Pets

How often does a dog need a bath? It depends

 

khulyp@bellsouth.net

Q: Our veterinarian says we should bathe our Basenji once every week or two, but I’ve read online that some dogs can go for months without a bath. Can you settle this question?

A: Based on the eau de wet chien that perfumes my exam rooms on Saturday mornings, it’s plain that people believe bathing their dogs is a desirable thing to do. While I generally agree, here are factors to consider:

• Breed and hair coat: Healthy dogs with thin, oilier coats may require baths as often as once or twice a week, while dogs with thick, arctic-breed coats and access to AC may only require baths once every few months.

• The smell factor: If your dog smells funky after a week, a bath might be indicated.

• Skin disease: Allergies, seborrhea (dry yet sometimes oily flakiness) and parasites (mange or fleas, for example) are all potential reasons to increase your bathing frequency – up to once daily for some conditions. (Medicated, dog-specific shampoo is typically indicated for high-frequency bathing.)

• Lifestyle: If puppy-park visits, bathroom habits or dirt-bath antics are an issue, ask your veterinarian to recommend a shampoo that works well for frequent bathing of filth-prone dogs.

• Allergies: If anyone in your household is allergic to your dog, you’ll want to bathe her more often. Weekly is the common recommendation.

Non-detergent shampoos are best for the sensitive skin of geriatric dogs and pups. However, for most pets, a simple, soap-based, pet-only shampoo is just fine. As always, ask your veterinarian what’s best for your pet.

Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice in South Miami. Her website is drpattykhuly.com. Send questions to khulyp@bellsouth.net.

Read more Pets stories from the Miami Herald

  • Pets in Paradise: Five-star kennels for Fido take off

    Vacation means warm beaches, breezy campgrounds, posh spas - a break from daily stress and a great way to unwind and leave our cares behind.

  • Animal Island: Help me introduce new cat to my pets

    Q: I have three cats and a dog, all neutered males. I recently brought home a very friendly female feral cat (spayed, shots, etc.). She is about 6 or 7 years old. Two of my cats were feral rescues at 5 weeks old who are now 2. The other cat recently moved in about 8 months ago because some neighbors left him. He is about 6 or 7 years old. He still goes outside on occasion, because that's what he is used to. My black Lab is approaching 15.

  • Talking dog: 'Problem' pooch may stem from owner's misbehavior

    Last month I had a particularly challenging client to work with, and as usual, I'm not describing the dog. More often than not, what we trainers are called out to work on is a "problem dog," a stubborn dog, a dog that just "won't listen." Usually 90 percent of the issue is the miscommunication between dog and owner and the inappropriate actions the owner has taken that create the problem.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category