Many people bathe their dog to prevent “doggie” smell. It’s more for the benefit of pet parents
than the canine. There are multiple factors to consider encompassing the health of the canine,
the length of their coat, breed, and their lifestyle. There’s not a single universal schedule for
bathing a furry family member.
A dog with a short, smooth coat should only be bathed once every 2 to 3 months – providing
they’re in good health and don’t have any skin conditions. Conversely, the American Kennel
Club (AKC) says hairless breeds may need weekly baths.
Professional groomers agree that medium to long-haired breeds could need a bath every week
to once every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the dog’s activities and if the coat is properly cared
for between baths. However, the AKC says there are some breeds that don’t develop a doggy
odor and will need far fewer baths than others.
Bathing your dog too often strips essential oils from their coat. Too frequent bathing also has
the potential to disrupt the cyclical shedding of an insulative coat. Canines with skin problems
may require a medicated shampoo. For those with allergies to their pet’s dead skin cells
(dander), there are dander removing shampoos that may help.
Lifestyle is an important factor. Working dogs, those that spend time in the salt water of the
ocean, and those that hunt and wade through muddy water may need more frequent trips to
the groomer for bathing.
Perhaps even more important is daily grooming. It helps distribute natural oils evenly through
the coat. It’s also an opportunity for bonding time and to examine your four-footed friend for
any potential problems.
The decision to bathe your dog will depend on multiple factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all
solution. It’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian or a professional groomer to discuss
your canine’s individual needs.
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