How often should I bath my dog?
Make sure that your puppy gets used to having a bath when he is young so that bath time is not a hassle. Practise being in the bath and playing in the bath tub using rewards a few times before your puppy actually has a bath.
Make bath time a fun time for your puppy by talking to him and rewarding him for good behaviour. Tell him stories and let him how clever he is and before you and he know it, bath time will be over!
There are a quite a few advantages of bathing - your dog will be more pleasant to have around, it cleans the skin, removes dirt and debris from the coat and removes dead hair and skin.
A bath once a month is good. More frequently is not recommended because it reduces the protective oil in your dog's coat. This makes his coat dull and brittle and his skin dry and itchy and at risk of disease. The oil in the coat helps to repel dirt, so bathing too often actually causes him to get dirtier faster.
Use only a shampoo designed for dogs or a ph neutral shampoo such as a baby shampoo. Human shampoos are not designed for a dog's sensitive skin. A conditioner (for dogs) will help relieve tangles and make brushing easier.
Usually dogs are more comfortable if the bath is not filled with water. Leave the bath plug out and let the water drain away as you wash. A hand held shower spray is very useful.
While in the bath keep water and shampoo out of his ears and eyes and rinse his coat thoroughly. Shampoo left in the coat will irritate the skin.
Make sure that the water is a comfortable temperature. It should be warm and not too hot or too cold. Otherwise it will be a very unpleasant experience that he won't want to repeat!
Dry him thoroughly so he doesn't get cold. Be especially diligent around and under the tail. Golden Retrievers can get a condition known as 'wet tail' if the tail is left damp. The tail becomes limp and painful to touch or move and requires a day or more to recover. Never let a dog go to bed while he is still damp.
© Fernamber Golden Retrievers 2002-2004