Just like people need wash to stay clean and promote healthy skin, so do dogs. Bathing is an essential step in canine grooming that removes dirt and debris from your dog's coat while also giving you the opportunity to inspect for fleas, ticks or other pests. So, today we'll look closer at how often should you wash your dog?
Wash your Dog Once per Week
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), most dogs should be washed once per week. The only exception is if your dog suffers from chronic dry skin, in which case you should wash them less frequently. If your dog has dry skin, bathing will strip away essential oils that would otherwise protect against dryness. Depending on the severity of his dry skin, your dog may experience symptoms such as itching, irritation and skin dander.
As long as your dog doesn't have chronic dry skin, though, you can wash them once a week to promote a healthy coat. If he does have dry skin, consider bathing him once every two to three weeks.
Choosing the Right Shampoo
It's important to choose the right shampoo when washing your dog. If you read the ingredient label on most store-bought dog shampoo products, you'll probably discover they contain dozens of hard-to-pronounce chemicals. Unfortunately, some of these chemicals can cause irritation or allergic reactions in dogs.
Baby shampoo, however, is a safe and effective product that can be used when washing your dog. It's designed with gentle ingredients that won't irritate a baby's sensitive skin. Because of this, it's also a great product to use on dogs. You can still use a store-bought product, but you should choose one that's gentle and contains the fewest number of ingredients possible.
Bath Time Anxiety
Some dogs experience anxiety when being washed, especially if they aren't used to being in water. If your dog is fearful of bath time, there are a few things you can do to ease his anxiety.
First, don't leave the water running when bathing your dog. The sound of the fast-moving water splashing down at your dog's paws may scare him. To prevent this from happening, fill the tub with just a few inches of water and use a cup to pour lukewarm water over his coat. You can gently massage the shampoo into your dog's coat, after which you can rinse him by pouring water over him using the cup.
Second, reward your companion with a dog treat both before and after you wash them. Dog treats are a powerful training tool that can help change your dog's disposition towards bath time. Over time, he'll associate baths with treats, turning this otherwise stress-filled activity into a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved.
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