Bathing Your Dog

ging your lab a bath

There’s no simple answer to the question “How often should I bath my dog?”
A dirty or smelly dog needs a bath, although a little dirt can often be brushed out when dry. Many dogs need more baths in summer, others need a regular monthly bath, but few need a bath more often than this.

Some dogs, particularly Scottish Terriers, tend to get dirty skins through a build-up of dandruff. They may need a bath every two to four weeks. If this becomes a problem, consult your vet. Always groom your dog before bathing it, or you could make matting much worse.

Never use household detergent or carbolic soap; many dogs’ skins react badly to these. You can use a mild “human” soap, but a special dog shampoo or baby shampoo is best. The water should be comfortably warm. You can use your own bath for your dog as long as you wash it down well afterward.

A baby bath is ideal for a small dog – you can place it at an easy working height indoors or out. For large dogs, you could use a child’s paddling pool but watch that the dog’s nails don’t puncture it. A rubber car mat can prevent this; used in the bath it also helps stop the dog slipping. If your dog does slip, it may panic and soak the room!