How Often Should I Bathe My Pet?
Metro Detroit Dog & Cat Grooming & Self-Serve Dog Wash

Bathing your dog isn’t just good for their hygiene, it’s also an excellent chance to check for abnormal scratches, bumps, fleas and other abnormalities. These things are easier to see when their hair is wet and flat against their body.

Baths provide a great chance to check your dog, make him smell better and also can be a good reminder to clean ears and eyes and check teeth. If your dog has been trained to think that baths are a routine part of his life, he will not resist this valuable part of his care.

According to the ASPCA, your dog should be washed at least every three months. The actual number may be higher if your dog is extremely hairy, or particularly enthusiastic about rolling in poop, but most dogs should be able to get by with monthly, sometimes quarterly, baths.

That said, if your puppy is younger than 7-8 weeks, you should hold off on that first bath. Wait a while. His little body isn’t ready to self-regulate his body temperature just yet. But you can wipe your puppy down with a warm cloth if you need to give him a quick clean.

Ultimately, you can wash your dog as frequently as every other week -- with gentle shampoo, it could be even more frequent.

For dogs with bacterial, fungal or yeast infections, ringworm or mange, frequent bathing helps kill the infectious organisms and parasites. And for dogs with skin diseases, it’s recommended that they be bathed every one to two days to get the problem under control, and several times per week until the skin has healed.

Bottom line: How often you bathe your pet ultimately depends on your dog’s breed, their individual skin sensitivity, and the product you are using to cleanse.

The general rule of thumb is to only use products meant for pets. At Scrubbers, our professional line of shampoos are specifically designed for frequent washing. They are soap-free, and Ph balanced for your pet’s skin and will not irritate or dry. To add moisture, consider using our oatmeal shampoo and/or follow up your wash with one of our powerful moisturizing rinses. Our house shampoo -- and other specialty shampoos -- will not impact Spot-on Flea & Tick products.

Below are three factors that should be taken into consideration when determining whether your dog is due for a bath:

1. Type of coat. The type of coat has is a big factor in how often he requires baths. However, it’s not as simple as the shorter the hair, the less bathing required. Hairless breeds, such as the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli, are actually quite care intensive. For dogs with medium-to-large coats, a bath could be needed from weekly to every 4-to-6 weeks, as long as the coat is properly maintained in-between baths. Harsh-textured coats oftentimes repel dirt pretty well, so they don’t get as dirty as a soft-coated dog. Breeds with harsh-textured coats can be bathed once a month, while dogs without undercoats -- Maltese, Yorkies, Afghans and Shitzus -- should be bathed once a week. When in doubt, use your judgment -- if your dog starts to smell, it’s probably time for a bath. Remember, a clean dog is a happy dog.

2. Indoor dog vs. outdoor dog. If your dog lives in your house with you and -- more importantly -- if your furry friend sleeps in your bed, you are probably going to wash your dog regularly. Here are some questions to ponder: Do you take your dog to the dog park? Does your dog play in the sand or dirt? Does your dog roll in the grass or go swimming or hiking? What about sniffing butts, eating poop or drooling? Bottom line: If your dog sits on your sofa or sleeps in your bed, you probably don’t want him dragging in dirt, poop, insects and other grime onto your sofa or in your bed. Depending on the breed, it may be in your best interest to bathe your dog anywhere from once a week to once a month.

3. Allergies? Unlike humans who absorb most environmental allergens through their noses and mouths, dogs tend to absorb allergens through the skin. Weekly bathing can prevent itchiness, washing allergens away before they get a chance to penetrate the skin. Also, you or someone in your household may be allergic to dogs. If so, you should groom and bathe your furry friend as often as possible. According to the American Lung Association, doing so will help remove the dander that accumulates on a pet’s fur.

On a semi-related note: To keep your pet’s coat clean and free of debris between baths, try to establish a routine of daily brushing. Regular brushing distributes natural oils evenly through their fur, and gives your dog a glossy, healthy appearance. Plus, it cuts down on shedding.

For most dogs this should take about 5-10 minutes and can be worked into your walk routine. An occasional wipe down can do wonders, and is a lot less time-intensive than a full bath.