How Often You Should Wash Your Dog & Other Bathing Tips

Although most dogs would much rather skip the bath, bathing plays an important role in the health of your dog’s coat and skin. While dogs do not require daily baths the same way as we do, they still require regular baths. How regular for your pup depends on several factors including the type of coat and their environment.


The following are some general guidelines when it comes to your bathing your dog, depending on their coat.

  • Dogs that have oily coats may need to bathe as frequently as once a week. Breeds include Basset Hounds, Labrador Retrievers, and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

  • Short-haired breeds with smooth coats do well with less frequent baths. Breeds such as Beagles, Boston Terriers, and Boxers only require the occasional bath.

  • Breeds with water-repellent coats should be bathed less often in order to preserve their natural oils. Golden Retrievers and Great Pyrenees are examples.

  • Dogs with a double-coat do best with less bathing but more brushing. Examples of double-coated breeds include Akita, Husky, Bernese Mountain Dog, Shiba Inu, and Pomeranian.

If your dog loves to go swimming, roll around in the mud or you live in an environment where your dog is constantly getting dirty, then you might want to bathe them more frequently. Do try to avoid bathing your dog more often than necessary as it can strip their coat of its natural oils, making it dry and more prone to dandruff, frizzies, and mats.

Tips for Washing Your Dog

  • Positive association. As with anything new you introduce to your pup, you’ll want to tie bath time to something positive. Offer your pup treats, toys, and affection to get your dog into the bath and each time they behave well during the bathing process.

  • Start young. If you have a puppy, start bathing them as soon as possible so they will be less opposed to the experience. Getting your pup used to the tub early on means you will encounter less trouble down the road.

  • Protect the ears. Be sure to avoid your dog’s ears when washing them as it is not only uncomfortable for them, it can cause health problems. If your dog lets you, try placing cotton balls in their ears. If they do not let you, simply try to avoid spraying water into them.

  • Choose the right shampoo. For a positive bath experience, you will want to choose a shampoo that does not irritate or dry out your dog’s skin. A mild shampoo that will clean and remove unwanted odors while not strip away any important oils is ideal.

  • Work from the neck down. In addition to avoiding the ears, you will also want to keep their eyes and mouth safe. To do so, wash your dog from the neck down using a bucket or cup. If you want to wash your dog’s face, use a damp washcloth.

When to Visit a Professional Groomer

If you have tried to bathe your dog and were unsuccessful, or the idea of attempting to bathe your dog without a hitch seems unlikely, you can take your pup to the groomer. A trip to the groomer includes more than a bath, it also includes ear cleaning, nail clipping, trimming hair around the ears, eyes, and feet, and additional services that you might have trouble doing on your own. Professional groomers are a must for certain breeds, including Poodles, Yorkies, Maltese, Springers, and others with hair that grows long.

Contact Us for Doggie Day Care & Grooming Services in Charlotte, NC

At Club Fetch, we offer grooming services for pups in our day care and for pups that are spending the night. We offer everything from shampooing and conditioning to nail clippings, ear cleaning, and more. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or reach out to our groomer Dario directly by calling 704-620-9223. If you are looking for a pet daycare in the Charlotte, NC area for pet sitting or boarding, reach out to us today!