Most dogs – Labradors perhaps excluded – despise being given a bath, and as a dog owner you may be inclined to keep baths at a minimum, simply because of the stress it can cause for everyone involved: it can quickly get messy and can take up a whole lot of time.
So, does this mean that you should skip baths altogether, or grit your teeth and bathe your dog regularly? Here are a few answers to those questions:
Do dogs need to be bathed?
Yes, unfortunately! While dogs do groom themselves, which goes on to encourage hair growth and support the health of its skin, they still need to be bathed to help this process along. Bathing can in some cases though, irritate a dogs’ skin, cause damage to their hair follicles and even increase the risk of fungal or bacterial infections.
Healthy dogs who don’t go outside too often and get themselves mucky, may only need a bath once every few months, to prevent them smelling and freshen them up. While a dog with a skin condition, such as an allergy, may require frequent bathing, and this is something that your vet will be happy to advise you on.
How often should you bathe your dog?
The question of how often you should bathe your dog, depends on several factors, such as their health, breed, type of coat, how active they are, and where these activities take place. Common sense tells you that if your dog rolls around in the mud every day and generally gets grubby, that a bath may need to be given on a more frequent basis. If your dog is sick or has a skin condition, then it may be that you need to increase or decrease bathing, but a veterinary professional will be able to advise you better, they will also tell you which products you need to use when bathing your dog.
How do you know what products you should be using when bathing your dog?
It can be tempting to use a mild shampoo designed for humans when bathing your dog, such as a baby shampoo, but as the PH levels in human skin vary greatly to those in a canine, this is not a good idea: gentle and mild shampoos for use on healthy dogs are widely available in pet stores, and if you can find one that is oatmeal based, so much the better.
That doesn’t mean to say that your dog still can’t have an allergic reaction to a shampoo designed for use on dogs, and if you notice that your dog has developed red, itchy skin or is vomiting or drooling excessively after bathing, you should seek the advice and guidance of a veterinary professional.
Most veterinary professionals will categorize shampoos as being used either for basic grooming, or for a skin condition. Medicated shampoos should be dispensed by a veterinary expert to avoid misuse.
Should you seek professional help with bathing your dog?
If bathing your dog takes up a lot of your time, or causes a lot of stress to both you and your pet, then it might be worth considering getting some professional help. Not only does this take the stress away from you, but a professional dog bathing company will be able to address the specific needs of your dog and with the equipment that they have at their disposal, they can ensure that your beloved pet gets bathed, dried and groomed properly. We often tend to use whatever we have lying around the house for use when bathing our pets, or even use our own bathroom for the process, which can result in mayhem and mess for everybody!
Professional dog bathers will also be able to help reduce the stress levels for your pet, as they will have several pairs of hands to help keep the dog calm and they’ll be able to get the whole process finished far quicker than if you had struggled to do it yourself, at home.