A healthy, regular grooming regime is essential for all dogs. Baths can be a helpful component, but there is some confusion over how many baths to give them. The last thing that we want to do is put our dogs at risk by not bathing them enough. However, we don’t want to harm them by bathing them too often either.
Once a Week, or Once a Month?
There are some dog owners that decide to bathe their pets every week. They want their pooches to smell wonderful at all times, with spotless coats. If dogs get dirty on a long walk in the woods, a bath will clean off the muck and any potential health risks. Bathing removes dirt, oils and dead skin, as well as parasites and other risks. A good massage with the shampoo can also stimulate natural oils for improved coat health and healthier skin. Dogs also need their nails clipping, teeth brushing and to have their ears and eyes checked on a regular basis. But, this doesn’t have to happen in the bath, this can happen when brushing the coat. In fact, we can put our dogs at risk if we bathe them too much.
The problem is that this could do more harm than good with some animals. Many breeds don’t need to be bathed so often if they aren’t really that dirty. Regular bathing with chemical products can damage the coat, or risk irritation to the skin. Safer doggy shampoo and products lessen the risk, but there is still no need to use them weekly on most dogs. There is also the problem of the hassle of regular bathing with nervous or stubborn dogs. Do you really want to go through the stress of setting up bath time for an anxious dog if there is no real need? Dog bath tubs can make the process easier, but it still takes up a large part of the afternoon. There has to be a middle ground where bathing is necessary. Not too frequently, but before any health risks.
A bathing regime may be dictated by the health of the dog
Ultimately, it all depends on the coat type and health of the dog. There are many dogs that can get away with a monthly bath, as long as owners are thorough with other checks and grooming. Others will need more care and attention. There will also be cases when dogs need more baths in order to deal with health issues and skin complaints. Dogs with skin allergies, parasitic infections and other illnesses might need more regular bathing with specialized products.
Get to know the needs of your breed with some professional guidance
The best approach here to talk to your vet – or your local groomer – about the needs of your dog and its breed type. The more you know about the requirements of their coat type and personal health issues, the better the bathing regime. There is no straightforward answer that applies to all dogs and owners. Some will be bathed frequently – and may even enjoy it. Others will get by with a monthly bath. The answer is to bathe them as often as needed for a clean, healthy coat, but not so often as to stress them out or put that important coat of theirs at risk.
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