How Often Should You Wash Your Dog?

Read time: 3 mins

05 Nov 2020

By Team Butternut Box


Now, we love our pooches. But from time to time they prove themselves to be the original mucky pups. When our four-legged family members get dirt all over themselves, us and (grrrr) the furniture, it’s definitely time for a bath. But with puddles, splashes and muddy splodges coming with the territory, how often do dogs really need a bath? It’s impawtant to remember that most dogs won't need to be bathed all that often. It's a good idea for pet parents to think about how much time their dog spends outdoors, if they have any skin problems and if there might be other health reasons for their distinctive pong. A good brush can be as effective as a full dunk for eliminating dust and scurf. This handy guide will help you work out how frequently to bathe your dog – whether they're a water baby or less willing participant. And you'll find advice for washing furry friends with sensitive skin or allergies. Hold your noses, Butternutters, it's time to dive in.

The nose knows

How often you choose – or need – to give your dog a full shampoo and set depends on lots of things, including fur thickness, coat length and inability to resist rolling in fox poo. And just as we do when we're planning your Butternut Box meals, you need to consider breed, size and lifestyle too. It's logical that a fluffy Rough Collie will need more washing and grooming than a sleek French Bulldog. As a general rule of thumb, if your pooch doesn’t smell or look obviously dirty, don’t bother them with water. Even if they’ve traipsed in from their walk up to their armpits in mud, a gentle wash down with a low-running hose or watering-can will most likely do the job. If they're eating well and in fine fettle, it's generally best to let the natural oils in your dog's skin take care of themselves. Over-washing can be as upsetting for your pooch's complexion as under-washing. But when a thorough scrub really is necessary, be sure to use a gentle dog shampoo. Even human pH balanced and baby shampoos can be too strong for a furry friend’s sensitive skin. Using these can damage and irritate your pup's follicles and might lead to further issues. Hownd produces a specially formulated range of cruelty free, ethical products including moisturising shampoos and a dry-foam wash that doesn't need water.

Itchy & scratchy

In addition to wanting your pooch to look presentable, bathing them is an important component of their grooming and hygiene regime. But in reality, you may only need to give them a bath a few times a year. How lucky dogs are – they don’t even wash and they're still adorable. But if your four-legged family member suffers an allergy that causes itching, dry skin and inflammation, or if they have a fungal or bacterial infection like ringworm, their schedule may be different. The same can be said if your pooch catches fleas. Either way, your vet might suggest that more frequent baths with a special shampoo are needed as part of their prescribed treatment. This will soothe the symptoms and discourage scratching.

Our ruff guide

So if your dog is fit as a fiddle, listen to your nose (is that physically possible?). Or take heed of your vet's advice on setting a schedule where there are health conditions involved. Remember, too, if your dog does have an allergy, it’s important to acknowledge that their food could the cause. With food allergies, your vet may advise a diet trial to know for sure. If it’s confirmed and you’ve discovered (through a process of elimination), which foodstuff is bad news, your dog can go on and live a happy life, with much less time spent in the bath. Butternut Box meals are a pawfect option if your four-legged family member has an allergy, as they’re made to suit each pooch. Our Gobble Gobble Turkey is a particular favourite with sensitive pups – why not give it a try?