How Often Should You Groom Your Dog

Dogs tend to keep their skin and coat in good condition by licking, scratching, rolling in the dust or simply getting soaked wet. The dog’s saliva has antiseptics that soothe the skin, while rolling and rubbing help remove debris from the coat and activate the sebaceous gland whose secretions have antiseptic properties. Regardless, no matter how much your dog tries to clean itself, it still retains its distinctive dog-like smell. The best way to keep your furry buddy odor-free is to regularly groom it. 

A grooming session includes brushing, bathing, drying, giving a special haircut, nail clipping, teeth brushing and ear cleaning.

Keep in mind that dogs of all breeds need regular grooming especially long haired dogs. The difference between different breeds is the time that needs to spent on grooming – from few moments to few hours a week, as well as the time period between two grooming sessions. 

The Interval Between Two Grooming Sessions

When it comes to the frequency of the grooming sessions there is no universal one-type-fits-all approach. Every dog has a different coat and how often it requires grooming depends solely on his individual needs. Generally speaking there are three factors that influence the frequency of grooming. Those factors include:

  • Coat type
  • Allergies
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle

Coat Type

Most professional groomers recommended a time interval of 6-8 week between two grooming sessions. However there are always exceptions to this recommendation. For example:

  • Short-haired breeds need occasional baths and minimal brushing
  • Short-haired, double-coated breeds need 4 grooming sessions per year
  • Long-haired, double-coated breeds need frequent trimming and mat removals
  • Breeds with thick undercoats need to be groomed every three months
  • Silky-coated breeds need to be groomed every 6 weeks
  • Breeds with curly and wavy coats need brushing every two weeks and full grooming sessions every 6 weeks.  

Allergies

Dogs suffering from skin allergies require a different grooming approach. They need to be bathed with specially formulated medical shampoos that soothe the skin. Depending on the severity of the allergy, as well as the season, some allergic dogs may need daily baths.

Environment

The environment influences the frequency of the grooming sessions in terms of how dirty your dog can get. If the dog is kept exclusively indoors it will not need too much grooming. On the flip side, if it lives outdoors and runs free in the garden, it will definitely need more frequent sessions.

Lifestyle

The dog’s lifestyle is also important. For example, if your dog makes you company on hiking adventures, chances are it will need a grooming session upon each return.

When considering the above mentioned factors, it is advisable to consult with a licensed veterinarian and have him help you determine the best grooming schedule for your pooch.

Having your dog professionally groomed is quite a luxury and a pretty expensive one. However, grooming is important and cannot be avoided. If you want to be easy on your wallet perhaps you should compromise. That means you can have your dog professionally groomed from time to time and in the meanwhile period you can groom it at home. Fortunately there are many DIY grooming tutorials available online. With a little bit of education and practice you can become very good at grooming. Who knows, maybe after several grooming sessions at home you will get so used to the grooming ritual that you will not need to pay for professionals. 

Bear in mind that persistent bad dog odors may be a sign of a health issue. If your dog keeps its bad smell in spite of being regularly groomed, it is advisable to have it checked by a licensed veterinarian.