Should I Bathe My Dog Regularly?

Most dogs probably don't need regular bath.

Some dogs are easy to bathe, but others are a bit more difficult. Large dogs, those with thick undercoats, or those that dislike water can be challenging to bathe. The question, though, is: do dogs even need regular baths?

When Does a Dog Need a Bath?

It might be surprising to learn that most dogs don't really require regular bathing. Of course, there are exceptions to that, and most of it comes down to breed, lifestyle, and medical conditions. Here are some times when a dog needs a bath:

Most Dogs Need Very Few Baths

Most dogs require, at most, one bath per month. In fact, bathing more often can strip the natural oils from the dog's skin, leaving him more susceptible to certain skin problems. Also, human shampoos should not be used on dogs because the normal pH of a dog's skin is different than that of a human's, so our shampoos can cause skin problems for dogs. Medicated shampoos or those labeled as flea shampoos should only be used under a veterinarian's recommendation. In general, you should bathe your dog with a mild, non-medicated shampoo that is labeled for dogs.

Routine Dog Care Required More Often Than Bathing

Though dogs usually don't require baths too often, there is some routine maintenance that you will have to perform regularly, regardless of what type of dog you have. This includes:

Some dogs also require routine ear cleaning and eye cleaning.

If you aren't sure how often your dog needs to be bathed or which shampoo you should use, check with your veterinarian at your dog's next scheduled appointment.

When it is time to give your dog a bath, you can find some helpful tips for doing so here: "How to Give a Dog a Bath."

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How to Give a Dog a Bath

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Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at DogHealth.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.