How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog – SleepyCotton
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How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog

Author Bri LaFluer / Sleepy Cotton Content Writer / Feb-15-2020

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

Wondering how often should you bathe your dog can bring upon many other questions. Does the breed matter? Does their coat matter? What kind of shampoo should I use? Each of these things matter when bathing to keep a healthy pH level. For dogs of any age, it all depends on their type of breed, condition of their skin, length and texture of their coat, and mainly their lifestyle.

Dogs with these different characteristics combined could require more grooming to get them fully nourished and clean. With the right products and knowledge, you will give your dog a wholesome spa experience.

Key Points
  • Bathing a healthy dog approximately once a month keeps skin and fur maintained while deterring build up of allergens, dirt, grease, and odor!
  • Soap-free water baths are ideal for dogs who play around outdoors often, as well as pets with extra sensitive skin and allergies.
  • Young puppies benefit from not being bathed! In fact, it helps their skin to become resistant to foreign bacteria as they grow up.
  • When it’s time for a bath, choose a trustworthy shampoo that includes only natural ingredients that will avoid irritating your dog’s sensitive skin.

Shall we dig a little deeper? All things considered, let’s really find out how often should you bathe your dog.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

In general, healthy dogs only need to be bathed if they develop a smell over a long period of time. Typically, most dog owners will bathe their dog about once a month to keep cleanliness. It's important to bathe them when they become greasy or dirty so that the dirt can't clog their pores. This could lead to irritations and infections.

Benefits of Bathing Your Dog

When bathing your dog, it is a great opportunity for you to be aware of any lumps and bumps on them. As dogs age, these may develop which can be perfectly normal. But sometimes they can be in need of further checking by a veterinarian. Checking their body over will also cover your bases of finding any unknown wounds, along with pests such as ticks and fleas. When their hair is wet, their skin will be easier to see.

Regular grooming includes brushing and combing to distribute natural oils and remove shedding hair. Natural oils produced by their skin promote hair growth and keeps their skin from becoming dry. Changing of the seasons can cause more hair loss than usual, so you may notice changes from different temperatures. Brushing also helps to keep areas clean that your dog may not be able to reach, which will make them feel relieved!

Young Puppies

Puppies are prone to being extra playful and clumsy at such a young age. They will undoubtedly need a bath sooner than later. It is safe to wash them during the beginning stages of puppy-hood, but it’s best that it is not often. Their skin will be extra fragile as it is still developing, so choosing an extremely gentle all-natural shampoo will be the best approach to keep their skin strong.

Under your pup’s fur is where friendly bacteria aids in keeping their skin at the correct level of acidity. Shampoo may shift the healthy balance they have, making their resistance to skin problems and infections lower. In fact, not bathing puppies at all at their young age will not harm them in any way. Try to spot clean them without wetting their entire body if needed.

Homebody Dogs: Indoors

Dogs who stay indoors more often that outdoors will most likely need bathing much less often. Keeping with a bathing routine around once a month is good for healthy cleansing. This is because they can still come in contact with allergens, dirt, and bad bacteria that should be washed off once in a while. The build up of these can create potential irritation to their skin and clog their pores over time. Built up allergens within their fur such as mold, dust, and pollen can irritate you as well.

Adventurous Dogs: Outdoors

Does your furry companion love to explore the great outdoors? Dogs who like to be outdoors are definitely more susceptible to becoming dirtier quicker than dogs who stay inside. Rolling in mud, digging holes, and swimming are quick ways to need a bath sooner than needed!

A natural soap-free water bath option is best if you need to (or want to) bathe your dog more often. These alternatives include baking soda, oatmeal, dog wipes, and waterless shampoos as recommended by Amy Brantley from Daily Puppy. These healthy approaches will even help get rid of any odors on your dog as well. Additionally, these are ideal options for pets with sore skin or allergies. Utilize this option for a gentle, easy and quick way to get your pup clean efficiently.

Coat Type

Based on your dog’s coat, their fur characteristics will also factor in to if you should bathe them more often. Keeping regular grooming habits can keep your house from becoming a fur ball!

Smooth Single Coat:

This coat is not thick and it typically does not need much upkeep. Breeds who have tighter skin such as chihuahuas, boston terriers, and shih tzus have this type of coat. They shed throughout the year gradually making it less noticeable. It’s best to bathe them less often since they could benefit from additional protection of their natural oils on their skin.

Heavy Double Coat:

This coat has many layers that commonly shed often. Breeds who have looser skin such as huskies, german shepherds, welsh and pembroke corgis have this type of coat. Dogs with thicker undercoats need more attention during grooming including brushing along with deshedding shampoos and conditioners. You may also notice an increase of their shedding during the changing of seasons. It is beneficial for them to be bathed somewhat more often to get rid of anything that is trapped within their coat.

Curly and Wavy Coats:

This coat actually sheds less than others. Poodles, goldendoodles, and Portuguese water dogs have these adorable coils and waves. They do typically require more grooming attention in regards to their length. Their hair can become easily matted if left not brushed for a period of time. These dog’s benefit from shampoos and conditioners that can deeply condition their hair regularly to avoid constant tangling.

It is essential to know the basic needs for the characteristics of your dog’s coat. This will help you figure out the best ways to keep their skin and fur in top shape.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog: Facial Area

Keeping our furry friends faces clean can prevent dirt and bacterias from entering their system. Gently formulated face wash products allow proper care to their extra sensitive facial area. Special formulas such as Sleepy Cotton’s Gentle Face Wash is also developed to help reduce and prevent eye infections and eye boogers.

Depending on your dog's breed and lifestyle, their face should be washed around twice a month. However, some dogs actually need facial washing up to once a week. This is because some dogs are easily susceptible to eye boogers or facial infections.


Goldendoodles require regular face washing around once a week. Because of their longer, thicker hair, it is easy for it to become matted and tangled. Moisturizing ingredients can help loosen them as you rub and twist the fur. Everyday while they sniff around, dirt can get trapped within their long chin fur as well as food while they eat.


Chihuahuas do not need facial washing as often as other breeds. Since they have very short fur on their face, it won’t become matted and it is less likely for dirt and food to get trapped. Washing their face up to twice a month is perfect to maintain their skin conditions.

Consulting a Professional


Taking your pet to a groomer might be a better approach if you don't have the tools or time to maintain their coat. Groomers are knowledgeable of all kinds of dog breeds and how to handle their specific coats. If your dog has a lot of thick and long hair, grooming can be a challenging task. Hair that gets matted easily is difficult to untangle, and there are times when it needs to be cut out of their fur. Your local groomer will have the tools necessary to safely remove mats painlessly.

Groomers tactics can make the entire experience easier on dogs who don’t particularly like the process of brushing, washing, and drying. They usually help the process to go faster than it may be at home struggling with your dog.


If your dog has or may have a skin condition, it's important to consult your veterinarian before you decide on how often you should bathe them. Certain medical circumstances may need more attention with regular bathing to aid their skin health. There are dogs that produce much more dandruff and have bad bacteria we can't see that is essential to reduce.

Other dogs even benefit from not being washed at all to have maximum comfort. Many shampoos in pet stores can be too harsh for dogs with skin conditions. They could actually strip away at the layers that are helping them. Your vet can provide you with milder shampoo options to soothe your pets skin.

Finding Products that Benefit Your Dog

Although it may be convenient to reach for your human shampoo, this could pose as a health risk for your dogs skin. All areas of dog’s skin are much more delicate than humans altogether. This is because dogs’ skin is only three to five cells thick, where as a humans’ is between 10 to 15 cells thick being much more resilient.

It's always best to use a dog safe shampoo with healthy ingredients such as aloe vera, and coconut oil. Even the fragrance matters! Choose pleasant natural scents such as lavender, cedar wood, chamomile, and rosemary that also help nourish skin. Oatmeal shampoo is a popular choice for washing your dog. Avoid harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES, and mineral oils which could all potentially irritate your dog.

With all of the choices out there, choosing a shampoo can be overwhelming, but it's best to look for products with less ingredients. Less is more for dogs.

Sleepy Cotton’s Natural Choice for All Dogs

Sleepy Cotton prioritizes healthy ingredients and benefits for your dog giving you shampoo you can trust. All our products are made in the USA with 100% USA made ingredients without any harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, dyes, synthetic fragrances, SLS or SLES.

Everything is all natural with us! We focus on the importance of Earth-friendly sustainability while keeping all dogs best health at heart including only high quality natural ingredients. Our formulas are pH balanced for dogs, protecting all kinds of breeds with their coat type and skin conditions.

Closing Thoughts on How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog

The answer to “how often should you bathe your dog” does vary depending on many factors. Always take into consideration their age, lifestyle habits, coat texture and length, and their breed. With this knowledge and the correct products, you and your furry companion will both be relieved to have an easy-going experience!

Whether they’re a combination of different characteristics, it’s always a good rule of thumb to bathe them on a regular routine of around once a month or when they start to smell after a while. It will prevent a build up of dirt and grease that will clog their pores leading to skin infections and irritations.

Related Articles

Choosing a shampoo for your dog can be hard. Can you use human shampoo on dogs? Learn about how it can affect their overall health. Your dog will thank you!

Is coconut oil good for dogs? Learn healthy ways of giving coconut oil to your dog as a daily yummy treat and as a soothing skin remedy!

Curious to know is oatmeal good for dogs? Oats are a popular ingredient for dog products, learn how they truly benefit from it through food and grooming!

What is SLS? This chemical ingredient helps clean well, but is it too harsh for us? Humans and dogs can both become easily affected by this skin irritant.


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