How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

We all know that our dogs get dirty, really, really dirty.  Some even love getting dirty, you know, the type that will go out and roll in a mud puddle at first chance.  Why do our dogs have this weird desire to be dirty all the time?  And how often should I bathe my dog?  That is the real question because it is a given that they are going to get as dirty as possible as soon as they can.

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?There is really no set guideline on how often to bathe your dog, or how often to groom them.  The standard and most true answer is really just “When it gets dirty”.  Dogs actually don’t really need to be bathed, they have survived for a very, very long time without it sometimes.  Of course, our pets just love to get crazy dirty, and then go jump on the couch, and that SUCKS!  So really the question is more of a, how often does my dog become really dirty?  The answer to that depends greatly on two main things; your dog’s demeanor and your dog’s coat.  Dogs with short oily hair, like a Labrador, have coats that will pretty much self-clean with a little grooming from the dog.  They can literally take care of their coat their entire lives no problem (excepting a major mess, like that time they will knock over a paint can and roll in it).  So for this type of dog, just bathe them when you feel they are too dirty or oily, or just want them to smell nice for some special event, it really doesn’t matter to them.  At the other end of the doggy spectrum, we have the Border Collie, a dog that has long and bushy hair, and absolutely LOVES to play and get dirty all the time.  As I am sure you have guessed, they will probably need a lot more maintenance!

Before bathing a dog, make sure you brush their hair to get all the tangles and matted hair out, otherwise it will be very difficult to manage once wet.  It is also very important to use a shampoo that says “For dogs”, as human shampoo is actually far too acidic for dogs (most dog shampoos are very neutral at 7 to 7.4).  There are actually different types of shampoo for dogs with white coats and dogs with color coats.  One important thing to remember is to never ever use human bleach products or hair dyes, they will do great damage to your dog’s coat.  So how often should I bathe my dog?  Well, in the end, it is really up to you, your dog can go just about forever (excepting some circumstances we will all see…) without a bath!