Your dog or cat has natural ways of keeping clean without a bath, but this will vary in effectiveness from animal to animal. Cats use the sandpaper texture on their tongues to clear away dirt, and dogs will roll in sand or soil to stimulate the removal of excess hair and debris. Many homeowners, understandably, will want to limit their dogs’ access to rolling on the ground, and for this reason, you may want to bathe them from time to time. It is up to your discretion as to how often you wish to bathe your pet, and if you choose not to do so at all, this will usually not be a problem.
It Depends on the Breed
Some dogs can be bathed more frequently than others. Poodles, for example, can be washed as often as once a week, and unlike other dogs, their coats might even need to be dried using a blow dryer, as allowing their fur to air dry will result in matting. Some dogs may develop an odor after a short period of time, whereas others can go months without needing a bath.
The length of your pet’s hair will determine the steps you need to take to keep him or her clean, and dogs with harsh coats will naturally repel more dirt than those with softer fur. Oilier breeds will need to be washed more often, and owners with white or cream-colored dogs or cats may wish to bathe them more often keep their coats looking clean.
Get Your Cat Into the Habit
It is well known that cats will often resist bathing, and if you wish to bathe your pet regularly, it will be good to start when your cat is young. He or she may eventually enjoy getting a bath, and it is best if you do not allow long intervals to pass between your cat’s last bath and her next one so that she remains accustomed to the routine.
Your Pet’s Activities Will Play A Role
Your dog or cat’s favorite activities can ensure that he or she is bathed with more frequency, especially if they do not live exclusively inside. Dogs and cats will naturally pick up more odors when living mostly outdoors, and cats who are overweight will need more baths, as they cannot effectively clean their fur on their own.
Some cats will not groom themselves, and this will cause their fur to become greasy, and animals with fleas or ticks will also require more help in the cleanliness department. Pets that sleep on your bed should be kept clean for health reasons, and if your dog goes hiking with you, plays at the park often, or if your dog helps you hunt, they will certainly accumulate more grime. In addition, dogs with allergies can benefit from regular baths to prevent itching, as they absorb allergens through their skin.
Our Doctors can help answer any other questions you may have about your pet’s health or bathing habits, and we look forward to doing business with you. Contact our office or visit our Animal House Veterinary Center location to make an appointment today!