How Often Should You Wash Your Dog

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog

Author WDF Staff


Washing your dog will be one of the things you will need to do as a dog owner, and there are some things you should know. A lot of new dog owners are not too sure about how often they should wash their dogs. The truth and the simplest answer is - it depends.

There are over 400 internationally recognized dog breeds, and they can have very different coats. There are dogs with short coats, long coats, medium-length coats, and even hairless breeds like the Mexican Hairless Dog. Breeds like the Golden Retriever or Border Collie have a medium-long, double coat with a longer outer coat and a short, fluffy undercoat that keeps them insulated and dry even in the worst weather conditions. You cannot expect all breeds to have the same bathing needs.

So how often should you wash your dog?

This means that a vast majority of dog breeds should be washed every 4 - 6 weeks. Again, that is highly dependable on what breed of dog you have.

dog bathing

How do I determine what the right amount of bathes for my dog is?

Not all dog breeds are the same, and they have different bathing and washing needs. One of the main things that will determine how often you should wash your dog is their lifestyle. It is natural to assume that if your dog lives inside the house, it will require baths more often than a working dog that lives outside in the open.

That doesn’t mean you should wash your dog the moment it has a tiny bit of dirt on its coat. Wiping your dog down with a chemical-free wet wipe is more than enough to get rid of that speck of dirt. Dogs also have a large tendency to roll in things that are not clean and often smell pretty bad, and then you should bathe your dog - especially if it lives inside the house.

Another important thing is to understand what kind of hair your dog has. If you have a hairless breed, then washing them with warm water will be more than enough when they get dirty. You can do that once a week as long as you are not using shampoo every time.

If you have a breed with a single, soft, delicate coat like the Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, or Australian Silky Terrier, you should bathe them every four weeks. These breeds have almost human-like hair, and it is important to properly care for it to keep it looking its best. That is even more important if your dog is a show dog.

puppy bathing

Dogs with double coats should be given a bath on average every five weeks. Double coated dog breeds include Labrador Retrievers, Scottish Collies, Chow Chows, Akitas, Siberian Huskies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, etc. Make sure you get to scrub all their layers and really clean their outer and undercoat. It is also important to brush and groom your double-coated dog to prevent tangles from forming.

Why is it important to bathe your dog?

Basic hygiene is essential for dogs, nearly as it is essential for us humans. Regular bathing will get rid of unwanted and bad dog odors and keep their coat in perfect condition. It is also a great way to check your dog’s body for anomalies (lumps, bruises, skin problems).

What should you know about giving your dog a bath?

It is important to know that some dog breeds are not the biggest fans of having a bath. Some breeds like the Labradors and Golden Retrievers love water, and they usually don’t make a fuss about it. Other breeds are not that calm and might try to evade bathing.

golden retriever bathing

Make sure you wash your dog in a tub that is large enough for them to stand or sit comfortably. Make sure that the surface is not too slippery. Bathing can become problematic if your dog doesn’t like it, so it is best to get them used to it while they are still young.

When you get your dog safely in a bath, soak them with warm water. Apply shampoo and rub it in all layers of their fur. Make sure you clean the undercoat as well. Focus on all the dirt and possible debris and remove them. After that, make sure you thoroughly wash out all remaining shampoo. This last part can take a while since it can be tricky to get all the shampoo out of their fluffy coats.

What products should I use for my dog?

The first thing you should know is that you should NEVER use human bathing products on your dog. Human shampoos and conditioners can contain chemicals that can irritate your dog’s skin and cause painful skin reactions.

Luckily, there is a vast line of products that are made for dogs. Shampoos that are usually used for dogs are natural and don’t contain chemicals. The same goes for conditioners.

World Dog Finder team