This is a question we get all of the time at our Ashburn Grooming Salon & Self Wash. I’d have to say we answer this question daily and from pet owners of various breeds. Whether you have a short haired dachshund or a full coated Afghan Hound, there are a few simple facts to keep in mind when deciding when your dog should get a bath.
The Sciencey Stuff So I am going to get all science like on you for a minute so that you understand why your dog should be bathed in the first place and how frequently we recommend a bath. Here we go (as I put on my white lab coat) . . . the act of bathing your dog is to clean the skin. I know, most of you think we are washing the dog’s hair to make them all pretty (which we do) but it really is about the skin. Their skin produces oils (called sebum) that helps to protect them in the summer from the sun and in the winter from the cold wind. It builds up on the skin and if you do not bathe them to remove the build up of sebum it can cause all sorts of problems. How does it cause problems you ask? Well at the same time that their skin is producing this oil, their skin cells are regenerating (just like ours do). As the skin cell regenerates, it tries to slough off the top layer to allow new skin to grow. Well remember that oil on the skin? If it is there when the skin cells are doing their thing then it traps the skin cells and prevents them from sloughing off naturally. This can cause excessive itching and odor and can even end up as an infection.
So that leads us to the reason we are all here today . . . learning how often you should bathe your dog. Well, those skin cells are on a 21 day cycle so the answer is every 3 weeks. What we recommend to our clients is at least once a month you should bathe your dog and it’s a good idea to check their nails at the same time to see if they need a trim. Can you bathe your dog more frequently? Absolutely!! If you are using a quality shampoo & conditioner that was formulated for dogs (please, please, please do not use human shampoo or dish detergent, it will hurt their skin because they have a very high pH balance vs/ us humans), you could bathe them every day if you so choose.
So there you have it. Bath time should at least be a monthly occurrence for you dog. And we are here to help if you need us. Whether you like to do it yourself in one of our self-serve dog wash stations or want us to take that task off of your “To Do List” entirely with a full-service spa bath, just give us a call and we are happy to assist!