Dogs are our close companions and we want them to have a shiny hair coat, clean appearance and pleasant odor. The normal skin surface film consists of excretions from the skin glands, cells, bacteria, pollen, grains, and mold spores. When these components accumulate in the hair coat, it will become less shiny and may look dirty. Bathing with a shampoo will remove these accumulations leading to a soft shiny hair coat. But, shampoos also remove the skin’s natural oils, which can dehydrate your dog’s skin. So, how often should you bath your dog?
The frequency of baths will depend on your dog’s life style and where you live. If you live in a dry environment, it is recommended that you bath your dog once a month or less frequently. On the other hand, dogs who live in a humid environment can be bathed twice a month.
Also, it may not be necessary to use shampoos with every bathing. For example, the young dog who likes to play in the mud may be rinsed with warm water only to remove the dirt and a shampoo may only be used with every other bathing, which will allow the skin to keep its moisture much easier.
How To Bath Your Dog
• Brush your dog before bathing
• Rinse the hair coat with warm water
• Apply the appropriate amount of shampoo
• Massage into the whole hair coat
• Rinse thoroughly after 5–10 minutes
The appropriate amount of shampoo will depend on the product that you are using and its lathering ability. You can use a dog shampoo or baby shampoo. Baby shampoos are very mild on your dog’s skin, but often do not lather well and therefore may require more shampoo. Human shampoos are NOT recommended for dogs because they have pH regulated for human skin (more acidic than skin of dogs); whether this is a problem or not is not known.
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About The Author
Dr. Stephanie Flansburg-Cruz practices mixed animal veterinary medicine and she has a special interest in shelter medicine and animal welfare. Stephanie enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters, reading, writing and traveling.
Zabel, S. (2011). Shampoo use in Veterinary Medicine. World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2011, Athens, GA, USA.