How often should you wash your dog? Years ago the traditional advice was to only wash your dog a few times a year. The reasoning behind this was that frequent bathing strips the oils from your dogs coat and leaves him with dry, itchy skin. But times have changed. The dog shampoos we have today are as gentle and as high quality as the shampoos we have for humans. So the traditional advice is a thing of the past. There are several factors you should consider when deciding how often to wash your dog and we’ll look at all of them.

How often should you wash your dog depends on if it is an indoors or outdoors dog

If your dog lives in your house with you and more importantly, if he sleeps in your bed, then you are probably going to wash your dog regularly–depending on the breed anywhere from once a week to once a month. Your dog’s coat  might  be a little drier but you will have a fresh smelling dog that you can cuddle without the fear that part of the backyard is getting into the sheets.

What breed Is your dog?

Dogs that have dry skin can be bathed less frequently than dogs with oily skin. Harsh-textured coats repel dirt pretty well so they don’t get as dirty as a soft-coated dog. Dogs like Maltese, Yorkies, Afghans and Shitzus should be bathed once a week. Harsh-coated breeds, like Shelties and Collies, can be bathed once a month.

Does anyone in your household have allergies?

If so, you SHOULD groom & bathe them as often as possible. According to the American Lung Association, doing so will help remove the dander that accumulates on a pet’s fur.

What are your dogs activities?

Do you take your dog to the dog park? Does your dog play in the sand or dirt? Does he roll in the grass and sniff the butts of other dogs? Hiking? Swimming? Drooling? A normal dog usually partakes in several of the above activities– all of which warrant regular bathing. More frequent bathing may make your dog’s coat a bit drier, but he will be cleaner, smell better, and most important you’ll much more likely to give a clean dog more hugs.

Does your dog suffer from itchy skin?

Unlike humans who absorb most environmental allergens through their noses and mouths, dogs tend to absorb allergens through the skin. Weekly bathing can prevent itchiness , washing allergens away before they get a chance to penetrate the skin.

There’s no definite answer to the question “How often should I wash my dog?” because there is no answer that would be correct for all dogs. Instead, there is a range depending on the above factors.

The answer for MOST dogs is to wash them once every week to once a month, depending on the above circumstances. But remember, use a gentle pet shampoo and conditioner, not a shampoo for humans. They absolutely have different ingredients so it’s better for your dog if you use a shampoo formulated just for him.