Dog Bathing: Does Your Family Dog Need to Be Bathed Often?

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Large Wet Golden Retriever in a White Tub

Like many questions, this one is not a clear-cut yes or no. But there are some tips you can use to determine how often your dog should be bathed.

Dog bathing … if you ask ten dog parents how often you should bathe your dog, you will get at least 10 different answers with everyone believing their answer is the right one!

But how often should your dog be bathed? The answer depends on a number of different factors. Keep reading to learn more!

Small Pug in a Metal Tub
Small Pug in a Metal Tub

What We Can Agree Upon!

The one fact we can all agree upon is that our dog should be brushed, bathed and groomed regularly to maintain their optimal healthy skin and coat. But that’s where the agreement usually ends when it comes to defining “regularly.”

It might be easier to look at what a dog parent should not do when it comes to bathing their dog and the frequency.

Dog Bathing: Do NOT Do This!

Most dog owners can agree upon this advice, avoid bathing your dog too often where the skin and coat are stripped of their natural oils creating dry and irritated skin and a dried-out coat.

Let’s take a look at the 4 factors to consider when deciding how often to bathe your dog.

THE Four Factors to Consider

There are at least 4 factors to consider when determining how often to bathe your dog.

Black and White Chinese Crested Dog Standing Outside
Chinese Crested Dog Standing Outside
  • Your dog’s breed.
    • Hairless dogs including the Chinese Crested and Xoloitzcuintli require weekly bathing.
    • Dogs sporting double-coated dogs (Retrievers and Siberian Huskies) should not be bathed too often to prevent stripping too much oil from the skin.
    • The Puli (technically a long-haired breed) does not need to be bathed often when corded because they do not develop common “doggie odors.”
  • Your dog’s type of coat.
    • Short, single-layered fur needs to be bathed more frequently.
    • Little to no fur needs to be bathed the most!
    • Dogs with thick, heavy coats are typically bathed the least because their coat is more apt to repel dirt and protect the skin.
Black Cocker Spaniel Laying in a Mud Puddle
Black Cocker Spaniel Laying in a Mud Puddle
  • Your dog’s lifestyle.
    • Dogs that are highly active and spend a lot of time outdoors should be bathed more often. Of course, there are also those pups who just cannot help indulging in the mud, manure, or other messy, stinky things and will need to be bathed more often to remove dirt and bacteria!
  • Any skin or coat issues.
    • Shedding coats can benefit from bathing to shed dead hair and stimulate new hair growth.
    • Skin conditions will dictate how often a dog should be bathed to effectively manage chronic skin conditions without exacerbating them. Your vet, breeder or groomer can offer the best advice based on your dog, his breed and history.

Pets.WebMD: How to Bathe Your Dog


Black Puppy Being Bathed in a Green Tub
Black Puppy with Shampoo in a Green Tub

Dog Bathing: The Products to Use

Once you’ve determined how often to bathe your dog, only use specifically-formulated dog shampoos! (Never use human shampoos with potentially toxic ingredients, colors and fragrances!).

Make sure any dog shampoos and conditioners are:

  • Mild
  • Hypoallergenic and
  • Help moisturize.

Also use warm, not overly hot water for bathing to avoid over-drying your dog’s sensitive skin.

The Bottom Line

Again, there is no definitive answer when it comes to how often a dog should be bathed. Many say a dog should be bathed about once every 3 months, others say twice during that same period. Some vets say weekly and other experts will insist on their own opinion.

Typically, we bathe our dogs for our own comfort and prevention of doggie smells. The best advice is to work with your breeder, veterinarian or professional groomer to establish the best bathing schedule for your family dog!


Small Brown Dog being brushed with the EquiGroomer
Small Brown Dog Laying Down and Being Brushed with the EquiGroomer Brush

Regardless of how often you choose to bathe your dog,
regular brushing is a must!

Keep your dog’s coat free of dirt, dander and shedding hair with the EquiGroomer!

We guarantee your dog, cat, horse, other pets or even livestock will LOVE the EquiGroomer Tools!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or send us an email.

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