How Often Can I Shower My Dog? 5 Crucial Guidelines

Some dogs just smell bad and others are masters of the muddy puddles. But when does showering become too much?

How Often Am I Allowed To Shower My Dog?

You should not bathe your dog more than every second week. The skin contains natural oils that keep the skin and coat healthy and they should not be exposed to shampoo and soap too often. You can brush the dog over with water if he/she is too dirty to get in the house.

Here are some good guidelines and tips to follow.

Quick Tip
A great way to reduce the amount of shedding indoor is to use a great anti-itch shampoo. Check the products we recommend here. That makes sure the dog won’t scratch itself too much. Check also our recommendations on our list of 24 must-haves for dog owners. It’s a helpful list with many helpful things for dog owners!

Why You Cannot Shower Dogs More Than Biweekly

It’s not advisable to shower your dog too often because it will remove oils on the skin which are essential to the dog’s well-being.

These oils play a vital role in keeping the skin healthy and they also keep the fur and hair strong.

You can bathe your dog no more than once every second week and that will even be a stretch sometimes. If you decide to shower your dog every week you need to make sure you are using a shampoo that is very mild.

It’s important to limit the amount of soap and shampoo if you are stretching the number of showers. The soap and the shampoo remove the fine oil and moist on the skin of the dog and should only be used biweekly at the most.

The skin of the dog is amazingly good at keeping the moisture balance as long as the fine oils on the surface of the skin aren’t dissolved in soap.

There are many good shampoos out there. You can find shampoos products we recommend here. Be sure to also check our complete list of must-haves for dog owners here. They are cheap and they are 100% free of parabens and dyes. There are options with perfume if your dog happened to come by something smelly and there are shampoo to reduce shedding.

If you like to shower your dog as much as possible (biweekly) you need to make sure you don’t use too much shampoo or soap. Try using only water every second time you shower him.

If you need to use soap or shampoo you can limit the dose as much as possible and you can make sure to only apply it to the areas of the skin that is too dirty to handle with water.

3 Tips To Cleaning Dogs Between Showers

So, you shouldn’t bathe your dogs more than biweekly. But what do you do when it is dirty almost every day?

Here are some options for you in order to remove the smell and get a clean dog that you can bring indoors.

1) Spot cleaning

It’s a good idea to spot clean the dog if it often gets very dirty. Some dogs (especially puppies) love a good rub in a muddy puddle and you will need to clean them in order to get them into the house again.

You can do this with wet clothes without using too much soap.

2) Brush him over with only water

If you decide it’s necessary to brush the dog all over the body you will need to do so without using soap and shampoo.

It’s a lot less harmful to the dog’s skin and fur to wash him with only water.

When you’re using water only it’s quite similar to him jumping in the sea or into a creek. This shouldn’t do any harm to your dog. The problem that only arises when you’re using too many chemicals on the skin because it removes the natural moist.

This is very possible and it can be a good idea to install a shower head around the entrance. By doing so you are able to brush it off all the dirt before you get the dog into the house.

3) Keep him in the garden

If your dog cannot stay out of trouble you might need to keep him in your garden for a while.

If you have this option it can be a good idea in order to force it to stay out of feces and other things you need soap for when cleaning the dog.

Otherwise, you can keep him in a leech whenever you are walking him around areas where you suspect you might wander off and get really dirty.

Use Shampoo Without Additives

Without going too much into details on this here you should just head over to our list of must-haves for dog owners.

It’s a VERY helpful checklist and you will also find a link to great affordable shampoos that’s completely free of toxins and junk!

What Happens If You Shower Dogs Too Often?

Here are some typical problems that may arise if you are showering your dog too often.

Extensive shedding

If you over-do it and start bathing your dog more than once every second week you might develop skin problems and cause extensive shedding.

This is because the skin becomes irritated and the fur dries out and become weaker.

The hair and fur need a certain amount of fatty acids in order to keep a normal balance of shedding. Otherwise, you might experience way too much shedding. This is just one of the reasons why some dogs shed too much.

So pay close attention to how much the dog is shedding because it might happen when the skin gets irritated or dries out. Here you can read about 8 other common reasons why dogs shed extensively.

The dog might catch a cold

Your dog might also catch a cold if you shower him too often.

This can happen because dogs are normally showered and cold or lukewarm water.

The same thing can happen because it starts shedding too much due to the lack of moisture in the skin. When it loses too much of that undercoat it might get cold when you are walking outside.

The skin gets itchy

When the skin cries out it will get itchy and it might also cause flaking.

When this happens the dog might start scratching itself regularly which is really bad for the skin. This will just make everything worse as the skin is already irritated and has become dry.

It’s important that you watch how much the dog scratches itself if the skin is dry. Until you know that the moisture balance is restored you need to make sure it doesn’t hurt itself from scratches.

What To Do When The Damage Is Done

If you have been showering your dog more than weekly for a longer period you might need to get some help in order to restore the moisture balance in the skin and fur.

You need to make sure it gets the proper oils and treatments on the skin.

If you don’t think the problem is too bad you can also try to fix it yourself by applying coconut directly on the skin.

It’s easy to create a good mix of coconut oil and water which you can spray directly onto the fur and rub into the skin of the dog. Just make sure you don’t rub it in too roughly. You need to remember that the skin is probably irritated and we don’t want to stress it even more.

Here’s how you create a homemade mix of coconut oil and water for the skin:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 0.2 gallon of water
  • Shake well before spraying on.

It’s important to remember to shake it well because the coconut oil will not mix with the water.

When you have the mix ready you spray it directly on the dog with a spray can. You can typically get the spray cans in the pharmacy stores or in the pet store.

If you feel the problem is bigger than you can solve with a blend of coconut oil and water you need to consult your vet. This is always the choice if you are in doubt.


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