How often should your dog get a bath?
When I was growing up, the coolest thing to do on a hot summer day was to wash the car. On the way out the door, Mom would inevitably add “and while you are at it, wash the dog!“ That afternoon fun in the driveway was probably the only bath the dog got all year. Back then, the family dog wasn’t allowed beyond a few rooms of the house; the kitchen, the family room and the garage. And never ever allowed on the furniture.
My how things have changed! We drive our cars to brushless, eco-friendly, water conserving automated car washes and our dogs have become a full-fledged member of our families. Our furry friends join us everywhere; the car, the park, on vacation, the furniture in every room of the house (whether we like it or not!) and most likely even sharing the bed… and possibly hogging your pillow while they’re at it.
Being everywhere with your family means being as clean as your family. Is it safe for Fido to have frequent baths? Should it be at home or at a grooming shop? Are some products better then others? What needs to be done after the lather and rinse part of the bath is over? Let’s answer those questions…
Yes, not only is it safe for Fido to have frequent baths, it’s also good for him. At the groomer is best but if you can’t get there, it’s important to ensure you’re doing it right for your breed and your dog. Most dogs should be on a schedule of every 4 to 6 weeks, more often is certainly safe when done correctly but less frequently will lead to problems. Don’t skimp on product quality - your choice of shampoo and conditioner must meet the needs of your pet’s skin and coat. Don’t forget that the pre- and post-bath work is as important as the bath itself. Brushing and combing out before and after the bath should not be overlooked. Even the drying process should be focused to meet the needs of your pet’s coat type.
Regular baths can help dogs shed their undercoats, keep a dog cleaner and cooler and help prevent skin issues and hot spots. Be sure to use a good quality shampoo and conditioner created for dogs! Damage to skin and coat will cost you more at the vet then you could ever save buying cheap shampoo. A bath done improperly at home could cost you more at your next grooming appointment as well. Longhaired dogs are particularly susceptible to this as tangles can become matted if their coats are not properly cared for at bath time. A matted coat is not only unsightly; it’s also uncomfortable for your pet and can lead to more serious skin problems.
Come see us at The Hairy Barker Inn & Spa! We are here to answer your questions, show you proper at home grooming skills and meet your professional grooming needs. At each appointment, we’ll examine your entire dog, nose to tail and do the pre- and post-bath work to help keep your dog’s skin and coat clean and healthy. We stock only the best products and hand-select which are best to use once we’ve examined your pet’s coat and skin condition. We always include nail care, ear cleaning, tooth care and more with every bath because grooming is more than just a lather and rinse!
In summary, chose a professional to bathe your dog whenever possible. And if you can’t, make sure to seek the advice of a groomer to make sure that you are doing what you should to protect your dog from skin problems, nail issues and coat disasters.