How often a dog should be washed depends on the dog's skin condition as well as the structure of the fur. In general, dogs with short hair is recommended to be bathed approximately twice a year and long haired dogs every third month. A dog should be bathed more often, if the skin condition requires it or if the fur gets frequently dirty or smelly.
Use lukewarm water and a gentle dog shampoo. Shampoos designed for humans have a low pH value which can irritate a dog's sensitive skin.
- Start by diluting the shampoo with water for example in an empty plastic bottle.
- Brush the dog's fur carefully before the bath as possible tangles may worsen in the process.
- Place a towel or a plastic rug at the bottom of the tub, to prevent the dog from slipping.
- Avoid getting the head and ears wet, as they are very sensitive and can easily get infections. Use a damp washcloth instead to clean the dogs face.
- When the fur is soaked completely, you can start applying the shampoo. Take this opportunity to check if your dog's body has any anomalies. If you have a long haired dog, it can be easier to feel and examine the body when the fur is wet.
- It’s important to rinse the fur thoroughly to ensure that there isn't any shampoo left to irritate the skin.
- When the dog is thoroughly rinsed, you can enhance the fur's health by applying a conditioner. A conditioner makes the fur more manageable as it closes the hair cuticles restoring hydration and elasticity. Leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly.
- It is recommended to use a highly absorbent towel designed for dogs, which can be found at most pet stores.
- Blow-drying the fur may prevent tangles, especially if your dog's fur is very long. Blow-dry the dog from the back to the front. Remember to use a low heat setting on the blow dryer to avoid burning or overheating your dog.
- It is important to dry the fur with care. Double coated dogs in particular, may suffer from irritating rashes called hot spots, which can be caused by grooming. Read more about hot spots HERE.