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When should you wash your dog?

Golden Labrador getting a wash advice
© Shutterstock

Is your dog scratching himself or did he get dirty? Worse even, could you smell him before even seeing him? Maybe it’s time you thought about giving your dog a bath…

By Emilie Heyl

As you know, washing a dog is no big deal. Although some may not be as inclined to indulge in the joys of home grooming, there is nothing to panic about: with a little willingness, patience, a lot of gentleness and elbow grease, anything is possible. There are indeed some tips to render this to make this experience as pleasant for you as it is for them.

What are these tips? Only wash them when it is really necessary. To avoid damaging their skin, bath your dog when they smell strongly, are dirty or injured; use products adapted to their skin, breed and age; always use warm water; prevent dog shampoo from getting into their eyes and ears; brush them well before wetting them so as to remove as much dead and dirty hair as possible; and lastly get them used to water from an early age.

At what age should you give your puppy their first bath?

From a ‘young age’ does not necessarily mean any age. It is not advisable to wash your dog before it has reached the age of two months. Why? Because it is at this age that their so-called “permanent” hair begins to appear. There is no need to wash their puppy fur.

The ideal amount of time between baths

Once the first two months have passed, you can wash your dog without worries. But do not do so too frequently: done in excess (once a week for example), baths remove the layer of sebum that protects your pet’s skin from external damage. Hence why specialists recommend washing every two months. However, it is important to take your dogs breed and lifestyle into account: a curly-haired Poodle needs more baths than a smooth-haired German Shepherd, for whom a thorough brushing can sometimes suffice.

Dog cleaning method

A good grooming always begins with a proper brushing. Then you must wet your pet thoroughly with warm water, avoiding any water getting into their eyes and ears. Also consider shampooing them with a product adapted to their species, breed and epidermis. Above all, don’t forget to rinse them thoroughly with clean water once the shampooing is done. As far as drying is concerned, a warm, soft towel will do the trick.

Follow this video closely and take the right steps to wash your dog correctly:

Check out this funny video compilation of dogs who don't want to bath: