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    How Often Dog Bath?

    We humans have long been taught that cleanliness is next to godliness. We shower frequently, scrub our skin with antibacterial soap, shave or pluck hair from sensitive areas like eyebrows and armpits, then apply lotion (or deodorant) to ensure we look and smell as fresh-faced, well-groomed, and odor-free as possible.

    Even people who live in apartments or small homes usually keep their bathrooms reasonably neat and tidy, keeping dirty clothes out of sight and away from prying eyes. And while this may seem natural human behavior, it’s not always so easy for pets.

    Dogs can’t read our minds to know when we want them to take off all their clothes and jump into the tub. Like us, they don’t necessarily understand why we bathe them at all. Some may even think that water isn’t necessary to cleanse them. So before you start planning a dog spa day, ask yourself these questions: How often do dogs need baths? What does my dog prefer? Do I need to brush his coat? Is he allergic to anything?

    The Importance of a Regular Dog Bath

    Although some pet experts say you shouldn’t bathe your dog unless there’s an obvious health problem, such as fleas or ticks, others suggest regular baths help keep skin healthy and reduce the chance of allergies. It also helps maintain overall hygiene by removing loose hairs and dirt from underpinnings, which is especially important if your pooch has short fur.

    If you’re going to bathe him more than once every few weeks, consider using a mild shampoo rather than one that contains fragrances or strong chemicals. While you should still rinse thoroughly afterward, a little less residue means less time spent drying and cleaning up messes.

    A daily bath isn’t required but is recommended because it reduces stress caused by repeated grooming sessions. If your pet gets anxious about being washed down the drain, try applying calming ointments or sprays after each bath. They contain ingredients that won’t irritate your dog’s skin, including aloe vera oil, chamomile tea extract, and lavender essential oils. On the next page, learn about whether your dog needs a daily bath or only a weekly one.

    Do Dogs Need Bathing Daily?

    Some pet owners choose to give their dogs a bath once a week, while others go with twice a month. The frequency depends largely on breed and lifestyle factors. Cats, for example, rarely require baths since they groom themselves regularly enough. Smaller animals that spend much of their time outdoors, however, probably need more frequent care.

    If you decide to schedule more frequent baths, you should use a mild cleanser. Most importantly, make sure the soap doesn’t contain harsh detergents. When you pick up your dog’s favorite treat from the grocery store, check its label for any words associated with animal testing. These include dyes, lanolin, petroleum jelly, coal tar, benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, and phthalates.

    Your vet can advise you on the best frequency to bathe your dog based on its specific health conditions. Just remember that it’s better to err on the side of caution and bathe your pet too often than too infrequently. Also note that if you notice signs of infection or illness, call your veterinarian immediately.

    What Kind of Bath Should Your Dog Get?

    There are several types of baths available, ranging from standard tub baths to ones specifically designed for certain breeds. Tub baths are generally used for larger dogs. Many come complete with removable rubber mats that allow you to easily wash them without having to touch wet surfaces. A good rule of thumb is to fill the tub no deeper than 2 inches (5 centimeters). This prevents your pet from becoming trapped underwater or drowning. Make sure the water drains freely and that you have a way to quickly empty the tub.

    Another type of bath is called a “wet sponge” bath. Instead of filling a large container with warm water and adding soap, you place a moistened cloth inside a plastic bag filled with water. After squeezing the excess air out, you wrap the bag around your dog’s midsection.

    Once you’ve lifted him out of the water, you remove the bag and dry him off completely. Although these baths tend to be gentler on your pet, make sure to watch closely during the process to avoid accidents.

    Finally, you might see a bathtub referred to as a “shower,” although that term refers to the same basic concept as a wet sponge bath. Showers are similar to wet sponge baths except that they typically have a sliding door instead of a flexible bag.
    If you own multiple dogs, chances are you’ll have to bathe them all at least occasionally. On the next page, we’ll discuss how to choose a bath product that works best for your furry friends.

    You might wonder whether your dog enjoys getting his coat brushed or combed. The answer depends on your dog’s personality. Some enjoy having their coats brushed or combed while others squirm away from the feeling. To determine whether brushing or combing your pet makes him happier, ask him. If he seems uncomfortable, just skip it.

    Choose the Right Bath Product for Your Pet

    Choosing a bath product for your pet requires knowing what your pet likes and dislikes, and then choosing something appropriate. Consider what kind of path you’d like to provide, along with your budget. For example, if you buy organic products, you might opt for a hypoallergenic shampoo meant for cats. If money is tight, you could purchase generic pet shampoos at your local dollar store.
    When selecting a product, look for one that includes a moisturizer. Moisturizers restore moisture to your pet’s skin and prevent it from losing needed hydration.

    Choose a product that’s non-irritating, non-toxic, and free of alcohol, glycols, parabens, propylene glycol, and synthetic fragrances. Look for products that aren’t tested on animals, and avoid those containing dyes, pesticides or fungicides. Be aware that some companies market products claiming they’re gentle, yet they actually contain harmful toxins. Ask your vet about your options before buying.

    In addition to making sure your pet is comfortable, you’ll want to select a bath product that effectively removes dirt, grime, and bacteria. Products that contain bleach or other disinfectants are ideal for fighting germs. However, these chemical treatments can burn or dry your pet’s skin. Always test new products on a hidden patch of fur first. If you notice irritation, discontinue use and consult your vet.

    As far as temperature goes, most veterinarians agree that temperatures between 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) and 120 degrees F (49 Celsius) are safe for your pet. Never heat water hotter than 122 degrees F (50 C)! And finally, if you’re concerned about soap scum buildups, consider investing in a soap spray attachment for your sink. Using a pump, you can control how much soap enters the bowl per stroke.

    To recap, here are the top tips for giving your dog a great bath:
    Always supervise your pet throughout the entire bathing process to prevent accidents.

    Use a mild soap that’s free of toxic chemicals.
    Keep the water shallow to avoid entrapment.
    Apply calming ointments or sprays after the bath to ease anxiety.
    Don’t overdo it; a five-minute bath is a plenty.
    Rinse thoroughly with cool water.

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