How often should I wash my dog?

When it comes to keeping their coats clean, don’t be tempted to wash your 4 legged friend as often as you wash our own hair. This is because excessive baths can remove the natural oils they have from the coat and dry the skin. Dogs are generally better left without being washed for as long as possible. In fact many, experts will tell owners, that, unless they get dirty or roll in something, it’s best to leave the natural oils in their coat do all the hard work.

Puppies shouldn’t be bathed until they are at least four weeks old and then probably no more than four times a year. Poodle-type coats, however, can and do require the most bath time so plan to clean the at the same time they get the coat trimmed; about every two months. Silky and wiry coats do well with four baths a year whereas, double-coated breeds like German Shepherds need a bath a couple of times a year.

Smooth coated pets like Rottweilers or Labradors may need a bath only once a year. Whereas, breeds like Spaniels and Dachshunds can become a little bit smelly from time to time so additional baths may be needed.

Before you put even a single drop of water on your dog, make sure you have everything you need; get the right shampoo. Shampoo designed for people — even baby shampoo — has a different pH than what’s best for your dog. If your dog has skin problems or allergies, you’ll likely need a therapeutic shampoo.

Remember to brush your dog first. Brushing before a bath helps the shampoo get into the coat and works out mats before they get set in by the water. Gently pick apart or cut out any mats before the bath, because adding water will make them impossible to remove!

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