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How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

In general, most dogs aren’t thrilled during bath time. For instance, my pup flees to the backyard the minute I pull out the designated dog towels. For this reason, you may not be forcing your furry friend to take baths as much as they should. After all, it can be upsetting to lather up a dog who is staring at you with the saddest puppy dog eyes. 

Now, there isn’t an exact science of when you should bathe your dog. For the most part, it is contingent on Fido’s fur type. According to the American Kennel Club, long-haired dogs generally need to be scrubbed down more often.

However, if you have a short-haired pup like a pit bull, you can relax a bit on scheduling bath times. 

“Obviously, the more hair a dog has, the more work is involved, including the frequency of the bath. For dogs with medium-to-large coats, a bath could be needed from weekly to every 4-to-6 weeks, as long as the coat is properly maintained in-between baths,” explained celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky. 

A similar rule applies to how frequently you should get your dog professionally groomed. 

“The majority of breeds that need haircuts—for example, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Yorkies—need to be seen every six to eight weeks to keep their coats from getting matted. Their coats tend to grow at a faster rate than some other breeds,” said Wendy Weinand,  PetCo’s manager of pet services.

As noted by the AKC, Beth Cristiano, who owns the mobile dog grooming service Pretty Paws LLC, also noted that dogs should get their ears clean and their nails trimmed once every four weeks. 

When you do wash your pup at home, there are a few steps that you should consider taking. While speaking to Good Housekeeping in 2020, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert,  Jennifer Freeman, shared some pointers. First off, if you have a long-haired dog be sure to detangle their fur before washing them. -

“It’s recommended that you take the time to brush your dog’s coat, especially if they’re longer-haired pups that get frequent tangles. Tangled hair can mat once you start bathing your dog, making it an unpleasant experience for your pet,” noted Freeman.

She also stated that you should be washing your pup with only “lukewarm” water and dog shampoo that was preferably recommended by your veterinarian. 

How often do you wash your dog? Let us know in the comments below!

1 comment

  • Melissa Rosa

    My pitbull has very sensitive skin and gets infections often. Vet told me to bath him every week and give him medicated shampoo every so often when his skin looks bad.

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