Bathing your dog at home

Bathing your dog at home

Est. 2 min read

Most dogs would rather skip bath time, but bathing plays an important role in the general care of your pet. Chances are you’ve experienced the “doggie stink” or the “mud mask”. In most cases, it’s because your dog has rolled in mud or something unpleasant to the human nose (most likely faeces). Rolling is a natural behaviour, by the way. Animal behaviourists think it’s a way to “scent camouflage” themselves from potential predators. There’s one solution to get rid of the stink and mud – bath time!

Why should I bathe my dog?

Bathing your dog is a regular grooming practise that will keep your dog's coat clean and healthy, and remove dirt, parasites, or other elements that can get stuck in the fur.

How often should I bathe my dog?

As is often the case, the answer is “It depends.”

There is no strict recommendations on how often you should bathe your dog. The bathing frequency varies on a number of things such as, the type of activities your dog undertakes, the breed of your dog, the shampoo you use, how sensitive you are to the smells associated with dogs, etc. 

Essentially, dogs should only be bathed when necessary (i.e. if your dog gets dirty or has an offensive body odour). Regular grooming, by way of combing and brushing, is often all that is required. Bathing too often can also be detrimental to your dog as it can irritate and dry out their skin and hair coat. 

Having said that, if an appropriate shampoo is used then the frequency of bathing would least likely cause significant issues. In fact, the major cause of problems tends to be due to improper rinsing afterward causing skin irritations.

What shampoo should I use?

Always choose a shampoo specifically designed for dogs.

Human skin differs significantly from a dog's skin. Dogs have much thinner, sensitive skin and their skin pH is different from the pH of human skin. Shampoos intended for human use, even "baby" or "pH balanced" brands, should never be used on dogs.

For dogs with healthy skin and coat, choose a mild and gentle hypoallergenic shampoo. For dogs with skin conditions, speak to your local vet on the products to use to help manage or treat specific skin problems.

Where to Bathe Your Dog

Where to bathe your dog tends to vary depending on individual circumstances – for some dogs, it can be easiest to bathe them outside in the backyard on the ground and for others, a bathtub or dog tub may be suitable. 

If you need help bathing your dog, contact your local vet clinic or a professional groomer.

Why is my dog still smelly after a bath?

Smells that can't be removed by bathing (sometimes it may take two baths to remove external smells) may be a health concern and requires a visit to the vet. Bad breath, dental diseases, and infected ears maybe some of the causes.

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