6 Benefits to Bathing Your Dog

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When we talk about baths in our house, it’s usually not “for humans,” per se. The dogs get their basic grooming done once or twice a week when my husband takes them out back for a quick romp around the yard.


But I’ve seen plenty of people who insist on bathing their pets daily — including some pet owners who also bathe themselves every day. If you fall into this category, I can understand how difficult it must be to give your pet only a weekly bath.


6 Benefits to Bathing Your Dog


If you want to do right by your furry friend, here are six reasons why you should consider giving your pooch a regular bath.


1.    They Can Be Cleaned up Quickly


If you don’t have much time to devote to baths, you might find yourself rushing through one because you just know you need to get everyone ready for dinner. That’s where most pet-washing techniques fail us: We end up spending more time cleaning up after our pups than we do actually playing with them.


A good way to avoid this problem is to use a bath bucket instead of traditional tubs. A standard plastic laundry basket makes a great container for water, shampoo/conditioner, and any other items you’d normally place in a sink.


This gives your pooch room to move around while you clean them without getting drenched and making a mess. And since they’re outside, all those nasty smells will linger even longer as you rinse off their fur.

Another option is to buy a collapsible toilet seat. These seats can fold down so you can easily sit inside a small area like a bathroom stall and keep an eye on your pup during the wash. No more fighting over which direction to turn the faucet!


2.    You Get to See All Their Tangles and Beads of Sweat


Most of us take a shower before bed every night, so we tend to forget what it was like to really see tangled hair and wet spots under all the makeup and grime we wear each day. For many animals, though, brushing isn’t enough to remove loose hairs, dirt, and debris from their coats. So, unlike us, their skin ends up covered in tiny insects, mud, and general gunk that gets everywhere. In fact, these critters make up a large part of their diet.


This means that your dog probably needs a full bath at least once a month. While a daily bath is nice, it’s important to remember that it’s hard work and it doesn’t always provide enough time to check out all their little tangle balls. The solution? Give your dog a monthly bath, and spend extra time combing his coat afterward.


Not only does this help prevent mats, but it’ll also let you see exactly what kind of care he needs. Do you notice any fleas or ticks? Does he seem stressed? Is he missing patches of fur? Or maybe he has some matted areas, especially around his hindquarters. Any of these things could signal an underlying health issue that requires medical attention.


Also, many vets recommend checking your pet’s ears and mouth for signs of parasites regularly. While you shouldn’t go overboard with this, knowing whether your dog is carrying bugs or worms is key, since treating these pests isn’t something you can leave up to your vet.


3.    Bath Time Is Like a Day at Camp


Sure, your dog might look cute lounging around the house in his favorite blanket, but he spends most days hunting for food, running free outside or chasing a ball. He puts a lot of strain on his paws, too. Dogs’ feet aren’t made to walk long distances on concrete, asphalt, or grass. Instead, they evolved to run freely in soft soil, sand, or snow. Over time, their paw pads become hardened and cracked due to constant exposure to the pavement.


It’s no wonder that dogs often suffer from painful corns, calluses, and dry nails. Giving them a chance to soak in the bathtub offers relief from all this pain. Just like kids going away to camp, dogs feel better after a refreshing dip. Plus, it lets them stretch out their legs, which helps reduce stress levels.


4.    It Keeps Them Healthy


Dogs depend on bacteria and fungi to break down foods, but they can’t digest everything. Even if they eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, they won’t absorb nutrients as well as carnivores can. As a result, their digestive system becomes overwhelmed with waste products, which causes bloating and gas.


That’s where soap comes in. When added to the water, soap provides a protective barrier between poop and stomach acid. Some experts say using mild soap works best. However, antibacterial cleansers designed specifically for dogs are becoming increasingly popular. These types of soap kill harmful germs and protect against disease.


Giving your dog a bath is also beneficial for their overall wellness and quality of life. By keeping them clean, you’ll cut down on the number of bacteria and viruses they carry around in their mouths, preventing infections such as giardia and ringworm. Regular baths also help to eliminate bad breath caused by ammonia build-up. Finally, it reduces the risk of bacterial and fungal buildup on their coats.


  1. They look neat (and smell good)


Let’s face it, no matter how often you bathe your dog, you’re never going to achieve that glossy sheen you see on showroom floors. Unfortunately, our pets’ natural oils cause their fur to the mat and dull its shine. But with a little TLC, you can keep your pooch looking shiny and new.


First, brush your dog’s fur thoroughly to loosen any knots or tangles. Then apply shampoo to his head first, focusing on his nose and ears. Next, add conditioner to his body, working towards the tail base. Don’t forget to massage his tummy and chest region, since these parts hold moisture for the rest of his coat. Once you’re finished, rinse off his entire body, paying special attention to his rear quarters.


Finally, blot excess water with paper towels until it stops dripping. Afterward, wrap your dog in a towel to further relax him. Now that you’ve given Fido a haircut, let’s talk style.


6.    Baths are Fun!


No matter how old your dog is, having a bath together is a classic bonding experience. And it’s easy to see why. Most dogs love nothing more than being splashed and scrubbed by their mommies and papas. Plus, it’s a great excuse to snuggle and talk.


For the next few weeks, schedule bathtime around your weekend plans. Maybe you’ll plan a picnic in the backyard, toss a Frisbee around or visit the park. Whatever activities you choose, make sure they include both you and your pet.


Bath time is a great opportunity to teach your dog new tricks, too. There are all sorts of ways to train your dog to behave in the bathtub. One technique involves rewarding your puppy whenever he behaves correctly, which encourages him to repeat the behavior.


Another way is to slowly introduce the concept of bathing by putting him in the tub once or twice a week when he’s still young. Eventually, you can increase the frequency of baths to once or twice a month.


Final Word

Whatever route you take, it’s important to start early and establish consistent rules. Otherwise, you may find yourself trying to enforce commands in the midst of an unpredictable, messy situation.


So, now that you’ve convinced me, how soon do you need to schedule a bath appointment? Well, based on breed, size, age and activity level, some experts suggest you need to bathe your dogs somewhere between three and five times a year.