How often do Terriers need baths? Let’s Explore

How often should you bathe your dog?

The answer varies, depending on breed, lifestyle and coat. Even veterinarians and experts disagree on how often you should bathe your pup but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends a baseline of once every three months.

The most tried and true answer to this question is personal to your dog and their needs. Do they spend their days frolicking in the grass and playing in the mud? Are they prone to run-ins with skunks? Or are they lap dogs who would rather cozy up inside?

It’s also contingent on their hair length. According to BeChewy, medium and long coat dogs should bathe every four to six weeks, and owners of dogs with short coats should bathe their pets somewhere between every month and every three months.

Dog owners should be warned not to wash their pup’s coats too much, though. The American Kennel Club advises against over-bathing dogs with thick coats — think Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers or Siberian Huskies — because it can strip oil from the skin that aids with naturally insulating dogs.

Knowing when and how often to bathe your dog can be a learning curve, but another good indicator to use is to bathe them when they get dirty. Accidents happen. Dogs roll in things they shouldn’t, and fur gets filthy. Use your sense of smell and touch as a timer for doggy bath time.

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Why Regular Baths Are Important for Your Dog’s Health

Let’s start with the basics. If your dog looks or smells like they need a bath, it’s probably time to give them a bath. Just like with a person, hygiene is important for your dog, says Dr. Katie Billmaier, DVM, a shelter veterinarian at Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch in Jupiter, Florida.

Not only do regular baths get rid of dirt that’s collected in a dog’s coat and make them smell great, but they also keep their skin healthy, too.

“Bathing your dog is more about maintaining a strong defensive shield around their dog than merely enhancing beauty,” says Dr. Ward. “After all, the skin is your pup’s largest organ and needs to be kept clean and healthy in order to provide a protective barrier to the environment.”

So if baths are that important for your dog’s health, how often should you be doing it?

Some Like It Hot: Water Temp Matters

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“Can I bathe my dog in cold water?” is a common question we hear.

Lukewarm-to-slightly warm water is ideal. Never use scalding hot water as it can burn your dog’s skin. Think of what would be good for a newborn baby or a small child. Not too hot, not too cold.

How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?

Giving your dog a bath and going to the groomers aren’t just for special occasions. Instead, they should be routine parts of your pet’s care for both their skin and coat health and to help keep them comfortable.

That being said, do you know how often you should bathe your short-haired dog or how you’ll know when your long-haired pup is ready for their first groom? Do you just wait until they are visibly dirty or shaggy? The answers depend on a few factors, including your dogs breed, lifestyle and coat health. Check out the guidelines below to determine the ideal schedule for your pup.