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Bathing your dog consistently is important for maintaining hygiene and appearance by removing dirt and debris from their body. Today, our Laguna Woods vets share how often to bathe your dog and share some tips on how to bathe them effectively. 

Bathing Your Dog

As a dog owner, it's your responsibility to keep your dog clean and looking their best. However, over-bathing your dog can result in dryness, skin irritation, and other issues. The frequency with which you should bathe your dog depends on factors like their health condition, coat type, and lifestyle. 

Dogs with longer coats will need to be bathed more often, approximately once a month, whereas dogs with shorter fur may only require a bath every three months or so.

Active dogs who love playing outside and digging in the dirt will require more frequent baths than dogs who spend most of their time indoors. You should only bathe your dog if they have a bad smell, are covered in mud, or has oily fur, as excessive bathing can be harmful. 

If your dog has allergies or a specific health condition, ask your vet about a bathing schedule specifically for your dog. 

Why Do I Need to Bathe My Dog?

Even though dogs can often do a decent job of bathing themselves, there are situations where they require some help from their owners. If they love swimming in lakes, rolling around in the mud, or tend to have naturally oily fur, you're going to need to step in more often. 

There are several reasons why bathing your dog is important. Here is a list of reasons why it's important to give your dog routine baths:

  • It helps them smell better
  • It helps prevent skin conditions
  • It removes dirt and debris from their fur
  • Reduces shedding

Bathing your dog also allows you to keep an eye on their health and examine them for signs of any conditions that may be developing, like swelling, redness, or unusual bumps on their skin, paws, nails, or ears.

You will also be able to check for external parasites such as ticks, mites, and fleas. Contact your vet to arrange an appointment if you detect any of these external parasites or unusual symptoms.

Steps on Bathing Your Dog

The process of bathing your dog will be easier and less stressful if you know the steps of bathing your dog and are prepared to perform the task. Below, we have listed the steps to giving your dog a bath at home.

  1. Pick where you want to bathe your dog (kiddie pool, bathtub, sink, patio, etc). Be sure you bathe them in the same place each time so they know what to expect.
  2. Gather the supplies you need, like a slip-resistant mat (if using a tub), a brush, scrubber, and shampoo that's specially made for dogs. Never use human shampoo or conditioner on your pup, as it can irritate their skin. Your vet can suggest the shampoo that will suit your dog best.
  3. Begin by brushing your dog's fur from head to tail to loosen dirt and remove knots and mats.
  4. Use lukewarm water when washing your dog (never use hot water), and keep the water out of your dog's face.
  5. Talk to your dog in a calm and soothing voice, pet them often, and offer praise and treats when they are behaving. If your dog starts to resist and struggle, wait for them to calm down again before continuing.
  6. Lather and massage the shampoo all over your dog's body. Be sure not to get any in their eyes, ears, or face. You can start at their paws and work your way up to the head to provide fewer opportunities for the shampoo to run into their face.
  7. Rinse your dog from head to tail. Continue rinsing in this pattern until you have gotten all the soap out of your dog's skin because any soap left behind can cause irritation.
  8. Dry your dog well with a warm, clean towel to help your dog air-dry faster.
  9. Let your dog's fur air-dry. Don't use hot blow dryers that are designed for human hair because they can be too hot for your dog's skin. If you'd like, you can use a blow dryer designed for dogs that operate at a lower temperature.
  10. Reward your dog. They have made it through the bathing process; give your dog a treat, lots of praise, and maybe even some playtime!

Taking Your Dog to the Groomers

If your dog resits every time you try to bathe them, it may be best to seek the help of a professional groomer. They have the necessary training and equipment to safely clean dogs of all breeds, sizes, and temperaments.  

At Laguna Hills Animal Hospital, our team offers professional bathing services for dogs, and grooming services such as de-shedding treatments, haircuts, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing.

Our veterinary team is always happy to help keep your furry friend looking and feeling their very best.

Are you looking to have your dog bathed and groomed by professionals? Contact our Laguna Woods vets to book an appointment for your pup.

New Patients Welcome

Laguna Hills Animal Hospital is welcoming new patients! Our vets are friendly, experienced, and passionate about caring for the health of the cats and dogs in Laguna Woods. Contact us today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

Contact (949) 837-7333