Bathing Your Dog: How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

"Adopting a dog definitely gives us a reason to smile but it brings along a bulky package of responsibilities as well. Apart from love, our doggies require utmost attention and care. Bathing your dog regularly is a vital activity and has to be performed keeping in mind various things. Most people have basic queries regarding this exercise, like how many times is it required? How should I go about the process without my dog getting intimidated? Is brushing important? What are the things I need?

Well, to start with some chief facts, we need to understand that dogs do not need to be bathed very frequently as it makes their skin dry and takes away the necessary mineral oils from their coat. Frequency usually differs with different breeds and dogs which usually stay outdoors need to be bathed more number of times than dogs that remain indoors. I have a German Shepherd who does not go outdoors for many days at a stretch and therefore, I give him a bath only once a month. Cleanliness is crucial and therefore when you feel that your dog has become dirty or smelly, then is the right time to go for a bathing session. Always keep in mind that your little pup only needs a bath after he/she is 5 weeks of age.

Dogs usually have the habit of escaping as soon as they realize that you are taking them for a bath and therefore it is always helpful to go in for this battle all prepared. Some tips that can help you during this challenging task can be to give them a bath indoors in a closed room, preferably a bathroom. You can even purchase a raised dog-bathing tub, or keep a tub on a table just to bring your dog up to a convenient height. This will save you from a back ache.

Some essential tools that you should keep ready before you start with the bath include pet shampoos, conditioners, dry towels and brushes/combs like rubber brushes, pin brushes; slicker brushes. You can buy a brush from here 

Always brush the coat thoroughly before starting so as to remove any sort of tangles and matted hair and do remember to start doing this when your dog is younger so as to develop a habit. Pin brushes are great for high maintenance breeds whereas slicker brushes are usually helpful for dogs with long coats.

Tie your dog with a leash and use warm water and try to make it as comfortable and pleasing as you can. Use a shampoo which is formulated for dogs and try to get one which is breed-specific. Never use human shampoo on dogs as it has the wrong pH level which can hamper his/her skin. Be methodical and start with the head first and move your way towards the tail. You can use a washcloth for the face so as to avoid water from entering the ears and shampoo from entering the eyes. Check for fleas, ticks and any sort of debris and remove immediately if you find any. A rubber brush can be used to clear the debris and for dogs which have long hair, massaging the coat in the direction of hair growth helps to avoid tangles. A conditioner is essential as it makes your dog's coat soft and shiny.

When you are done with the washing, try to squeeze out as much water as you can and then cover your dog with a towel so that you don't get wet if he shakes and try to wipe his/her body with another towel. It is always better to keep an extra towel handy in case your dog decides to shake suddenly and drench the surroundings. Keep your dog tied with the leash until his/her coat completely dries otherwise your efforts can be ruined if the doggie runs into mud or dust. Wipes can be used in between baths to clean specific areas which get dirty often but don't warrant a bath.

Be patient and kind with your dog, praise him /her continuously and give him a treat after the bath is over and you will feel perfectly happy and content when you see your baby looking all shiny and beautiful after the business."

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