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How Often Should You Bath Your Dog?

November 09, 2022 3 min read

How Often Should I Bath My Dog?

Has your dog begun to stink? That's typically a pretty strong indication that they need a wash. Here's how you create a bathing roster so that it doesn't have to go that far. You might be surprised at how often you should wash your dog!

Most healthy dogs will benefit from a bath every two weeks. All dogs differ in terms of age, exercise level, and coat type, so obviously there is room for movement here. Dogs should be bathed frequently, but not excessively or with the incorrect products. The following are some things to think about.

“How frequently a pet needs a bath greatly varies based upon their breed, lifestyle, length of coat, and how much homework a pet owner is willing to do,” says Beth Cristiano, owner of Pretty Paws LLC, headquartered in Harrison, N.Y.


Length Of Coat / What Type Of Fur Do They Have?

How frequently your dog needs baths depends in large part on the sort of coat they have. But it's not quite as straightforward as ‘less bathing is needed the shorter the hair’. According to Cristiano, hairless species like the Chinese Crested and the Xoloitzcuintli require weekly bathing and are actually fairly care-intensive.

The long-coated breeds, like the Maltese and Collie, are at the other end of the range. Jorge Bendersky, best-selling author of "DIY Dog Grooming, From Puppy Cuts to Best in Show: Everything You Need to Know," a celebrity dog groomer, argues that "obviously, the more hair a dog has, the more effort is necessary, including the frequency of the bath." As long as the coat is properly maintained in-between bathing, he continues, "For dogs with medium-to-large coats, a bath could be needed from weekly to every 4-to-6 weeks."

However, when corded, a breed like the Puli, which theoretically has long hair, is not bathed as frequently. "The Puli doesn’t develop that typical doggie odour, and really, a Puli probably doesn’t require as many baths as most other breeds," the Puli Club of America.

What about dogs that are in the middle? According to Monica Handy of Woofie's Mobile Pet Spa, "Thick or double coats on breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, etc., naturally insulate the dogs seasonally." She continues "over-bathing could strip too much oil from the skin and disrupt this process. Using a product specifically for shedding will help avoid this.”

A general rule of thumb is to wash your dog when you notice an obvious change in their coat’s condition, such as an obvious smell.


How often should you bath long haired dogs?

Lifestyle: Are They An Indoor Or Outdoor Dog?

You'll need to wash your dog more frequently than, say, an apartment-bound Maltese if they enjoy splashing in mud puddles, diving into creeks, and rolling around in the dirt. However, you do live together with your Maltese, so this brings up the issue of what you can tolerate.

A short-coated breed may make an active lifestyle easier because it is often easier to keep the dog clean between bathing. Short-haired dogs can get away with receiving a thorough washcloth rubdown to eliminate dirt accumulated during a hectic trip to the dog park.

Regardless of breed, dogs that spend their days playing in the surf, hunting in muddy waters, or herding sheep may end up needing more washes than puppies who spend the most of their time indoors.

At the end of the day, Jorge Bendersky (celebrity dog groomer) offers this advice: “We should wash our dogs when they are no longer huggable.”

 Bath outdoor dogs more frequently

Are There Any Allergies or Skin Conditions?

Chat with your vet if your dog has skin allergies to learn how to provide better pet care when it's time to bathe them. Your vet might suggest altering your dog's washing routine or recommending a particular shampoo—possibly a medicated shampoo treatment or one that is calming.

Your health is another factor to consider. Occasionally, the wash is for the comfort of the human, not the pet. Owners with allergies will frequently react to their pet's dirty coat, which can be controlled by a weekly bathing schedule.

 How often should you bath short haired dogs?

Lastly, body wash or human shampoo shouldn't be used on your dog. Although it may seem obvious, these products are not appropriate for the fur and skin conditions of dogs and should be avoided. Your go-to product should always be dog shampoo!