skin is the largest organ and acts as the first line of defense from environmental stressors. When the skin is clean, this barrier remains strong. If your canine’s coat is matted or dirty, it can also breed harmful bacteria, which may lead to infections.

A set bathing schedule will help keep your furry friend fresh. But don’t forget about other aspects of pet grooming, such as brushing and nail trimming.

Bonus: How To Trim Your Dog’s Nails So They Don’t Freak Out

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How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

The answer is – it depends. In general, healthy dogs need a bath every one to three months. Maintaining a consistent schedule helps minimize odor, prevent mats, and manage oil buildup. However, your pup’s washing frequency depends on a few factors.

How Do I Know When My Dog Needs a Bath?

Some canines need more frequent bathing than others. Most dogs will also benefit from a swift “once over” every week to shorten nails, clean ears, and brush out mats. Grooming and bathing aren’t the same, though they are very closely related. Your furry friend will only need a full-scale shampoo & rinse about once a month.

So, let’s go over a few things that might determine your canine companion’s cleansing schedule.

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#1. Check Your Dog’s Coat Type

The most important determining factor is your canine’s coat. As a general rule of thumb, long-coated breeds need more frequent baths and grooming sessions. However, it’s not that simple, as many hairless breeds like the Xoloitzcuintli still need a high level of coat care to keep their skin healthy.

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#2. Don’t Forget to Consider Your Pup’s Breed

Medium- and long-haired dog’s fur can become dirty, oily, and matted more easily than short-haired pups. Collies and Cocker Spaniels might need a bath once a month, while short-coat chihuahuas might be able to get away with once every two or three months.

Soft coats (like that of Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus, or Poodles) are also more apt at retaining dirt and oil and might require more frequent bathing. On the other hand, thick-fur breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog can be washed less regularly because their increased shedding helps remove dead skin cells and bacteria.

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#3. Consider Their Activity Level

Very active dogs are more likely to get very, very sweaty, which will make them pretty stinky. Additionally, if your furry friend spends a great deal of time outside, they will also require more baths. Indoor pups will need to be cleansed far less.

Of course, there are some instances that would warrant an immediate bath. Maybe they just rolled around in a pile of puppy poo on your daily walk. If your pup has a particularly massive bowel movement, it might be a good idea to give them a good soap and rinse.

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#4. Watch Out for Your Dog’s Skin Health

Certain skin conditions might require your dog to be bathed more frequently. Allergies, skin infections, or dry skin may require you to give your canine companion weekly baths, depending on veterinarian recommendations.

Is It Possible to Bathe My Dog Too Much?

It’s possible to not wash your furry friend enough, and it’s possible to wash them too much. Humans usually take a shower every day, but that would be way over the top for your furry friend.

Overwashing your dog can strip their skin of the natural oils that keep it moisturized and protected. It can also contribute to skin irritation or even allergic reactions. Try to use gentle dog shampoo and avoid cleansing products that are meant for humans.

Don’t forget to always follow up your furry friend’s bath with regular brushing to keep their coat strong and soft.

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When Should I Take My Dog to the Groomer?

Sometimes, cleansing your canine can be a real chore. Maybe they like to turn your bathroom into a swimming pool. Or perhaps you just don’t have the patience for their playful antics.

If that’s the case, it’s best you leave the dog grooming to the professionals.

Here are some reasons why it might be worthwhile to take your furry friend to a professional groomer instead of attempting to bathe them yourself:

  • Your dog’s coat is particularly large or unruly.
  • You don’t have the tools, time, or resources to groom them at home.
  • Your canine has a skin condition that makes bathing tedious.
  • Your dog’s coat is quite matted and might require a haircut.
  • You’d prefer a pro to take care of your furry friend’s grooming needs.

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Final Thoughts

All pet parents know that bathing doggies isn’t the walk in the park that it seems. Luckily, you likely don’t need to worry about cleansing your furry friend every day or even every week. Just be sure to take them for plenty of fulfilling walks, feed them lots of tasty treats, and wash them every couple of months or so.

Keep Reading: The Most Common Causes Of Diarrhea In Dogs And How To Fix Them

Scoop Masters offers professional dog waste removal services in California, Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. Since 1988, we’ve saved dog owners across the country from the overly unpleasant task of picking up after their pets. Each poopy project we complete gives them the freedom, convenience, and sanitation they deserve! Contact us for a free quote, or simply stock up on enough dog poop bags to keep your pet’s number twos at bay. To stay in the loop, follow up on Facebook and Twitter/X. If your dog can poop it, we can scoop it!

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