BuzzLuv !

How often should you bathe your dog?


We don’t always have the answers, but we have some people on speed dial who do — which is why we present to you our series FYI where we have experts explain if lip balm is actually badhow often should you wash your hair and more. 

Your dog stinks, so you bathe them. But sometimes, it’s not as cut and dry as “smell something, do something.” What’s a dog owner to do?

Here’s the catch: There’s no exact science about how often all dogs should be bathed. “Bathing frequency for dogs varies with their breed, lifestyle, and skin needs — ranging from weekly to just a few times a year, says Dr. Michael Thompson, a veterinarian and founder of Pets Food Safety. To help you figure out how often you should bathe your dog, we spoke with pet experts about the things you should remember when coming up with the right schedule for your animal.

How often should you bathe your dog? 

How frequently a dog needs to be bathed varies significantly depending on their breed, skin type and activity level. For example, if your dog frequently goes to a dog park and rolls around in the dirt, you may need to bathe them once a week. If your pup is more of a lap dog, they may not need to be shampooed so often. “As a general guideline, dogs should be bathed every three months or so,” says Dr. Kathryn Dench, chief veterinary advisor at Paw Origins. To figure out if your dog needs to be bathed more or less frequently, experts say to keep these factors in mind: 

  • Skin: Dogs with oily skin — like basset hounds and cocker spaniels — may need to be bathed more than once every three months, says Dench. These dog breeds may need to be bathed every few weeks to prevent oil buildup.
  • Coat: If your dog has a water-repellent coat, it should be bathed less frequently (maybe even just a few times a year) to preserve its natural oils, says Dench. Breeds with water-repellent coats include golden retrievers, poodles, Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, and labradors. 
  • Activity level: If your dog frequently rolls around in dirt, plays outside or goes for swims, you’ll need to increase bathing frequency. If it is relatively inactive or prefers playing with indoor toys, you will be able to stretch out the time between cleaning it. 

What type of shampoo should you use on your dog? 

Our experts noted that it is important to use a specially formulated shampoo for dogs — in other words, you should not use your shampoo on them. From there, look for dog shampoos that have ingredients known for their soothing properties, like aloe vera and oatmeal, says Dench, who adds that eco-friendly and organic shampoos are also good options because they tend to be gentle on your pet’s skin. You may also want a shampoo with conditioning benefits if your dog has longer hair. This can help deal with tangles and matting. 

What is the best way to bathe your dog? 

When it comes time to actually bathe your dog, the experts we spoke to gave us the pointers below. 

  • Give them a good brush first: Brushing them before a bath can help remove tangles and remove loose fur, says Dench. This can help the shampoo sink further into the fur to clean your dog. 
  • Create a safe environment: If your dog is finicky about being in the tub, place a non-slip mat in your tub, says Dench. You can also reward good behavior with treats and praise, she adds. This will make the experience safer and more enjoyable for your pup.
  • Pay attention to water temperature: Lukewarm water is best for dogs, says Thompson. If it’s too cold, it could rile them up, and hot water could accidentally burn them or be painful. 
  • Soap them up: Wet your dog first with lukewarm water, then use your dog-specific shampoo on them. Use your fingers to work the soap into their fur. Then, be sure to rinse the shampoo off thoroughly to prevent irritation from shampoo residue, says Dench. 
  • Protect their eyes and ears: Avoid getting water and shampoo in or even near your dog’s eyes and ears, says Thompson. These areas are very sensitive on a dog and shampoo and water can irritate them. Densh says you can gently place cotton balls in their ears to prevent water entry. 
  • Dry thoroughly: Towel dry your dog to remove excess water, then use a hair dryer on a low, cool setting if your dog will allow it, says Dench. “Keep the dryer moving to avoid concentrating heat in one area.” Brushing while you dry can prevent tangles from forming. 

Some of our favorite dog shampoos

Looking for a dog shampoo recommendation? Below, find formulas that we’ve featured before and are favorites of NBC Select staffers. 

Zoop Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

This dog shampoo and conditioner won an NBC Select Best for Your Pet award. The formula has aloe vera, vitamin E and glycerin to moisturize the skin, detangle fur and prevent shedding, according to the brand. NBC Select commerce analytics manager Amanda Smith found that it made bathtime with her 3-year-old rat terrier mix, Mac, easy because she didn’t have to use a lot of product to get a good amount of lather.

Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Oatmeal Shampoo

This shampoo, featured in our list of best dog shampoos, contains oatmeal, an ingredient that both Dench and Thompson say is soothing on the skin. NBC Select social commerce editor Sadhana Daruvuri uses this shampoo on her Maltipoo, Bandit. “His fur always feels extra soft after I use it,” she says. 

Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo

This hypoallergenic dog shampoo is another NBC Select Best for Your Pet award winner. It has oatmeal and aloe vera, ingredients Dench recommends for their soothing properties. A little also goes a long way, making it a cost-effective option. The brand recommends mixing the shampoo with water in a separate container at a 10:1 dilution ratio (water to product) for the 16-ounce option. “I use this shampoo on my 5-year-old Havanese and bichon frise mix, Bella, because it’s gentle on her sensitive skin and has a pleasant vanilla and almond scent that isn’t overpowering,” says NBC Select updates editor Mili Godio. “Her fur also feels fluffier and softer after using this shampoo compared to others I’ve tried in the past.”

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo

I’ve used this shampoo on Myko, my 4-year-old French Bulldog since she was a puppy. Frenchies have notoriously sensitive skin and tend to deal with many allergies. This shampoo contains aloe vera and lemongrass, which are soothing and leave behind a fresh, lemony scent. It’s also a concentrated formula, so you only need a small amount for each bath. 

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Dr. Michael Thompson is a veterinarian and founder of Pets Food Safety
  • Dr. Kathryn Dench is the chief veterinary advisor at Paw Origins

Why trust NBC Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two pet experts.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.


Source link

Leave a Comment

Discover more from BuzzLuv !

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading