How often should you wash your dog

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How often should you wash your dog

Knowing how often to wash a dog can be a tricky topic for pet parents, especially since there is a mass of conflicting information available. 

So in this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about how often you should wash your dog by answering the following questions:

  • Is it OK to bathe a dog once a week?
  • How often should I bathe my puppy?
  • How often do dog owners wash their dogs?
  • Are dogs happier after a bath?
  • Do dogs like warm or cold baths?
  • How long can a dog go without a bath?

Disclaimer: Please refer to the information in this article as a guide only. If you want more information about your pet’s specific needs regarding grooming, contact your veterinarian. 

Is it OK to bathe a dog once a week?

Bathing your dog every week, even if they may seem to enjoy it, likely isn’t the best thing for them. This is because washing your dog more often than needed, actually removes the oil they produce to help keep their coat in good condition.

Removing these oils can decrease the quality of your pet’s coat, irritate their skin and even disrupt the essential microflora living on their skin. That being said, if your dog has been for a swim in the river, rolled in something disgusting, or gotten particularly muddy after a walk, then it won’t hurt to wash them off occasionally.

Additionally, if your pet has a skin condition which requires them to have a bath as part of their treatment, then be sure to follow your vet’s instructions to help them feel comfortable again.

You can read how to give your dog a bath correctly in our article DIY Dog Bathing – A Step-by-step Guide for Dog Owners.

How often should I bathe my puppy?

When it comes to bath time frequency, puppies are no different from adult dogs which means it’s best to keep bathing them to an absolute minimum, unless your veterinarian advises otherwise. 

As we mentioned earlier, washing your pet too often removes the important oils in their coat which help keep it in good condition, so it is best to be avoided. If your pup does get dirty on a regular basis, then it’s best to spot-clean the affected areas, rather than bathing them completely each time.

How often do dog owners wash their dogs?

How often dog owners wash their dogs depends on a variety of factors such as:

  • The type of coat their dog has.
  • Whether they go to a groomer or not.
  • The owner’s preferences.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s best to only bathe your dog unless it’s absolutely necessary. You can read more about how to keep your pet in good condition in our article Beyond the Bubble Bath – Holistic Approaches to Dog Hygiene.

Are dogs happier after a bath?

Whether a dog is happier after a bath or not, depends on their character and the reason for them having the bath in the first place. For example, a dog who loves water may enjoy having a bath, especially if it comes after a nice swim! 

Similarly, a dog who is having a bath as part of treatment for a skin condition, may feel more comfortable after the bath, and hence, feel happier. Whereas a dog who doesn’t like getting their paws wet is unlikely to enjoy the bathing experience.

You can read more about helping your dog enjoy bath time in our article Top 10 Tips for Stress-Free Dog Baths.

Do dogs like warm or cold baths?

If you need to give your dog a bath, then it’s important to do so at a temperature that feels comfortable for your pet. This means, not too cold or not too hot. 

The best way to ensure that the temperature is appropriate is to run the water over your wrist first, making sure it feels comfortable, before transferring the stream to your pet. 

It’s also important to use a pet-friendly shampoo and to dry your pet off afterwards so they don’t get too cold. Another option is to get your pet a special drying coat so that they can get dry and stay warm in style. 

How long can a dog go without a bath?

Unless your dog is suffering from a medical condition which requires them to have a bath, then they don’t particularly need to have one. This could mean, in theory, that a dog could go their whole life without ever having a bath!

In reality, at some point, a dog will go for a swim, or roll in something which means they need to be washed. 

Whilst we’re on the topic of bathing your pup, we’ve listed some products below that you might find useful on those rare occasions:


We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article about how often you should give your dog a bath. In some ways, our pets are pretty similar to us, with natural mechanisms which help keep themselves in good condition. 

If possible, it’s best not to disturb the natural balance of your pet’s body too much, unless absolutely necessary.

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