Washing your dog is an integral part of being a good pet owner. But how often should you bathe your dog? 

There’s no short answer to this question, but we gathered all the valuable information in one space for you to make the best decision as a pet owner.

So let’s have a good look at dog baths and what you can do to help your pup.

In this article you’ll learn everything about:

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

Many factors can influence dog bathing frequency. But if your pupper’s in good health, follow the general advice

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog

It’s a good idea to schedule dog bath time once every three months. But you can bathe your pup as often as once a month using a gentle shampoo. 

A gentle shampoo is great for pups who get dirty often or have sensitive skin.

Do it more frequently if your doggo gets too dirty from playing in the mud or puddles. When your pup starts to smell, that’s usually an indicator that it needs a good cleaning. 

Is It Bad to Bathe Your Dog Every Week?

We wouldn’t say it’s bad, but we don’t recommend it unless there’s an underlying health issue

Overbathing your pup can dry out the skin causing inflammation and pain. Dog bathing is necessary but only once every few months or if it gets dirty from playing outside. 

Why Do You Need to Bathe Your Dog?

Bathing your pup isn’t just for hygiene. It allows you to examine your doggo for issues such as fleas, skin irritations, and bumps. Water flattens the fur, so such problems are more noticeable. 

Proper bathing can also be a fun activity for you and your dog, even a memorable bonding experience.

When to Bathe Your Dog: Summer vs. Winter

Every season comes with its challenges. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog in the Summer?

Summer brings fun and playtime for your furry pal, but what does this mean for their bathing routine? 

Warmer weather usually means more outside time so keep an eye and nose out for when your pup needs a bath.

Ticks and fleas come out with a vengeance during the hot months. You can stay on top of this with the right products but more on that later. 

Be aware of the temperature, ensuring your pup has a warm, safe space to dry off. Dogs also shed during summer, so keep the hairbrush handy to prevent matting.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog in Winter?

Winter usually means fewer baths unless your dog gets particularly dirty. Besides, canines grow a thicker coat for the colder months that keeps them warm. 

Brush your furry friend regularly to prevent tangling and skin irritations. When your pup needs a bath in winter, have a hair dryer and towel ready to soak up the water. Also, it’s best if you do it inside. 

How Often to Bathe a Dog With Health Problems?

We want to provide the best care for our pets, even more so for those with health issues. 

So, how often should you wash your dog if there are health concerns? It depends on the problem you’re dealing with.

bathing a dog

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog With Dry Skin?

Dry skin can be incredibly irritating for your four-legged friend. Maintain a regular bathing schedule with an oatmeal dog shampoo to boast anti-inflammatory properties that ease the itching. 

Shampoo removes your pup’s necessary oils, so avoid overbathing. Once a month or at times when your dog is dirty is fine. Never use human products on your dog. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog With Outside Allergies?

Allergy-prone skin can cause your pup discomfort, so you should take the right precautions not to make things worse. 

Look for natural products that are less likely to cause inflammation and dryness. Also, you should be understanding since a pup with allergies may associate baths with discomfort. Take your time and do it gently.

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog if He Is Itchy?

You may be concerned about bathing if your dog has irritated skin. In this case, the best thing to do is to get vet advice on what may be causing the issue. Once you have an idea, you can look for products that can help. Again, everything in moderation. Don’t bathe your dog too often, as it may make things worse. 

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog if It’s Older or a Puppy?

Puppies and older dogs have very different bathing routines. Here’s everything you need to know.

How Often Can You Bathe a Puppy?

Vets don’t recommend giving puppies baths when they’re less than eight weeks old.

Their immune systems are still developing. However, once your little balls of fur come of age, it’s time to introduce bathing. 

If your puppy does get very dirty in its first eight weeks, you can wipe its fur with a warm cloth.

Starting this habit early is vital to get them into a routine. If you make it a fun and exciting experience, your dog will come to love bath time. Once a month is sufficient for a puppy unless they get into the gravy bowl. 

How Often Should You Bathe Your Old Dog?

Senior dogs need baths, too, just not as often. Besides, it can get a bit tricky

But it doesn’t have to be.

If your dog has arthritis, be very careful when you pick them up. Give it a nice massage in the bath to help the aching muscles. 

Put a visually impaired dog slowly in the water so they can have enough time to feel the temperature. You should also find products made specifically for older dogs’ skin. 

Long Hair vs. Short Hair Dog Baths Frequency

So, how often should you bathe pups with different hair lengths?

How Often Should You Bathe Your Long Hair Indoor Dog?

Preparation is key. Have everything you need on hand to make the bath as short as possible. 

Also, keeping your pup detangled with the right brush can help, especially before bath time. Make sure you do it thoroughly to avoid matting.

Long-haired pups usually don’t like getting wet, particularly if you don’t dry their hair properly after, as this can cause itching. Indoor dogs don’t require frequent baths, but it’s good to keep their coat pristine once every few months.

long haired dog bathing in the river

How Often Should You Bathe Your Short Haired Dog?

Short-haired pups’ coats don’t get as messy but they still need a bath every once in a while, particularly if they get dirty or start to smell. Grooming is also essential. You want their coat in the best possible condition to prevent skin irritation and dryness.

Which Shampoo Is Most Suitable for Your Pup?

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog With Fleas?

Fleas can be an absolute nightmare. They get everywhere and can cause some serious skin infections. 

One way to prevent fleas and their equally terrifying counterpart — ticks — is to bathe your dog in tick shampoo every two weeks. This product prevents eggs from hatching and kills adult fleas and ticks on contact.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog With Anti Fungal Shampoo?

Yeast infections are troublesome — they’re itchy, sore, and can have a terrible odor. Anti-fungal shampoo can help get your doggo back to their fun-loving self. Predisposing conditions can make things worse, so always consult your vet about your pup’s skin changes.

Shampoos differ, but most need application twice a week, and you should leave them on the skin for at least 15 minutes to penetrate and eradicate the infection. Be gentle as your pup’s skin may be sensitive

Should You Wash Your Dog With Furminator Shampoo?

The Furminator shampoo is free from parabens and chemicals. It’s rich in omega-three and six, which is great for your furry bestie. This deshedding shampoo helps reduce hair loss and keeps the skin healthy. 

Does the Size of Your Dog Matter?

It’s easier to deal with a puppy but we have tips for dogs of all sizes. Keep in mind that the breed also matters and there are low maintenance dogs that require a different bathing schedule.

How Often Should You Wash Your Small Dog?

Your small dog can get very dirty and carry a lot of mess into the house. It doesn’t need as much bathing as it usually spends less time running around compared to bigger dogs, but they still require a bath once every few months. We recommend buying a breed-specific shampoo to keep its skin and coat in a top-notch condition. 

Washing Big Dogs

Big dogs need thorough and frequent washing. Using the bathtub may not be an option anymore, but you can still get them clean outside with the hose in summer or the shower during winter. 

Reward your pup for behaving after getting its bath. Positive reinforcement comes in handy when you have to move from the tub to an outside area. 

How Should You Bathe a Dog?

It’s time to face your dog and bath time again. There are many ways to get it clean, so just be patient until you find the right one for you and your furry friend.

Washing Your Pup in the Bathtub

Getting your puppy or your medium-sized dog used to the bath is essential. Even though the sink seems more manageable now, transitioning to the bathtub will be more challenging when they grow more. Keep this in mind when giving puppies baths.

So, how should you wash your pup?

Use a cup to get your puppy wet, lather them up, and rinse. Make sure you have everything ready. It can be an exciting experience for your dog, so the floor might get a bit wet or entirely flooded.

Washing Your Dog in the Sink

The sink is great for smaller dogs that are often carried around and handled by their owners. They shouldn’t panic as higher areas aren’t new to them compared to a bigger dog. The sink can be a time saver if you have a pup that doesn’t enjoy bath time. It also helps if you struggle to bend over the bathtub. 

big brown dog getting bathed outdoors

Bathing Your Doggo Outdoors

Bigger dogs taking baths is a bit more challenging since they may not fit in the bathtub or have anxiety about getting in. That’s why outdoor washing can be your savior

You’ll need a hose or small kids’ pool. Outside can be a fun way to bond and enjoy the experience as opposed to the bathtub horror. Again, prepare everything you might need, including towels. Yes, the sun will do its job, but a towel dry first is necessary. 

Unless your pup is among the calm dog breeds, chances are bathing will be a somewhat stressful experience. So, try talking to it while you’re applying shampoo as a way to relax it.

Grooming your dog outside is also great for preventing hair indoors

Dog Grooming: Everything You Need to Know

Do dogs need baths? Yes! But grooming is just as important. Here are our best grooming tips.

Brushing and Combing Your Pup

Both help to get rid of excess hair and prevent matting. 

Take care of your dog’s fur at least twice a week. Finding the right brush for your breed can also help with specific coat needs. Doing this regularly also allows you to inspect any signs of skin irritation or parasites.

So, we know how often to bathe a dog, but what about the other bits?

Cutting Your Dog’s Nails

The right tools are crucial. Using the wrong nail clipper can damage your pup’s nails and paws

Trimming’s not only for their appearance but for overall health. Longer nails can break or get caught in surfaces around the house, leading to painful infections. We recommend cutting your puppy’s nails once a month or when you notice they’re too long. 

Doggy Teeth Brushing 

Most pups don’t enjoy teeth brushing, but it’s a necessary evil, just like dog bath time.

Like humans, dog teeth build up plaque and bacteria after eating. If left unbrushed, the teeth may get infected, leading to painful gum disease. Find the right product for your pup and start teeth brushing routine. Anything is better than nothing, but experts recommend daily brushing, if possible.

How to Properly Bathe Your Pup

You’ll find many methods of bathing your pup. In any case, follow these basic principles

Choose the Right Products

Finding the right products for your specific breed can take time, but it’s worth it. Once you get your hand on them, your job will become a lot easier

How often should you bathe your dog is an important question but what products should you use?

Speaking with your vet can help you along the way.

Breed-specific products are made to help with common issues. For example, a dog with a thick coat can benefit from a specific shampoo and conditioner that maintains its fur and eases brushing. 

Have All the Tools You Need

Getting your pup in the bath is pointless if you’re running around trying to find the comb. Preparation is key for a hassle-free experience. A list can help you set up everything and be ready to wash your house dog.

Bath Temperatures for Your Pup

Don’t make the bathwater too hot, as your dog might panic or burn its sensitive skin. Bathe your furry friend at the recommended temperature of 98.6°F. Smaller and older pets may be better off with slightly cooler water as their bodies react differently to heat

Time to Dry Off

Chances are your pup is going to enjoy this part. Absorb most of the water with a thick towel after bathing. For the excess, use a dog or human hair dryer on a medium to cool heat setting. Most pups love this and will crawl up with you for more of the heated air action. 

Wrap Up

So, what did you learn about dogs taking baths?

In general, every few months is sufficient if there are no underlying health concerns or specific reasons for a bath. You now know how to wash your dog,  the things you need to consider, and the ways your pup could benefit from some techniques. 

How often should you bathe your dog? It differs for most pups, so finding the right routine for you and your furry friend is essential. We hope this helps you make the best-informed decision for your dog. 

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Emma is a lover of all animals. Her cat Pumpkin enjoys stretching out in the office while mom researches the best information on how to care for their fellow furry friends. Emma’s passion for animals started at a young age. Back then, she dedicated her time to shelters and vet clinics in South Africa. Her enthusiasm for writing and research is behind the most reliable information for pet lovers. She believes in treating animals with the devotion and respect they deserve.