Nothing is more comforting than nuzzling up to your puppy on the couch at the end of a long or distressing day. However, as your pooch comes closer, you smell something very unpleasant. As you nose around, you realize that it’s the stench of your dog that has not been bathed in weeks or months.
No matter how much you love your pup, nobody wants to cuddle up to a stinky canine. Many pet owners with short-haired dogs assume that their pooch does not need to be bathed regularly. Keep reading to find out how often you should bathe your short-haired dog.
As a new pet owner or someone who has no experience with short-haired dogs, you must be wondering how often should you bathe them. The simplest answer to your question is that a healthy, short-haired dog generally needs to be bathed every two to three months. However, you must consider a bunch of other factors before setting a bath schedule for your dog.
What To Consider When Bathing Short-haired Dogs
Owners of short-haired canines need to understand that their problem does not have a one-size-fits-all solution. Even vets and dog experts have different opinions as to how often a short-haired dog should be bathed.
Many factors determine the frequency with which you should bathe your dog, such as its breed, the dog’s coat type and length, specific lifestyle, and overall health.
Older dogs need to be bathed more frequently than younger ones. This is partly because of their low activity level and ability to self-regulate their body temperature.
While this may sound counterintuitive, older dogs get dirty quickly as their skin stays in one place for a prolonged period, becoming prime to irritants and dirt. Puppies younger than eight weeks don’t need to be bathed at all.
This is because they have small bodies with weaker thermoregulation abilities. Even if they do need cleaning, you can simply wipe their coat with a cloth drenched in warm water.
However, after eight weeks, you can give your young pooch a proper bath. As a matter of fact, puppies older than eight weeks need to be bathed often as they have sensitive coats.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, do not need to be bathed as frequently as old puppies and senior dogs.
Hair Type and Coat Length
Naturally, short-haired dogs with relatively long hair need to be bathed more frequently. However, the bathing frequency of your pooch also boils down to the fur type.
Pooches with smooth and tight coats with suede-like furs, such as the Dachshund, need more frequent bathing than those with dry, coarse coats like the Greyhound
Though all short-haired dogs need less grooming, some breeds are more low-maintenance than others. The bathing frequency may also vary depending on the nature of your pooch.
The Boston Terrier, for example, naturally has extremely high energy levels and loves frolicking outdoors which is why it can quickly get dirty. Similarly, fastidious dogs with good hygiene habits don’t need frequent bathing.
The Basenji, for example, has amazing self-grooming habits and is one of the cleanest short-haired dogs. Lazy breeds, like the Bulldog, may need even less frequent bathing as they don’t get dirty that quickly.
Needless to say, active dogs that spend a great deal of time outdoors are more likely to get dirty and need more frequent bathing. While some breeds are naturally energetic, some just love playing around.
Though some breeds may not be very athletic, they love to get down and dirty when they’re out exploring. Similarly, the Labrador Retriever is very athletic and loves playing in the water.
Therefore, they can get extremely dirty after spending some time outdoors. Apartment dogs like the Italian Greyhound, on the other hand, may not need to be bathed as often.
Breeds predisposed to canine atopic dermatitis, a skin allergy in dogs that leads to inflammation and itching, need to be washed more frequently. However, you must consult a vet as to how you should bathe your dog if it has this condition.
Likewise, adult dogs with urinary tract infections or inflammation of the bladder wall, urinate more frequently and can therefore quickly dirty themselves. Dogs suffering from a UTI get urine with a strong unpleasant odor.
Such dogs also lick their genitals frequently and can spread infections in humans. Therefore, you must wash your dog frequently if it has such a health condition.
Avoid Over Bathing
Every dog owner wants their pooch to be clean and smell nice. Because of this, they can be tempted to give them more frequent baths.
However, as tempting as it may be, you can actually end up stripping away natural oils from your dog’s coat which will not only damage the fur but also make them more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.
Similarly, pet owners with seasonal shedders may also want to bathe their dogs very frequently in order to remove excess hair during the shedding season. However, this may be counterproductive as it can overdry your dog’s skin and cause irritation.
Keeping A Short Haired Dog Clean
Contrary to popular belief, grooming is as important as bathing. While bathing removes dirt and debris from your dog’s coat, grooming will keep its fur healthy and nice-looking. Here’s how you can keep a short-haired dog clean:
Brush and Groom Regularly
Many new dog owners assume that short-haired breeds don’t need to be brushed at all. However, it’s important to brush them regularly to remove dead skin, loose hair, and dandruff from their coats.
You should use a brush with tightly packed stiff bristles that are specially designed for short-haired dogs. Without a regular brushing schedule, your pup may pick up a yeast infection. In addition to brushing, short-haired dogs also need nail clipping, ear care, and fur trimming.
The Right Bathing Products
Bathing dogs is not enough to keep them clean and smell-free. You will also need the right bathing tools and products to properly clean your dog. For example, human shampoo can irritate your dog’s skin, which is why you will need specific products made for your pet.
Simply shampooing your dog will only remove dead fur and dander from its coat and may even leave the coat excessively dry. Therefore, it’s important to use hydrating products specifically formulated for dogs.
Short-haired dogs with a thin undercoat must be bathed with a gentle shampoo containing natural ingredients. After bathing, use a conditioner to intensely moisturize your dog’s coat.
You don’t have to worry about making its coat too greasy, as long as you are using a dog conditioner. These conditioners are packed with mild ingredients, such as aloe, shea butter, and silk proteins, that lock in moisture without overdrying.
Clean Up Regularly Around the House
Waiting for pet hair to accumulate before you start cleaning up the house is a mistake many new pet owners make. To ensure maximum cleanliness in the house, you should mop the floors at least two to three times a week.
Keep a pet hair lint roller or pet hair remover handy so that you can easily and quickly clean hair from your furniture and other surfaces. Letting pet hair and pet dander constantly build up can affect owners with allergies and allow the dirt and hair to spread further throughout your home.
Bathing and grooming are as important for short-haired dogs as for fluffy breeds, and you will need to take into account your dog’s breed, lifestyle, age, and hair type. While short-haired breeds have a light coat, they still shed.
Similarly, they can also easily get dirty like long-haired dogs. A regular bathing and grooming schedule will not only keep your dog neat and tidy but also keep infections and allergies at bay for both you and your pooch.