Scrub-a-Dub-Dub: How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

They either ruv it or hate it, but no matter what, bathtime is an important part of puppo’s routine. But how often should you bathe your dog, and how can you make it more enjoyable for pups who don’t like baths? Read on to sniff out the answers.

How Often To Give Your Dog A Bath

In general, it’s best to bathe your dog about once a month. Regular bathing keeps pup’s coat clean, removes dirt and debris build-up, and keeps doggo smellin’ fresh. 

You might be tempted to make pup doo a bathtime more often to keep clean, but fight the urge—over-bathing washes away pup’s protective fur oils and can lead to skin irritation.

Other factors that affect how often you should bathe your dog include:

  • Coat length—doggos rockin’ long hair tend to get dirty faster and may need baths more often
  • Health conditions—woofers with skin allergies may require bathing at more frequent intervals with special shampoos, but make sure to consult your vet if pup seems extra itchy
  • Lifestyle—adventurous pups who spend a lot of time outdoors, swimming in lakes, runnin’ across sandy beaches, or hikin’ through the woods get dirtier much quicker and might need more post-playtime baths

How To Make Bathtime More Fun For Dogs

If your BFF hates baths, here are a few things you can do to make bathtime more enjoyable.

Make the Tub a Happy Space

Before bathtime, try to get smol fry used to the tub by associating it with happy memories. When it’s empty, fill the tub with treats and toys and let pup play around.

Try a LickiMat

Bribes work! If fren tries to jump out of the tub, try using a LickiMat. LickiMats promote the release of endorphins by promoting licking—and you can smother them in heckin’ yummy snacks to distract while you scrub away.

How to Bathe Your Dog

Now that you’ve got a couple tricks to keep buddy calm, it’s time for the main event: the B-A-T-H.

  1. Brush your dog’s fur. This is especially important for long-haired floofs.
  2. Run the bath water. 
  3. Check the water temperature. You don’t like cold baths and puppos don’t either! Make sure the water is lukewarm.
  4. Fully saturate your fluffer’s coat with water.
  5. Lather up. Work dog shampoo into a lather throughout fur, being careful around sensitive areas like eyes, ears, and face. Give pup a little massage as you work in the shampoo to make it an extra pleasant experience!
  6. Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes.
  7. Rinse. Be thorough and make sure all shampoo gets washed away. Shampoo left in a dog’s coat can cause skin irritation.
  8. Time to dry. While dogs tend to shake and sprint as soon as you get them outta the tub, dry them off with a towel first! This step is extra important for dogs with heavy or double coats, as damp spots in the undercoat can lead to hot spots.

So, how often should you bathe your dog? It depends, but once a month is often the best recommendation. Got any tips for making bathtime more fun? Woof at us in the comments, and don’t forget to tag @SidewalkDog in your cute bathtime pics!

Featured photo: Darren Richardson

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then enter our drool-worthy giveaways.

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