How often should I wash my dog? How to keep your dog clean in muddy weather- and what shampoos are safe to use

From what shampoos are dog-safe to how often you should give your pet a scrub down, dog food specialist Tails has all the answers.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 11:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:40 pm

The onset of winter brings with it rainy walks, snowy grounds, muddy paws- and, of course, that dreaded wet dog smell.

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Fighting with the weather in this way can make keeping your pet clean quite difficult, however it's vital that owners do so to prevent fleas and matting as well as nasty smells.

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Dog food specialist Tails has compiled a list of all the key questions owners need answers to in order to keep their dog safe and fresh this season.

Dog food specialist Tails has compiled a list of all the key questions owners need answers to in order to keep their dog safe and fresh this season.

How often should I wash my dog?

Unless your dog is caked in mud or dirt you don't actually need to wash them too often.

Dogs' coats have evolved over time to clean themselves of the basic day-to-day grime, and given that they can’t sweat, they won’t be producing any BO in the way humans would define it.

That being said, unpleasant smells can build up on their coats if they haven’t been washed or groomed in a while.

For many owners, this isn’t an issue, but for those who find themselves sitting with a stinky pup, Tails advises that you wash your dog no more than once per month – less if you can.

Too much washing can actually cause health problems as they have very sensitive skin.

What’s more, if you use any flea or worming treatments these will be washed out with each bath leaving your pet vulnerable to those parasites.

What shampoo should I use?

It is essential that you avoid using human shampoo on your dog.

The chemicals that we put onto our hair are no good for keeping your dog’s fur clean, and can potentially be harmful to their coat and skin.

There are plenty of quality and affordable dog shampoos available on the high street and online, but if you are not able to find dog shampoo, then a small pinch of baby shampoo will do as these tend to be mild and won’t contain any harmful chemicals.

How can I prevent my dog from getting too dirty on walks?

Be wary of where exactly you are walking your dog and try to avoid the puddles if you can.

If your pup has a tendency to stray towards muddy puddles, then it might be an idea to keep your pup on a lead during the autumn and winter months, when the ground is wet and boggy.

Extendable leads are useful to keep control of where your dog walks, whilst still allowing them the space to stretch their legs.

It is also worth considering how sensitive our pet’s paw-pads are to icy conditions and grit on the road.

Regularly tending to your dog’s paws with warm water and a moist cloth will not only be soothing for your dog but help to clean up one of the main areas that spread dirt around your home.

During autumn, it is extra important to keep checking your dog’s paws after a walk, as bits of debris and leaves can get stuck between their paws and cause irritation.

What about looking after their coat?

You can help keep your dog’s coat glossy and healthy by ensuring that they are eating the right food.

Your dog’s coat relies on protein, so feeding your pooch a good, balanced diet maintains their healthy glow on the outside as well as on the inside.

Tailoring your dog’s diet keeps them looking and feeling great, and limits the time and effort you spend cleaning them.

How often should I brush my dog?

Brushing your dog frequently is the best way to keep their fur clean from anything that they might pick up while out and about.

Jumping through piles of leaves is a great source of fun for your pup, but it is also a really easy way for them to pick up fleas and ticks.

Thoroughly brushing at least once a day will help to comb out any unwelcome visitors and keep your dog’s coat looking and feeling smooth.

Brushing your dog is still perfectly fine during the winter months, as they naturally have enough fur to keep them warm all year round.

Find out more tips for keeping your dog clean and safe this winter on the Tails website.

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