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Is bathing your dog weekly safe?

Weekly bathing can be unhealthy for your dog's skin and coat.
Weekly bathing can be unhealthy for your dog's skin and coat.
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Some dogs are stinkier than others. Whether it's the condition of their skin or the grooming they receive, you may notice that your dog needs bathing at least once per week. The only problem is that bathing your dog too frequently may dry the skin and cause excessive shedding. The key is learning how to take care of the odor and bath your dog without causing damage. You'll be happier with your dog's odor and he'll be happier that you're not having to bath him as often.

Why frequent bathing can be bad

When a dog is washed too frequently, it can strip the essential oils from the dog's coat and cause the skin and fur to dry out. This results in excessive shedding, itching, and a miserable dog and owner. The good news is you can take precautions to prevent the effects of frequent bathing and the need for frequent baths.

How to reduce the negative effects of frequent bathing

First things first. Brush your dog daily to remove dead hair. This will make it easier to get your dog clean when you do give him a bath. Second, make sure the water isn't too hot or too cold. Dogs find temperatures that feel like room temperature to us to be the perfect temperature. Next, make absolutely sure you're using the best shampoo. Never use human shampoo because the pH is not right for the dog's skin. You can also use soap alternatives to bath your dog. For example, instead of shampoo, use ground oats that have been placed in a stocking and held under the running water as the tub fills up. This is better for the skin because it doesn't dry out the skin or strip away the oils as badly.

How to prevent odors

Proper grooming can greatly reduce the amount of odor that comes from your dog. Brushing your dog daily for five minutes each day can remove dead hair, which will reduce odors. You can also reduce odors by feeding your dog a high-quality, balanced diet that is high in omega fatty acids, which are good for the skin and coat.

Alternatives to bathing

Bathing isn't the only ways to eliminate odors. You can sprinkle baking soda on your dog's fur and brush it through to remove odors. You can also use doggie wipes in between baths to reduce odors. Another option is to use doggie perfumes or colognes to improve the smell of your dog.