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Dogs are the cutest right after a fresh bath, right? They’re fluffy, neatened up, and smell so good! Many people believe that having their dog bathed too often is bad for them and that it will dry out their skin and dull the coat. This is a MYTH!! With a quality shampoo, there are only benefits to frequent bathing. The ideal frequency for bathing can be once every 1-2 weeks, and even more if you have a breed such as a poodle or long-coated shih tzu. Let’s explore three important reasons why bathing can keep your dog happy and healthy!
Bathing protects dog’s coats. There are two types of coats on dogs. Fur and hair. Fur stops growing at a certain length and sheds. Hair sheds less and continuously grows. Any dog with hair needs to be brushed regularly. This brushing is to prevent the hair from becoming tangled, which in the dog world is called a “mat.” Some mats can become so severe that they cut off the circulation to the skin, resulting in hematomas or bruising. The less serious mats will be uncomfortable for the dog, especially if they are in more tender areas of their body. De-matting may be an option, but if the dog has tangles all over his body, sadly it will be a very painful process. Regular brushing and frequent bathing by a groomer will prevent matting from forming.
Another benefit to having a dog bathed often is to maintain skin health. If your groomer uses a quality shampoo, the dog can really be bathed on a daily basis. Having the skin gently scrubbed and massaged with shampoo and conditioner can stimulate the hair follicles, resulting in a healthier growth cycle. Letting the conditioner or medicated shampoo sit on the dog will also be moisturizing and soothing for dogs with hot spots or flakey skin. Bathing will prevent other skin problems such as yeast infections and dermatitis.
Additionally, bathing can help detect skin conditions. Skin growths can pop up quite randomly and quickly. You may notice a new wart on your dog’s back, or a fatty lump that wasn’t there last month. But some skin conditions can grow so slowly that you won’t notice them at home. That’s when your groomer comes in. The groomer will brush your dog and blow dry its coat, exposing any infection or growth that had been hiding behind the hair. The groomer will also brush the teeth, clean the ears and check the glands. Regular checks of these and other areas will allow your groomer to notify you if there is something wrong or new. Because let’s admit it, how often do you look at your dog’s molars or look in their ears?
There are clearly lots of positives to having your dog bathed on a regular basis. But are there any negatives? If the shampoo used is not high quality, then yes, it can dry out the skin. Also, if the dog isn’t being rinsed properly, then residue can result in more skin problems. Failure to blow dry the coat could cause irritation or mold to develop. Overall, having your dog bathed by a groomer is a great idea; the skin will be checked more often, your dog’s coat will be brushed out and dry skin will be exfoliated. At Petite Pup, we recommend having your dog bathed every two weeks. Personally, some of us bathe our own dogs once a week, because we love a sweet-smelling, poofy and brushed-out dog!