A clean dog is a happy dog. At least, after the bath portion is over. But you might not realize the benefits of bathing your pet beyond clean fur and stink reduction. It turns out, regular baths can also help prevent flea infestations, heal your dog’s problem skin, and even alert you to unusual lumps or bumps so you can get them checked out quicker.Of course, if you’re like a lot of dog owners, you might wonder how often you should bathe your pet. After all, if you bathe him too often, it can dry out his skin and make him itchy. Too little, and well….no one enjoys a stinky dog curled up next to them on the sofa.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?
Barring rolls in the mud or other dirty activities, most dogs are fine with a bath every other week, or even once a month. However, if yours has a habit of getting especially dirty, then, obviously, more frequent baths are in order. Also, if your dog has a skin problem, your veterinarian may recommend more frequent bathing.
Besides skin and lifestyle, your dog grooming ritual also depends on the type of dog you have. Long-haired, double coated breeds like Samoyeds often require fewer baths and more brushing to loosen dead hair and debris.
While some dogs are more prone to oily coats, kind of like if your hair goes too long without a wash. You’ll recognize the sheen.
Otherwise, you don’t want to over bathe your dog because that will strip your dog’s skin and coat of naturally moisturizing oils. Use your best judgement.
What’s a Good Dog Shampoo?
For dog shampoos, we like Fleaordie which, as its name suggests is great for killing fleas. If you’ve noticed any of those parasites leaping around your dog’s fur, you’ll want to make haste to the bath as fleas can lay thousands of eggs in a matter of hours.
Once you suds up your dog, you will need to let the Fleaordie shampoo sit on your dog for 5 minutes so you may want to bring along some treats or a favorite toy to distract your dog while the shampoo sinks in and takes care of those nasty critters.
If your dog has dry skin, we like an oatmeal-based shampoo like Oatderm. Oatmeal is kind of a miracle worker for skin. It soaks up excess oil from oily skin or fur and it moisturizes dry skin so it’s less itchy and feels better. Oatmeal can also kill any bacteria with its’ anti-microbial properties. So if you’re in doubt as to a good dog shampoo for your dog, it’s hard to go wrong with an oatmeal based one like Oatderm.
How to Bathe Your Dog
First, gather your supplies and decide on your location. Will you use your bathtub, do it outside with a water hose? A specially designed raised dog bath? You know your options.
Before you start the bath water, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes thoroughly brushing your dog. Brushing prior to the bath releases debris, dirt, and loose fur so there’s less to clog up the drain and you can get a deeper clean.
After the brushing, you can maneuver your dog to the washing area. If your dog is like most dogs, he may suddenly decide to play hide and seek or act super bashful. Don’t give in. Your dog will feel great after the bath even though he lays the sad eyes on you during the entire process.
Wet him down with the hose or your hands, or even a saucepan. Start between the shoulders and continue until your dog is wet. Then, squeeze a small amount of shampoo onto your hands, rub them together and start working it into your dog’s fur. Depending on the size of your dog, you’ll need to do this a few times to get your doggie sudsy all over and you’ll probably need to add more water as you go to help the shampoo penetrate down to the skin. You can even include a little doggie massage to help your dog feel great.
Once your dog is wet and soapy, you can start the rinsing process. If your dog has thick, long fur, this can take a little while, but you can use the opportunity to scrub extra good behind the ears and under the neck where the dirt can gather.
Of course, anytime you wash your dog, be prepared for vigorous dog shakes that can soak you and everything around you.
Once you’ve rinsed your dog, you can have a towel ready to pat Max dry. Of course, most dogs want to shake themselves dry and promptly start rolling on the carpet or a patch of something else so if you do bath your dog outside, you may not want them to run loose and head directly to a dirty area. Instead, you can keep them on a leash and guide them inside or to an appropriate “drying off” area.
There you go, our favorite dog shampoos and bathing tips. What are your favorite dog bath tips?