How often should you give your dog a bath? …and other dog grooming tips

How often should you give your dog a bath? …and other dog grooming tips

The short answer is – not that often!

Unlike their human counterparts, dogs don’t need to wash every day to keep them looking and feeling their best. In fact washing your dog too often, especially with harsh shampoos, risks irritating and drying out their skin which can result in painful itchy patches and may even lead to bacterial or fungal infections.

That being said, how often you wash your dog depends on a range of factors:

  • If they’re muddy from a walk
  • If they smell
  • Any skin conditions they may have
  • Type / length / thickness of fur
  • Their day to day activity

Dogs who spend much of their time outdoors, or that go on muddy walks, will obviously need more washing than those who spend most of their time inside and stick to the paths.

Either way, when washing your dog make sure you use a shampoo designed for dogs, not humans! Our shampoos and conditioners might leave our hair silky smooth and squeaky clean, but they’re not doggy friendly and will cause your fluffy friend’s skin to become dry, sore and irritated. Some dogs have skin conditions that require specific shampoo and conditioning treatments, so make sure you ask your vet for what products they recommend.

Ultimately, it comes down to what your nose and common sense tells you. If you can smell your dog, or if they’re dirty, wash them. But don’t wash them every week for the sake of it. Most dogs only need washing once a month / every six weeks, if they’ve managed to avoid those ever-so-tempting muddy fields.

Brushing your dog

Dog grooming doesn’t just cover giving them a bath. Brushing your dog, wet or dry, is a great habit to get in to for a number of reasons:

  • Getting rid of shedding fur
  • Keeping them knot free, as matted fur harbours moisture which can lead to fungal infections developing
  • Spreading their natural oils down the hairs to keep their coat conditioned
  • Getting rid of ticks/grass seeds that can work their way to the skin and be really painful
  • Creating a relaxing ritual following bath time

Brushing can be a stressful time for your dog if they don’t enjoy it, so try to make it a positive experience using treats and lots of encouragement. Not only will it make the whole process easier for you, it means your dog won’t get stressed or anxious at grooming time.

Time for a trim? Head to the professionals.

Depending on the breed of your dog, there is usually a specific style to guide how their coat can be cut. From the adorable teddy bear cut and smart schnauzer trim, to the elegant continental poodle cut, there are many different coat styles for all the different breeds.

When it comes to getting your dog’s fur trimmed and styled, it’s usually best to leave it to the professionals. Not only are they trained in handling dogs, they have specialist dog-friendly equipment and know how to use tools like clippers and scissors safely around them. Leaving it to the groomers not only avoids you giving your dog an accidental and unwanted restyle, it also reduces the risk of any injuries to you or the dog that home cuts may entail.

Aside from a fresh trim, your pooch also comes back nice and clean, smelling lovely. Regular visits to the groomers every six to eight weeks could remove the need for you to wash your dog at home all together, unless they’re the mud loving kind of course!

Caring for your dog’s fur-hygiene, whether it’s through washing, brushing or a trip to the groomers, should be easy and hassle free. For those times it’s not, and your pooch needs a little extra care due to a skin condition, an infected claw or a grooming incident, we’re here to help remove any financial stress with our range of dog insurance policies. Check out what we have on offer to give you peace of mind if something goes wrong, so you can enjoy the muddy walks as much as your pooch knowing they’re covered (in mud and insurance).