How often should I bathe my dog?

April 13, 2012

Some dog owners would want to keep the pet squeaky clean. Others wouldn’t mind the doggie odor and even the filth as long as the dog guards the home and keeps the family safe. Which kind of dog owner are you? How frequently would you bathe your dog? Bathing the dog can be a tedious task especially if the pet would struggle. Instead of giving the dog a bath, the pet will give the owner a good dunking. Wet dogs love to shake the water uncaring of who gets wet in the process.

Dog owners have different opinions on how often the pet should be bathed. While some fastidious owners would practically run a bath for the pet every time they hit the shower, others would believe that bathing the dog once or twice a year would be good enough. After all, dogs in the wild would only get wet when crossing streams. For these canines in the wild, grooming consists of using their tongue as a wash cloth. However it is understandable for dog owners to want to frequently bathe the dog especially if it lives inside the house and sleeps with the masters. The offending doggie odor is potent. No one would want to be met by the horrible smell that permeates a confined space when the door is opened. This situation is common in small homes or apartments.

A dog’s skin though, unlike our skin cannot handle being frequently exposed to harsh soaps and shampoos. Frequent bathing can result to the development of skin problems as the process will remove the essential oils in the dog’s skin. The oils in the skin and fur provide the dog with warmth and buoyancy. The thick oils in the skin are the reasons why dogs are excellent swimmers. The oils in the skin protect the dog from getting wet. This is why it is quite difficult to get a good lather when you bathe the dog. Washing the dog too often and removing the natural oils is an invitation to the development of various skin problems. Once the oils have been removed, the protection against the skin’s own bacteria will be removed as well. The skin will dry out and itch. Scratching and biting will create sores and bald patches.

The frequency of bathing will basically depend on the breed and on the activity of the dog. Owners of indoor dogs would naturally want to use soap and water on the pet more often. Long haired dogs would need to be bathed more often that short haired ones. Short haired dogs would simply need to be brushed to get rid of the dirt on the coat. This is not possible with long haired breeds especially if the dog has rolled in abhorrent things so that feces and rotten things would cling to the fur. Twice a month bathing would already be a good deal for indoor dogs. Of course the pet would already smell before the next bathing session. Regular brushing of the fur and using powder in between baths will lessen the doggie smell. Outdoor dogs, especially short haired ones can get away with one bathing every six months.

Dog owners would naturally want to have a nice smelling pet. But consider the fact that bathing is a human tendency. We humans love to smell the fruity or floral scent we impose on the pet. But the dog may be suffering in silence. Remember, the dog’s own doggie odor is its very distinctive ID card. “Momma, how would my beau know me when you have slathered me with that horrible flowery smell? Notice how the dog would cover the “unusual” smell by running to the yard after being bathed and rolling in horrible smelling things it can find.

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