In general, it’s good practice to wash your dog at least once every three months to ensure good hygiene and a decent level of cleanliness.
However, you can wash your dog as much as once a week if you think your pup needs it. It shouldn’t do your dog any harm providing you are using a gentle, non-irritating shampoo.
In truth, there is no real definitive answer for how often you should bathe a dog, as everything from breed, fur type and your own sense of smell may dictate how often your pup’s personal bath time should be.
As long as you’re not overwashing your canine (any more than once a week), you can simply wash your dog whenever you feel they’re starting to stink up the place!
Using plain water in place of shampoo is fine for spot-cleaning too, such as washing muddy paws or bellies.
But if you’re still not sure how much you should be washing your pooch, consult our handy in-depth guide below to see how different factors can affect a dog’s cleanliness. And if you’d like to know how to bathe your dog properly, check out our guide that’s filled with top tips.
How often should I bathe my dog? Factors to consider
Long-haired hounds are far more likely to pick up all kinds of dirt and debris within the depths of their coat, whereas short-haired breeds tend not to be the muckiest of pups.
However, this doesn’t always mean the shorter the hair, the fewer washes needed.
In fact, hairless dog breeds often require more maintenance than a classic shaggy dog and actually need weekly bathing to stay clean and healthy.
But in general, the more hair your dog has, the trickier it becomes to keep on top of their hygiene. So it’s best to bathe medium to larger coated breeds at least every 4-6 weeks.
These sorts of pups also need more maintenance in between baths with regular combing to keep their coats tidy!
Let’s be honest, a doggy bath is largely for our own benefit rather than for our four-legged friend, as no one wants to be the owner of a forever stinky dog!
But although it’s good to start a regular bathing routine for your dog, you still need to be wary of your pup’s health when bathing, as believe it or not there is such a thing as washing too much!
It’s not uncommon for people to wash their dog once every week, but anything more than that would undoubtedly be considered overcleaning, which can do more harm than good to your pet.
Dog’s rely on their own natural oils to support healthy hair and skin, and overwashing can strip them of these oils. This in turn then causes things like irritated skin and dryness, especially if your shampoo products aren’t gentle enough.
You should also make sure you are aware of any allergies or skin conditions your dog has, and how this affects the frequency of bathing they need.
Always consult a vet before washing a dog suffering from these issues. They’ll likely require certain products and a more strict washing schedule to maintain their health.
Remember, if their odour is not troublesome, they aren’t visibly mucky and no skin condition dictates it, they don’t need a bath!
Some canines just can’t help themselves when it comes to jumping in puddles and rolling in the muck. It doesn’t take a genius to work out these kinds of canines are going to need a lot more bathing!
But not every trip to the park needs to result in a wash in the tub, especially if you own a short-coated breed.
These sorts of breeds luckily won’t get too much muck matted into their fur and so you can probably get away with simply wiping any dirt away with a washcloth or doggy wipe.
For any dog who isn’t harbouring visible dirt, you can also use dry shampoos between bathing sessions to ensure your dog doesn’t build up an odour too quickly.
As a basic rule though, if it’s got to the point where your dog is no longer pleasant to be around, it’s probably time for a bath!
Why do we need to bathe our dogs?
Giving your dog a bath isn’t always the most fun, especially if they bolt at the mere sight of a tub of water!
But introducing your mutt to a regular washing routine is still important, as it’s more than just a chance to freshen up a pup and keep them clean.
Bathing dogs can, in fact, be a good opportunity to bond with your dog. More crucially, you can give them a routine check-up.
It’s your best opportunity to keep your dog still and look them over for any concerning lumps and bumps, as well as any harmful ticks and fleas.
Naturally, you still want your vet to be doing professional check-ups every now and then, but there’s no harm in you showing a little more concern for your dog’s welfare!