How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

When it comes to the question of how often should you bathe your dog? there is no one-size-fits-all. Most dogs are actually not fond of baths, even though it’s important to groom them regularly. Some dogs on the other hand groom themselves, which helps hair follicles grow and supports general skin health, but they still need baths in order to get rid of the grime.

However, most people tend to overdo it and bathe their dog more than necessary, while others, on the other hand, do not see the need to bathe their dog at all. So this still takes us to the question, how often should you bathe your dog.

The frequency of bathing a dog most times depends on a dog’s breed, coat, lifestyle, and health. If your dog stinks or is dirty, then it might be time to give it a bath, as long as your dog is healthy and has no special grooming requirements. If this is the case, you can bathe him or her as often as once a week.

Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary adviser to PetMD, states that healthy dogs without skin conditions will be fine with only a bath or two a year, to control “natural doggy does”. While the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends bathing a dog about once every three months, even though there are many reasons for adjusting bathing schedules.

Breed Matters

When it comes to how many times you are to bathe a dog, breed matters. This is because there are lots of dog breeds with different types of coats. Thus it is a good idea to ask your vet for grooming guidance, including how often to bathe your dog as well as what products to use.

A dog’s skin PH level is quite different than the human skin, thus it’s more sensitive, so it is ideal you avoid using “people” products on dogs. Basically, the rule is more hair, more baths which is generally accurate, there are exceptions when it comes to hairless breeds like the Chinese crested dog, which requires high maintenance and requires weekly baths.

For other breeds, brushing and combing may be more important than bathing. Thus a breed with double-coated, thick shedding hair like a Shetland sheepdog is more intensive when it comes to grooming, and requires combing and brushing before, during, and after a soaking and moisturizing bath.

Samples, Huskies &Arctic Breeds

Samoyeds, huskies, and other arctic breeds on the other hand need to be brushed at least once a day during shedding season in order to avoid knots and dreadlocks which can cause serious skin conditions if left in their coats. If these breeds get brushed thoroughly enough, baths can be kept to a minimum or altogether avoided, in order not to strip from their coats of the natural protective oils.

For short-coat breeds, like pugs, dalmatians, and greyhounds, who typically need fewer baths, and often a good rundown with a damp washcloth enough to get the dirt out.

Labradors & Golden Retrievers

When it comes to labradors and golden retrievers who have slightly longer coats, over-bathing them can disrupt the seasonal insulation process. So a bath every four to six weeks or less will be fine. But it will be ideal to either daily or frequently brush them. You can use an anti-dandruff shampoo as you bath them can help to keep their skin from drying out.

The Dog’s Lifestyle and Health

When determining how often you need to bathe your dog, you should also consider your dog’s health and lifestyle. Dogs who engage in outdoor activities more often, need more baths than those who just go for occasionally go for daily leash walks in the neighborhood.

For dogs that snuggle more in bed or have furniture privileges, you have to bathe him more often, or better still wipe his paws clean to suffice for not bathing.


At the end of the day, it still comes down to your dog’s breeds, health and lifestyle. Some dogs are known to have skin diseases or allergies and may require more or less bathing than other dogs. If your dog happens to have a skin condition, bathing him too often may exacerbate it and cause discomfort, so you have to consult with your veterinarian and get their expert advice as regards how many times you are to bathe your dog.


It is best to start a regular bathing routine from when your dog is a puppy, even if the routine is four times a year or less. This is because if you start the bathing routine for your dog when it’s still in it’s the puppy stage, the dog will usually be more cooperative than one who does not. You can also include routine nail trimmings and ear cleanings in the puppy routine also.