How often a dog needs a bath depends on the breed, environment, coat and existing skin issues. A veterinarian or breed-specific resource can guide you in determining your dog’s needs.

Breed Significance

  • A veterinarian or breed-specific resource can identify the needs of your dog. Some breeds benefit from frequent washing, while others can develop skin problems from too many baths.


  • Outdoor dogs are exposed to more dirt and undesirable things that cling to their body. Thus, outdoor dogs thus may need a bath more often than indoor dogs. Any dog that has rolled around in the nearest mud puddle, trash pile or decaying roadkill needs a bath immediately.

Type of Coat

  • A short-haired dog may require fewer baths than a dog with long hair that traps dirt and debris. Regardless of coat, a dog needs to be brushed daily to loosen the buildup of dirt and to promote a healthy coat.

Skin Issues

  • If your dog has dry or flaky skin after a bath, decrease the frequency of the bath and try cooler water. Also be sure to select the right shampoo for your dog. If you notice any other skin issues be sure to consult your veterinarian.

General Rule of Thumb

  • Most dogs can benefit from a weekly or bi-weekly bath. Take into consideration the breed, environment, coat and skin issue your dog has and adjust this general time frame. When in doubt, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

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