Is there a risk of bathing a dog too often?
While all dogs need to be bathed occasionally, there is a risk to bathing certain types of dogs too often. This is because some dogs will develop dry, itchy or irritated skin when bathed too often. All dogs have natural oils in their fur, just like humans, that keeps their coat looking shiny and healthy. Brushing your dog often is a good way to spread out these oils and remove any excess hair. Bathing, on the other hand, can actually strip the fur of these essential oils if done too often. Without these oils, the skin can become irritated and dry.
When you bathe your dog, make sure that you are using a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. Human shampoo can cause skin to become irritated even more quickly, so avoid using human shampoo or any other type or harsh shampoo or soap. Dogs who are prone to dry skin should be bathed using either a medicated shampoo, or an oatmeal based shampoo. These types of shampoo will soothe skin without drying it out more.
In general, longer haired dogs will need to be bathed more often than shorter haired dogs. Some dogs will need to be bathed about once a month, while others can easily go four to six months without a bath. The frequency of baths might also depend on the environment and lifestyle your dog has. A dog who often plays in mud and wooded areas may need more frequent baths than a suburban dog who spends most of his time indoors.