How Often You Should Wash Your Dog: Go-To Guide

How Often You Should Wash Your Dog: Go-To Guide

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 22.03.2021

Giving your four-legged friend a bath is somewhat a celebration-worthy challenge, every time. Your pup is wet, smells like dog, and of course, shakes and drenches you in dirty water. Not to mention rubs themselves all over your carpet or couch after they’re free from the tub. It’s all worth it in the end to have a clean pup to cuddle, right? A fresh, clean, and smell-good pooch is definitely a bragging point until the next bath is overdue. 

As rewarding and happy as your canine best friend may seem on their freshly showered days, bathing your puppers is not something you should be doing frequently, in all actuality. 

So just how frequency should you be washing your dog?

Why Do I Need to Give my Dog a Bath?

Whether or not you send your pup to a pet spa day or just tackle bath time alone with your anti-bath doggo, regular grooming and cleaning has its benefits, similar to how it does for us humans. 

Dogs drool, sweat, get dirty, and have body odor that isn’t absorbed by clothing. Giving your dog a bath reduces unwanted smells and odors in your home sweet home. It doesn’t hurt giving their bed or pillow a wash either. 

Bathing your dog is one of the numerous ways you can groom and nurture your dog’s skin and hair. Their skin is one of the largest organs in their body. Just as we can be exposed to different temperatures, environments, and allergens, so can our cute furry friends, making them susceptible to irritants (unfortunately). 



The skin creates a nice protective barrier against these potential invaders that can impact your doggo’s health and wellness. This is why it’s so important to give your dog proper attention, mentally and physically. Ignoring or neglecting your dog’s need for a bath can often lead to a wide array of infections, bacteria, or yeast growth. 

Ear care and nail clipping routines every few weeks are also super important in your dog’s care. However, there are a number of reasons why regular grooming can be considered necessary for your doggo. 


One of the best reasons for bathing your dog is to avoid or tackle fleas. Fleas absolutely hate water and soap, so giving your pup a good scrub down should help wash away some of these irritating bugs. Be sure to brush your dog with a flea comb too, this can help wash out any critters that survived the bath wash.

If you’re wanting to help soothe and moisturize your dog’s coat and skin, you can also apply coconut oil directly. They may even thank you later!

Regular Care

The hairier your dog is, the more work you’ll likely have to put in to take care of their luscious mane. Curly-haired dogs are especially more inclined to catching foxtails, debris, burrs, and knots. 

If you dog your long-haired doggo often, their coat should be in good condition, with, hopefully, minimal hair needing extra attention. 

Skin Allergies

Some skin issues can affect pets and can only be treated with prescribed products. For instance, dandruff and dog eczema can be extremely irritating and itchy for fido and is often caused by allergens in their environment. Potential allergens could be something as small as an insect bite, an ingredient in their food, or even a product you use on a daily basis on yourself. Talk with your veterinarian about the best treatment routes for potential skin and allergy concerns for your puppers, as they may be able to provide you with some soothing recommendations. 



Seasons Change

If you have a dog that sheds seasonally and or has a very thick coat, they need to be brushed and groomed often during their shedding season. The thick coat manages to stay clean on its own mainly, but brushing for dust and debris will help encourage normal oil production. Bathing your dog during the shedding season may also help them lose more of the shedding hair. 


A poor diet is never worth the money you save on buying cheap food. Giving your pooch a diet that is rich in healthy nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and oils will really show through on their shiny coat. Make sure your pup is always hydrated too! Having freshwater that is easily acceptable will help keep their cells moisturized in their body. 

Overall Well-Being

If your pup has a chronic illness or disease, you may notice a major difference in their skin or coat. Yeast infections, bacterial infections, obesity, and parasites may affect your pet’s skin and hair. 

Of course, canines go through changes in their life and as they age, they made need more attention to detail in regards to keeping their coat managed and clean.


How Often Should I Bathe and Groom My Dog?

There are various factors to think about when it comes to cleaning your pup. Each breed and coat type and texture may be different. For example, when comparing a Chinese Crested dog and an Afgan Hound, their skin and hair exposures are completely different, yet they both require regular cleaning and grooming. 

The best way to find out what your doggo’s bathing needs are is to research their specific breed and read up on the grooming recommendations and requirements. However, even with this researched approach, each dog may be unique in its own way. 

Oftentimes, simply brushing your dog’s coat does the job! Some paw parents will wash their dogs weekly, while others give their dog a wash every couple of months. 

In a general sense, one wash every 3 months is a good bathing routine. In between baths, you can always use dry shampoo or wet wipes if need be for some extra freshness. 

What Do I Need to Wash my Dog?

Pick a Sensitive Skin Shampoo and Conditioner

Even if your pup doesn’t necessarily have sensitive skin, most traditional dog shampoos and conditioners are made with synthetic chemicals and ingredients, stripping away your dog’s natural moisture barrier from their skin. Using a harsh shampoo time and time again may eventually lead to extreme dryness, irritation, and even brittle hair. 

There are definitely some stellar holistic products on the market for your pup’s baths, not to mention ones that are eco-friendly and plant-based! This can help in getting your pup an effective and gently clean, keeping their skin moisturized, hydrated, and healthy. 



The shampoo you select should be dye-free, with no MEA or DEA. It should also be paraben-free and sulfate-free, this is important because sulfates and parabens can cause irritation and pull their natural oils out of their skin and hair. 

Choosing a holistic shampoo option that uses all-natural ingredients is one of the best ways to give your pup’s coat and skin the attention it deserves!

There are a handful of other products that you may want to consider adding to your pup’s “self-care” bucket, including:

  • Non-slip mat if you’ve got a splashy pup
  • Designated area that fits your pup
  • Toys and tools that can distract your dog during bath time
  • Shampoo and conditioner of your choosing
  • Attachment hose and spray nozzle for less mess 
  • Blow dryer and absorbent towels
  • Dog brush to help with detangling

How Do I Exactly Bathe My Dog?

1. Prepare for Bath Time

For some paw parents, this may mean war, for others, it may be an enjoyable experience with your puppers! If you doggo does struggle with water, then CBD Pet Chews or Pet Hemp CBD Oil for Dogs 30 minutes to an hour before bath time may help you on your bath journey! Using some CBD prior to the washing event may help them relax and be less anxious come bubbles and soaps. 

2. Brush Your Pup

Brush out your dog, head to toe, before getting them into the tub. Detangling their hair and loosening any knots before they are soaked will make it easier for the soap to get in there and do its thing. 

3. Warm Water to Start

Using a comfortable, not too hot, not too cold, water temperature will make bath time more pleasant for your pup. Using a damp cloth to wipe their face and ears instead of a scary shower head may help them remain calm too. 

4. Lather Shampoo Slowly

Massaging the shampoo into their coat will ensure that you’re getting in there as best you can. Give great focus to areas that may look extra dry or dirty.

5. Rinse Completely

This is such an important step as shampoo that gets left behind can cause irritations on fido’s skin and hair. It’s essential that you rinse their skin and fur thoroughly to avoid another bath sooner than later in your near future. 

6. Dry Thoroughly

Dry them off with a towel or blow dryer. You can use this opportunity to moisturize them with coconut oil if need be. 

Don’t forget to give your pup extra love here too, this may have been a grueling and tragic even for them. 


Bathing Your Dog: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you want what’s best for your pup, cleanliness included! Though bath time may be at the bottom of your to-do list, your doggo will be sure to thank you shortly after they’re zooming around the house, clean as a whistle. 

Ensuring that your dog has a healthy coat will help keep pesky bugs and fleas away, and not to mention, keep them from instantly itching or scratching. 

Leave a comment