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Tips on Bathing Your Dog

Dog in a bathtub

There are many different things to take into consideration whenever bathing your dog. The frequency of baths, the kind of shampoo, and the types of ingredients in the shampoo to look for.

How often should you give your dog a bath?

Deciding how often to bathe your doc is very dependent on the type of hair coat and skin that your dog has.

  • Short haired dogs such as pitbulls or labrador retrievers, are generally easier to bathe because they don’t involve much product or grooming afterwards. Generally it’s recommended to bathe these guys as needed, or every one to three months, depending on their activity level.
  • Thick coat types like long-haired, double coat, or curly-haired coats require more maintenance and brushing between baths. For these coat types, the American Kennel Club recommends bathing every four to six weeks or more often depending on their activity level.
  • Hairless breeds, such as chinese crested dogs or xoloitzcuintlis, need to be bathed weekly since they are more exposed to the elements and lack the coat that protects their skin. 
dog bath

How to select a shampoo?

Human shampoo should never be used in dogs since they have different skin types than we do. Having doggy approved shampoo will prevent any skin problems or irritation, since dog skin has a different pH than human skin does. Unlike humans, shampoo should always be used whenever bathing your dog. Ideally, you would want to use a conditioner afterwards to detangle and condition the hair, but it’s not always necessary.

According to the AKC, ingredients to look out for when selecting your doggy shampoo are naturally derived ingredients, chemical and soap free, and to make sure it is manufactured in the USA, since US regulations have certain quality standards compared to other countries. You will want to avoid any shampoos that have any parabens, sulfates, dyes, and artificial fragrances.  

Dog with shampoo

Final suggestions

Brushing your dog in between and after baths is also important as it prevents damage and tangles to their fur. You will want to definitely invest in brushes that match your dog’s hair coat.  

If you’d like to receive personalized guidance on the cadence of baths and shampoo to use, you can schedule an appointment with one of our expert veterinarians today. 

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