How Often Should You Wash Your Dog

Arms of a Person Bathing a Dog

How Often Should You Wash Your Dog? You should wash your dog depends on factors like breed, coat type, activity level, and any skin conditions, typically ranging from once a week to once a month.

Regular bathing is essential for maintaining your dog’s hygiene and overall health.

Factors Influencing Bath Frequency

  • Breed and Coat Type: Different breeds have different grooming needs. Dogs with longer or thicker coats might require more frequent baths than those with shorter coats. For instance, breeds like Golden Retrievers or Huskies may need more regular bathing compared to a short-haired breed like a Beagle.
  • Activity Level: Dogs that are highly active, especially those that spend a lot of time outdoors, may need to be bathed more often to remove dirt, mud, and debris. Conversely, indoor dogs that don’t get as dirty might not need as frequent baths.
  • Skin Conditions: If your dog has a skin condition, your veterinarian might recommend a specific bathing schedule and medicated shampoo. Regular baths can help manage conditions like allergies, dermatitis, or infections.

Learn more about dog grooming on Wikipedia.

General Bathing Guidelines

Weekly to Bi-Weekly Baths

  • Weekly to Bi-Weekly Baths: Dogs with oily coats, like Basset Hounds, may benefit from more frequent baths, around once a week to every other week, to keep their skin and coat healthy.
  • Monthly Baths: For most dogs, a bath once a month is sufficient to maintain cleanliness without stripping their coat of natural oils. This frequency helps keep their skin moisturized and prevents dryness and irritation.
  • As Needed: Some dogs might need a bath only when they get particularly dirty or start to smell. This approach works well for breeds with naturally low-maintenance coats and less outdoor activity.

How to Bathe Your Dog Properly

To bathe your dog properly, start by gathering all necessary supplies, such as dog shampoo, a brush, towels, and a non-slip mat for the tub.

Begin by brushing your dog’s coat to remove loose hair and tangles.

Fill the tub with lukewarm water, making sure it’s comfortable, and place the non-slip mat inside.

Wet your dog’s coat gently from the neck down using a cup or handheld showerhead, avoiding the eyes and ears. A

pply dog-specific shampoo, lathering it well and covering all areas, including the underbelly and paws.

Rinse thoroughly to ensure no shampoo residue is left, starting from the head down. Finally, dry your dog with a towel, or use a blow dryer on a low, cool setting if your dog is comfortable with it, making sure your dog is completely dry to avoid skin issues.

Read more about How Do I Clean a Dog’s Ears and How to Brush a Dog’s Teeth in our comprehensive guides.

Tips for a Positive Bathing Experience

woman kissing to comfort his dog while bathing
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your dog with treats and praise during and after the bath to create a positive association with the experience.
  • Stay Calm and Patient: Keep the bath time calm and be patient with your dog, especially if they are not used to it. Gradually introduce them to the process to build their comfort and trust.
  • Regular Grooming: In addition to regular baths, maintain a grooming routine that includes brushing and checking for any signs of skin issues or parasites.

Learn more about positive reinforcement and its benefits.


The frequency of washing your dog depends on various factors, including breed, coat type, activity level, and skin health.

By understanding your dog’s specific needs and maintaining a regular bathing routine, you can ensure they stay clean, healthy, and happy.