Should I bathe my dog and how often should I bathe my dog are two common questions that many new dog owners wonder about. The answer will usually depend on the breed of dog as dogs with different types of coats and hair lengths will require different bathing schedules. Short haired dogs can usually get by on 1-2 baths a year while dogs with long flowing hair benefit from a bath every month or two. The answer will also depend on how dirty your dog gets from playing outside as some dogs get very dirty after play and will simply need a bath because they are too dirty and can’t clean themselves in all areas. There are also those special occasions when your dog will need an immediate bath. These occasions include the common phenomenon of being sprayed by a skunk.
Whatever breed of dog you have though, there are some important tips to follow. The first tip is of course to start bathing your pet early in its life preferably as a young puppy. This is especially true if you have a long haired breed that benefits from regular bathing. The earlier you get your dog used to the idea of bathing, the easier bathing will become throughout its life as many dogs hate taking baths.
The type of shampoo that you use is very important when bathing a dog and you DO NOT want to use a human shampoo. Dogs and humans have different PH levels in their skin and their respective shampoos have been formulated accordingly. It is also crucial to properly rinse all the shampoo off your dog as soapy residue left on a dog’s skin will cause it to itch and scratch. Two or three rinses are often required to get all the shampoo out. Some dog owners think that more baths are better than less baths and this is simply flat out false. Too much bathing can result in dry flaky skin which can cause your dog to become itchy and over scratch itself. A dog’s skin has natural oils which protect the skin and help keep its coat in good shape. Too much bathing dries up those oils. Many groomers and vets suggest that 1 bath a month is plenty for long haired dogs that need regular bathing.
If you get a dog at an older age and it absolutely hates bathing at home, or you’re not up to the task, then you’d be well advised to get a referral for a good groomer in your area. Groomers are experts at bathing all types of dogs and have the proper equipment in their shops to make the ordeal less stressful for your dog. They can likely also give your pet a little haircut while they are there and return your pet to you smelling fresh and looking stylish.
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