There's no getting around the fact that pet dogs seem to keep getting messy. For some of our 4-legged friends, a little puddle, a murky pool or even a pile of dirt is something to enjoy – by rolling around in! Well, it's part of what makes them special, right?

Although most dogs are quite content to walk around caked in dirt (while smelling to high heaven), it's something that we’d rather not live with. Thank heavens for backyard hoses or even better – the friendly neighborhood dog wash!

Here we’ll discuss a few basics of how to get the bathtime right for your canine friends!


Bathing your Pet. How Often?

Though an occasional wash is good for any animal, you shouldn't also wash your dog too often. This is because it washes away the oils that are naturally present in their coat and skin. So it’s better to have them avoid getting dirty as opposed to bathing them often in order to save your soft furnishings or eliminate bad odors.

The frequency of bathing your dog depends on it’s breed and also their individual lifestyle and habits.

For those pets who spend most of their time outdoors lolling around in the dirt; its best to be bathed every 2 to 4 weeks or so. If your pet gets too smelly in between full fledged bathing sessions, opt for a simple plain water rinse and rub down in between.

On the other hand, dogs that spend most of their time indoors and are less prone to get dirty will require a less frequent schedule. Depending on their smelliness quotient, a bath every 6 to 8 weeks would be about right.

Breeds that sport thick or double-coats need only be bathed every three months - or even less – as long as they avoid getting irritably smelly. Such thick coats tend to be naturally oily and will dry out from too much shampooing.

How Much is Too Much?

Just like us humans, excessive cosmetic treatment of the body will lead to drying out of the skin and hair. This will result in irritation, eventually  scratching and in extreme cases even hair fall, lesions or flaky skin.

Excessively shampooing a dog will result in its furcoat losing the natural shine and also can turn damaged, brittle and broken. If you have ever felt your pet’s fur rough, this could well be the culprit.

Not bathing your pet at all can also put their skin, furcoat and even their overall health at risk. While humans tend to breathe in allergens, dogs absorb them through their body surface. If you neglect to wash your dog – or not do it enough – the dirt, debris and bugs in their skin and hair will hang on until they’re absorbed.

Tip: The best way to keep your dog looking healthy and clean between visits to the dogwash is to have regular daily brushing sessions.

Why Opt for a Dog Shampoo?

It’s often easy to simply use human shampoo and conditioner instead of a specialized pet product on your dog, but it really isn't a good thing. Although you can get away on the odd occasion, constant use of human products can be harmful to your dog. It won’t do the condition of your pet’s skin or fur coat any favor in the long run.

Nowadays, there are several shampoos and conditioners you can opt for based on several factors - your pet’s breed, skin and coat care, to preserve the natural oils, prevent allergies and even for the occasional heavy duty grooming sessions.

If it’s unavoidable to bathe your dog with the aid of human cosmetics - an especially smelly emergency or odd hours – it’s best to opt for mild products that are used on babies and young children.

Tips on Washing Your Dog – The Right Way

  • Remember, the best results are always achieved with a little planning.
  • Brush your dog beforehand to remove any debris and as well as tangles in their hair.
  • Always remove your dog’s collar and lead and instead use a muzzle or a bathing tether If they need to be restrained.
  • The water in the dog wash should be ideally lukewarm and make sure your dog is comfortable in the water. Start gently by spraying water on their backs first, allowing them to get used to the sensation.
  • It’s recommended to protect your dog’s face from the water and shampoo by dabbing petroleum jelly around their eyes and by putting cotton balls or ear plugs in their ears.
  • Use a soft brush to thoroughly lather in the shampoo and avoid any tangles. One should always brush in the direction of the hair growth. The brush can be used to gently clean the paw pads as well.
  • Rinse thoroughly by wetting the head and face first and then work your way down the rest of your pet’s body. Keep the water flowing until the water runs clear.
  • You can also opt to use a specialist dog conditioner that helps seal the hair cuticle thus retaining the moisture and keep the coat shiny. While doing so, make sure not to get any chemicals in your dog’s eyes.
  • Once all cosmetics have been washed out, lift your dog out of the bath and allow them to shake themselves dry.
  • Wrap them up in a thick absorbent towel and blot the water from the coat. It’s not recommended to rub them dry as this can tangle and knot up their hair.
  • Finally, ensure that your dog stays warm until he is completely dry.
(Last Updated On: January 29, 2021)

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