If you’ve been searching the internet you’ll find lots of advice, to bathe or not to bathe? How frequently? Bathing helps to keep your dog’s skin and coat clean, healthy and free of parasites. Some dogs will require more frequent baths than others, depending on their coat and how quickly they get dirty.
Keep the following in mind while deciding when to give your dog a bath:
Dogs have essential oils on their coats for warmth and buoyancy. Some dogs have thicker oils than others and some create these oils faster than other dogs.
Does your dog lives indoors and sleep in your bed? Roll around in the filth and get dirty more often? Then you’ll probably want to wash your dog more frequently.
Different breeds have different needs. Some breeds with oily skin or no undercoats do best with weekly bathing such as Cocker Spaniels, Basset Hounds, Shih Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies and Afgans. Breeds with harsh-textured coats including Labs, Shelties and Collies do best with a monthly bath. Their coats repel dirt well and don’t get as dirty as a soft-coated dog. Water-repellent coats, such as Golden Retrievers & Great Pyrenees, should be bathed less often to preserve their natural oils. Breeds with thick, double coats like Samoyeds and Malamutes also do best with fewer baths however, they do need a lot of extra brushing to help rid of loose, dead hair.
Is anyone in your home allergic to dogs? According to the American Lung Association, you should bathe them as often as possible to remove the dander that accumulates on a pet’s fur.
Then there are those dogs who are prone to skin problems. Most dogs absorb allergens through their skin and weekly bathing can prevent itchiness. We’ve all heard that too many baths can dry out a dog’s skin however shampoos and conditions don’t have the harsh chemicals that they use to. Choose a gentle dog shampoo for routine bathing. Look for natural, moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, aloe and oatmeal. Steer clear of those heavily scented shampoos. By bathing weekly you’ll wash the allergens away before they get a chance to penetrate the skin. Really.
Got Fleas??? Fleas can be a horrible nuisance. Many flea shampoos contain harsh chemicals, are short-lived and irritate your dog’s sensitive skin. Did you know there’s an alternative? Vinegar. Yes, I said vinegar, it kills fleas! You don’t want to use the balsamic or the champagne kind. Just good ‘ol plain white vinegar. Use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and AVOID the sensitive area around the eyes. It’s safe to use a vinegar bath whenever you notice fleas but be warned, your dog may smell like a pickle for a couple of days! You can also add Braggs Apple Cidar Vinegar to your dog’s water or food. For every 40 lbs of weight add 1 tsp. It not only deters fleas but improves their skin and coat from the inside out.
Looking for that just right shampoo and conditioner? You may want to try High Cascade’s 4 in 1 Emu Oil concentrate dog shampoo and conditioner. It’s detergent-free and produces a soft, shiny “Show Quality” coat with every bath. Emu Oil is a natural moisturizer and pain reliever. The 4 in 1 shampoo/conditioner helps to soothe and heal irritated skin with a natural blend of cedar, citronella, patchouli and eucalypus which helps to protect your pet from fleas and ticks for up to 7 days. You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Emu-Oil-Shampoo-Conditioner-Concentrate/dp/B003YHMBFI
So just how often should I bathe my dog? A good rule of thumb is that MOST dogs can handle a good scrub down once a month, a little more often during the summer months, depending on the above.