Dog Wrapped in Towel

How Often Should I Wash My Dog?

At the risk of sounding like I’m avoiding giving a direct answer, I have to say, “it depends.” If your dog has been diagnosed with a skin disease and is being treated with a medicated shampoo or rinse, follow the directions given to you by your veterinarian or what is printed on the bottles. A pet that has rolled in something yucky or has just gotten itself incredibly dirty certainly needs a bath no matter when it was washed last. Use as gentle of shampoo as possible. Products that are designed specifically for pets tend to be less drying and/or irritating than dishwashing liquids or shampoos made for people. Make sure to keep the soap away from the dog’s face and ear canals and rinse its coat thoroughly when you are through.

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Barring the occasional jaunt through the mud, most dogs should not need to be bathed more than once a month or so. If your pet’s coat is relatively clean and only normal pet odors are detectable, a bath is not necessary. If your dog’s skin and fur are very greasy, flaky, or foul-smelling, a skin disease is likely, and you take your pet to the veterinarian rather than simply bathing it.

Article by: Jennifer Coates DVM

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