How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

While dogs don’t require daily scrub downs like we do, they do need regular baths–but just how regular depends on several factors, such as the dog’s environment and type of coat.

Here are some general guidelines

  • Bathing once a month works for most dogs.
  • Dogs with oily coats, like  basset hounds , may need bathing as frequently as once a week.
  • Many short-haired breeds with smooth coats, such as beagle and weimaraners do just fine with less frequent baths. Short-coated Basenjis are fastidious in their personal hygiene and rarely need a bath.
  • Breeds with water-repellent coats, such as Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees, should be bathed less often so as to preserve their natural oils.
  • Dogs with thick, double coats, such asSamoyedsMalamutes, and other Northern breeds, do best with fewer baths and a lot of extra brushing,which gets rid of loose, dead hair and helps distribute natural oils that keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy.

Of course, if your dog likes to go swimming, is obsessed with mud puddles, or lives in the country and does a lot of rolling in who-knows-what, then you may want to bathe more frequently than if that same dog lived in a condo in the ‘burbs.

That said, avoid bathing more often than trulynecessary, or you’ll strip your dog’s coat of its natural oils, making it dry and more prone to dandruff, frizzies, and mats. Some shampoosmay dry or irritate the dog’s skin more than others, in which case you should bathe less often or try a different shampoo.

Basically, the best way to gauge when yourdog needs a bath is to give her a good sniff. How does she smell to you? Not so good? Start running the water.

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