How Often Should Dogs Be Bathed?

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Often Should Dogs Be BathedFirst time pet parents won’t know a great deal about taking care of their pups much less about how much bathing their dog needs. Luckily, dogs don’t need a bath too often which is especially true if you have an indoor dog or if you have short-haired dogs. In this article, we answer the question, “How often should dogs be bathed” while addressing other concerns regarding regular baths for your furry friend.     

Why You Should Bathe Your Dog 

If you smell an unpleasant odor coming from your pooch, it’s a good idea to give it a bath — this can reduce the smell and prevent your pup from bringing dirt into your home. While dogs don’t need frequent bathing, they will need a monthly bath to maintain a healthy coat and clean your dog’s skin. However, different types of dogs will have different needs, and some may need to bathe less or more frequently compared to others.   

How Often Should Dogs Be Bathed? 

Most dogs shouldn’t have frequent baths because it may lead to skin irritation and dry skin. On the contrary, a good bath routine can provide relief for itchy skin so be sure to find the right frequency to wash your dog. For many dogs, they won’t need any more than 1 bath every month, but you shouldn’t neglect giving your pup a regular bathing schedule. 

A good rule of thumb is to follow your eyes and nose to see if your dog is in need of a good clean. When a dog smells, it will usually be due to bacteria and dirt accumulating on their skin and fur, indicating that they need a good clean. Unfortunately, not a lot of dogs enjoy bath time but putting them on a regular bathing schedule and giving them lots of praise is necessary to help them get a positive experience. 

If you’re dealing with a puppy, you won’t need to worry about creating a special routine. Simply give them the same amount of baths as you would with an adult. Doing this will help them get used to bath time and will make it much easier to clean them once they become adults.    

Factors to Consider with Your Pup’s Bathing Frequency

Because not all dogs will have the same need for bathing, you’ll need to look into the factors that may help you determine just how often they should bathe. 

Activity Level

How much activity your dog gets will affect how much it needs washing; for instance, if you have outdoor dogs that love going out, they’ll need frequent bathing. Short-haired breeds are often easier to maintain because their coats usually won’t touch the ground. Dogs that love to play in mud muddles will need to be bathed more frequently compared to dogs that spend a lot of time indoors.  

Type of Coat

Your pet’s coat should also be considered when determining how often to wash it. The general rule of thumb is that dogs with long coats will need more baths since their fur often touches the ground, carrying dust, dirt, and debris to your home. On the other hand, dogs with short coats won’t need as much cleaning since it’s easier to maintain their fur. 

Even so, you shouldn’t depend entirely on your dog’s coat length to see if it needs cleaning. Use your own judgment to gauge whether or not it’s time to clean your dog. Some short-haired pups can be much more active compared to dogs with longer coats.  

Skin Conditions and Skin Allergies

Dogs with sensitive skin and those with an underlying skin condition may need more bathing. For instance, skin problems like canine dermatitis may need a recommended bathing schedule and medicated shampoo to help treat this condition. Moreover, dogs with infections need to have more baths — dogs with dandruff should also be washed more to remove dead skin cells. 

Breed of Dog 

How often a bath is needed may also depend on your dog’s breed; long-haired breeds will need more bathing, especially if they’re active dogs that spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. It might come as a surprise but hairless breeds actually need weekly baths to protect your pet’s skin and to keep it soft. Furthermore, particular dog breeds will also be predisposed to allergies that prevent them from getting healthy skin.    

Dog Bathing Tips

For some dogs, bath time is a fun and enjoyable way to keep themselves clean but for others, it’s a scary experience that they just don’t like. Implementing a regular grooming schedule is a great way to encourage your pup to get used to bathing. Below are a few tips to help your dog get more comfortable with bathing.  

Use the Right Shampoo

Avoid using human shampoo since dog-specific shampoo is made from pet-safe ingredients that won’t damage their skin. A gentle dog shampoo can be highly beneficial to your pooch since it won’t strip your dog of its natural oils. If your dog suffers from dandruff, choose a special shampoo that will help moisturize your dog’s skin while removing the flakes.  

Don’t Shampoo Their Head

When you give your pup a bath, be sure to use warm water and don’t shampoo their head — this can easily get into their eyes which will make them hate baths immediately. Instead, gently wipe their face using a washcloth and clean their ears, eyes, and nose. 

Organize Tools Ahead of Time 

If your pup already hates baths, the best way to clean them is to have them go in and out of the shower area as fast as possible. Gathering all the supplies you need ahead of the bath will make the whole process much smoother and will endure that your dog spends minimal time there. 

Don’t Punish Your Dog

Some dogs will struggle with getting used to being washed and punishing or scolding them will only result to a bad experience making it unlikely for them to enjoy more baths in the future. To help ease them into this process, use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding them with peanut butter treats while they’re getting cleaned. This is the easiest way to convince them not to put up a fight whenever bath time comes around. 

Get a Professional 

If you find that it’s too difficult to wash your dog at home, you can always get help from a professional. Groomers have the training for handling dogs of all kinds of temperament, so it might just be easier for your pet to have their monthly bath at a pet salon. While this is a more expensive alternative, it will be a nicer experience for your furry friend. 

Veterinary Recommendations

Your vet will be of great help during stressful times like this, so be sure to speak to them to help address your concerns about bathing your pup. They should also be able to provide shampoo recommendations for particular health conditions and will let you know how often to wash your pet depending on your dog’s coat. A veterinarian will also be able to instruct you on how to wash according to your dog’s coat type; dogs with loose hairs will have a different routine compared to dogs with oily coats.    


Pet owners will need to consider various factors before scheduling their pet’s bathing routine, which includes coat health, skin, health, activity level, and breed. Your dog’s lifestyle should also be taken into account, and new pups will need to be carefully introduced to bath time so that they don’t fear it when they grow into an adult dog. A healthy dog should have no problems with regular brushing, bathing, and grooming when trained the right way — some training will go a long way for dog owners.