How Often Should You Give Your Pet a Bath?

By September 26, 2022 October 10th, 2022 News

Bathing frequency depends on breed and lifestyle

Read Time: 4 minutes

Just like humans, your pets do occasionally need a bath. How often depends on a number of factors, including the type of pet and what their lifestyle is like.

Do You Need to Bathe a Cat?

a cat licking its own paw

Usually, you don’t need to bathe a pet cat. They keep themselves clean by licking themselves. However, there are some circumstances in which you will need to give your cat a bath, no matter how much they may hate it. You likely won’t need to bathe your cat on a regular schedule, but instead on a situational basis.

Certain Cat Breeds Need Regular Baths

If you have a cat with long hair or with no hair, you may need to give them a bath. A long-haired cat should be bathed every 8 weeks while a hairless cat should be given weekly baths.

Situation #1

Your Cat Gets Really Dirty

a cat rolling in the mud outside near some bushes

Especially if your cat spends some time outdoors, there’s a chance that they’ll get into something and end up covered in something, whether it’s mud, garbage, or something else. If your cat is too dirty, they won’t be able to clean it all up themselves and you’ll need to step in.

Situation #2

Your Cat Is Stinky

Even if your cat isn’t visibly covered in something dirty, they may still need a bath. If your cat is stinky, then you’ll want to bathe them to get rid of the stench. Depending on what the stink is from, pet shampoo may not be enough. For example, if your cat has been sprayed by a skunk.

Situation #3

Your Cat Has Bugs in Their Fur

a woman searching a cat’s fur for bugs

If your cat gets bugs such as ticks, fleas, or other insects in their fur, that isn’t just gross, it’s also a major health hazard. If you notice bugs crawling in your cat’s fur, give them a bath to clean them away but also make sure to keep an eye on their health. You might even want to call your vet because certain bugs can spread disease to your cat.

Situation #4

Your Cat Is Old

If your cat is getting up there in years, they may no longer be able to care for themselves as well as they used to when they were younger. This means that you may need to step in and bathe them in order to help keep them clean.

How Often Do You Need to Bathe a Dog?

a dog covered in soapsuds sitting in a bathtub

Unlike cats, dogs do need to be given regular baths. How often you need to bathe your dog depends on several different factors, including lifestyle and coat type.

Factor #1

Your Dog’s Lifestyle

Your Dog’s Lifestyle

Dogs that spend a lot of time playing or working outside may get dirtier than those that tend to stay inside. A dog that’s very active will need more frequent baths than a dog that spends its time relaxing on the sofa.

How Often to Bathe a Dog Based on Activity Level

The most active dogs will likely need a bath every one to two weeks. By contrast, sedentary dogs may only need a bath every few months.

Factor #2

Your Dog’s Coat

Typically, the longer your dog’s fur, the more frequently they will need to be bathed. Some dog breeds have coats that repel dirt while others’ coats seem to attract it. Texture as well as length plays a role. Certain breeds have coats that get much oilier than others; these dogs need to be bathed as frequently as once a week.

How Often to Bathe a Dog Based on Coat

A dog with medium to long hair will probably need to be bathed every four to six weeks while a dog with shorter fur may need a bath only every one to three months.

Factor #3

The Condition of Your Dog’s Skin

If your dog has a skin condition or infection, then you may need to bathe them more frequently, according to the directions on the prescription shampoo from your vet. Typically this could range from several times a week to once every three weeks, depending on the condition and the shampoo.

Can You Bathe a Pet Too Much?

It is possible to bathe a pet too much because it can strip away oils that are part of a healthy coat. You could also irritate your pet’s skin by bathing them too frequently. Pay attention to both their skin and coat for signs that you need to bathe them less often.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Pet?

Because of the different combinations of factors that work together to determine how often a pet needs a bath, that frequency is relatively individual to each pet. Pet owners should pay attention to their pets and learn through experience and from veterinary advice how often is best for their pet’s specific needs.

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Author drphillipsah

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