Some dogs absolutely detest bath time and rather skip it, but a well-timed bath is essential for the health and integrity of your pet’s skin and hair coat. Bathing your pet also keeps him clean and free of dirt, debris, and parasites. And of course, having a pleasant-smelling pet around is a bonus!
Your dog’s hair coat type, activity level, lifestyle, and skin condition are important factors in determining how often should your pet be bathed. The general recommendation is once a week or once every 2 weeks. This can be done if a gentle shampoo is used, and over-cleaning is avoided. Over-cleaning can strip the natural oils of the dog’s skin and hair coat, leaving them dry and lifeless.
Dogs experience a range of feelings from relief to happiness to a desire to regaining their familiar scent. Pet owners often call these after-bath behaviors as the ‘crazies’ or the ‘zoomies’. Bath time can be stressful for some dogs and their immeasurable relief and happiness after a bath are shown in their frenetic periods of hyperactivity.
Dogs do not really mind if they are dirty. In fact, they love getting dirty, rolling in smelly stuff, and being covered in mud, dirt, grass, and other messy things they could find. It is an instinct they have inherited from their ancestors. Rolling around in stinky stuff masks their scent and protect them from being detected by potential predators.
Experts do not advise dogs being bathed every day, but they DO need a bathe at least once every 4 weeks or when they get into something stinky or dirty.
Absolutely not! Over-bathing is not recommended by experts for the following reasons:
Many pet owners choose to bathe their dogs once a week, especially in sunny Singapore, and if your dog is walked every day. This can be done if you use a gentle shampoo and over-bathing is avoided.
Baby shampoo can be used on dogs. It is a safer choice compared to adult shampoo as the baby formulas are generally gentler and made for delicate skin. It does not contain strong and/or artificial fragrances or harsh chemicals. However, baby shampoos should only be used for emergencies when your pet’s shampoo has run out and should not be used regularly because it can disrupt the natural pH balance of your pet’s skin. Most baby shampoos contain cleansing surfactants which can help minimize the risk of irritation if the shampoo gets in your pet’s eyes. However, these can make baby shampoos less effective in removing oils and grease.
If you have a small dog, you can easily plop him in a sink or laundry tub. But if your pet is too big for these places, use the bathtub or the shower stall using a detachable nozzle. You could also get a portable doggy tub for the purpose. Bathing your pet outdoors is also a viable option when the weather is good or if your dog is too filthy. But make sure that your dog is dried up thoroughly and not exposed to the cold or drafts after a bath.