Some people enjoy giving their dog a bath and some others don’t. Probably because the dog doesn’t and it ends up being a splashy mess with both of you wet and stressed. However, as we’ve covered quite a bit on this blog – dogs do need to be washed regularly to keep their hair and skin in tip top condition.
Once washed, your dog smells divine and their fur is lovely, fluffy and soft to the point where it can become an addiction to washing them, especially if it’s seen that they love it. But can dogs be washed too much? The short answer is yes they can and the long answer to why is below.
What are the risks of over washing a dog?
During the COVID-19 pandemic did you wash your hands a lot? And did your hands end up getting dry, cracked and sore? This is the exact thing which could happen to your dogs fur and skin if you wash them too regularly.
Even the softest of dog shampoos have some kind of detergents (unless you go oatmeal) which will dry out a dog’s skin. With frequent washes the dog’s skin will be more than healthy enough to recover quickly and never have any problems.
A dog who is repeatedly scrubbed down will have skin which is constantly in recovery mode and never get a chance to repair before they’re washed again. This will lead to really dry skin and dried out fur which can be really uncomfortable. This could lead to cracks and sore spots which they’ll try to lick and scratch and make it worse.
Skin is at its most healthy when it’s really hydrated.
Loss of natural oils
Every dog which has fur (not all dogs do) have a layer of natural oils which keeps the skin moist and protected from various external threats. They also give them their waterproofing quality. A bath does clean away some of this oil with a wash but it does recover quite quickly. Repeated washes which are too frequent may wipe away more oil than it is able to recover which can reduce the fur’s effectiveness and leave the skin vulnerable to the elements and external factors.
How often should you wash a dog?
Despite dogs being excellent at self cleaning, they still need some intervention from time to time when they start to stink or their fur looks malted and wiry. How often you wash the dog depends on the type of hair, how active they are, whether or not they have sensitive skin and obviously how dirty they are. Some dogs may be overwashing and result in saliva stains, bare that in mind.
With this in mind, dogs should be washed at least once every 3 months and no more than once a week. For owners who need to wash their dog often due to them being very outdoorsy and active they should seek a natural dog shampoo free of any kind of allergens.
If you are worried, you can always wash a dog without shampoo in between.