Has your dog started to smell? That’s usually a pretty good sign that they’re overdue for a wash. It doesn’t have to go that far, so here’s how you can work out a bathing roster going ahead. How often you should wash your dog may surprise you!

Bathroom to a dog chow chow

Things to consider that affect how often you should wash your dog:

Whether you’re washing them at home or at one of our Petbarn DIY Dog Wash units, most healthy dogs will benefit from having a bath on a fortnightly basis. Obviously there’s room to move here, as all dogs differ in age, activity and fur types. Dogs should be washed often, but not too much or using the wrong products. Here are a few factors to take into consideration.

How fur type affects how often you should wash your dog

Dogs with oily coats, such as Basset Hounds, should be washed every week. On the other hand, breeds with water repellent coats such as Golden Retrievers require less washing. The same goes for dogs with thick coats – like Malamutes – who benefit more from being frequently groomed instead. A general rule of thumb is to wash your dog when you notice an obvious change in their coat’s condition, such as an obvious smell.

Are they an indoor dog or outdoor dog?

If your dog loves to run headfirst into creeks, splash across mud puddles and roll around in the dirt, then you will most likely need to wash them more often than an apartment-bound Maltese, for example. That said, you do share living quarters with your Maltese – so once again, it comes back to your tolerance.

For outdoor dogs you should err more on the side of caution. You should wash your outdoor dogs whenever the need arises, as this also gives you the opportunity to check for any ticks, fleas or other afflictions that are more likely with dogs that spend time in the outdoors.

Does your dog have skin allergies?

If your dog suffers from skin allergies, make sure you speak to your local Greencross Vets on how you can exercise better pet care come bath time. They may recommend a different washing schedule for your dog, or recommend a specific shampoo, one that may be a soothing shampoo or perhaps a medicated shampoo treatment.

If your dog has sensitive or itchy skin, it’s important to consult your Greencross Vet first because washing your dog with the wrong shampoo can cause more irritation to the skin.

You should not use household cleaning products such as body wash or human shampoo on your dog. This may seem obvious, but these products are not suited to the condition of a dog’s fur and skin, so should be avoided. A dog shampoo should always be your go-to!

When should you wash your puppy?

Knowing when to wash your puppy is something that you will have to learn as a new dog owner. You can introduce your puppy to baths from when you first bring them home when they’re around 9 weeks old. Early bathing is useful so they can become used to this process from a young age.

Using warm water, a non-soap based shampoo and towel drying them afterwards is recommended, as is positive reinforcement of good behaviour during bath time. Petbarn has a wide range of puppy shampoos and conditioners as well as dog towels for you to choose from.

As a general guide, try not to bath puppies more than once a month, as bathing removes natural oils that are produced in their coats. Grooming with a brush and comb in between monthly sessions will help keep your puppy’s coat clean, without causing any potential harm.

A few quick tips for bathing your dog:

Bathing your dog doesn’t have to be a hard process. Follow our dog washing tips to have a stress-free time washing your dog:

  • Use grooming products, such as or dog bath wipes and brushes, to help keep your dog clean and tidy in between washes
  • Use dog treats to reward good bath time behaviour
  • Petbarn has over 120 DIY dog wash units across Australia for when your little pup outgrows the laundry sink
  • If wrestling your large dog into a small tub requires too much effort, Petbarn also provides wash and groom services at our Petbarn Grooming salons located in a store near you

Petbarn dog grooming

Petbarn dog grooming