How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

You know how much to feed and walk them…

…but how often should you bathe your dog?


A dog who plays outside a lot needs more baths than a couch potato. And a dog with a sleek short coat usually needs fewer baths than a breed with an oily coat.

So, really, how often should you bathe your dog? Weekly? Monthly?

In this article, we’re covering all of your essential questions about bathing your dog, plus grooming tips on nail trimming and teeth brushing to ensure your furry friend is clean and happy.


Benefits of Giving Your Dog a Bath

Whether you’re bathing your dog at home or dropping them off at the groomer, it’s likely that they will kick up a fuss. However, don’t let this discourage you from keeping your pup nice and clean! After all, kids don’t like eating their vegetables, but we still cook them every night.

Whether they love or hate the water, there are plenty of benefits to giving your dog a bath.

  • Keep their coat clean and healthy
  • Reduce shedding
  • Eliminate any bad odors
  • Keep their skin healthy
  • Make your dog feel refreshed and relaxed
  • A bonding experience for you and your dog
  • It can be a lot of fun

Of course, as with most things in life, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. So even though baths are essential for the health and well-being of your dog, too many baths can begin to cause problems.


small dog getting soaped up in the bath

How To Give Your Dog a Bath

Hopefully, you have a pet who enjoys being in the water since it makes bathing much more manageable. However, most pets are hesitant about baths. Speaking softly and reassuring your dog can help soothe their nerves.

Here are three simple steps to make bath time quick and enjoyable.

Step 1

Before you start the bathing process, brush your dog’s coat to remove any loose hair, mats, and tangles. Then, trim his nails if they’re getting too long.

Step 2

When ready to bathe your dog, use a dog-specific shampoo and follow the directions on the bottle. Massage the shampoo into his wet coat, making sure the water is at a lukewarm temperature. Then, rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the shampoo. Optionally, you can follow up with a conditioner. Just make sure to wash it all away before moving on to drying.

Step 3

After the bath, dry your dog off with a towel, checking for any remaining knots or tangles and working them out with a brush. If it’s cold outside, ensure your furry friend is completely dry before taking them outdoors. And if you have a dog with a thick coat, you may need to use a blow dryer on the low setting to help them dry off.

Consider giving your dog a treat and praise anytime during the bathing process—before, during, and after. This is especially helpful if your dog is nervous about the experience.


How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

Let’s talk about how often to bathe your dog. The general guideline is about once a month. But, even less often is okay.

Most dogs don’t need frequent baths. Bathing too often can strip away the natural oils in your dog’s skin and coat, leading to dryness and irritation. However, having a clean (and good-smelling) dog is better than a dirty one. So, if your dog smells bad or gets dirty, don’t hesitate to bathe them.

Even though once a month is a good rule, it will vary based on your dog’s breed and coat.

Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, and Basset Hounds are some breeds prone to excess oil production. These dogs may need to be bathed as often as once every two or three weeks if their coat appears oily or smells bad. Baths help to remove excess oil buildup and prevent their coat from looking greasy.

If your dog doesn’t need a bath, just make sure to keep up with other grooming tasks like brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning.


Other Hygiene Tips

In addition to bathing, your dog’s teeth and ears should also be cleaned regularly. Brushing your dog’s teeth can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and cleaning his ears can help prevent infections.

How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

To brush your dog’s teeth, use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Start slowly, getting your dog used to the sensation of having his teeth brushed. If you’re just starting this process with a new puppy, start slow by brushing with no toothpaste until they are accustomed to the process.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Use a dog-specific ear cleaner and cotton balls to clean your dog’s ears. Put a few drops of the ear cleaner into your dog’s ear, then massage it in. Next, use the cotton ball to wipe away any dirt, wax, or other debris.

How to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

Finally, don’t forget to regularly trim your dog’s nails. If his nails get too long, they can start to curve and grow into his paw pads, which can be painful. Use a dog-specific nail trimmer to trim your dog’s nails, being careful not to cut too close to the quick (the blood vessel in the nail).

Happy dog running through the backyard

Don’t Forget the Healthy Diet

You care for your dog in many ways. There’s bathing, grooming, playtime, and exercise. Not to mention feeding them nutritious meals every day. As pet owners, we want to provide our dogs the best food possible. And the best diet to keep our pets healthy is a wholesome one that’s considerate of their individual needs.

At Rick’s Dog Deli, we use USDA-inspected ingredients to ensure our food is of the highest quality and is cooked to maximize nutrient absorption.

If you’re looking for high-quality, healthy dog food in Orlando, Florida, look no further than Rick’s Dog Deli. Our dog food is perfect for keeping your furry friend both happy and healthy. Please stop by our store today and pick up a bag of healthy dog food. Or order online and have it waiting for you at the deli, or delivered to your door (available in select locations).