Do you have to bathe your dog after he takes a dip in a swimming pool? How often does he have to take baths?
Taking baths is a crucial part of a dog’s skincare regimen. While there are tonnes of pathogens present in a foreign water body, you should be concerned about your dog’s skin and coat.
In addition to that, swimming in a pool can expose your dog to chemicals like chlorine. Are those chemicals harmful to your dogs? We are going to discuss all of that in this article. You’ll simply have to keep a few things in mind and your dog won’t have to suppress his urge to take a dive in the water.
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Can Your Dog Swim?
Well, you might’ve seen dogs enjoying splashy water in a pool, bay area, lake, or a pond. But when your dog seems hesitant to go near water, you may think something’s wrong with him.
There are dogs who can’t pass by a large body of water without taking a dip and there are dogs who absolutely hate water and always maintain a safe distance. Your dog’s breed can tell about his likes and dislikes for water and also whether he can swim or not.
For example, retriever dogs were bred to assist their humans and work in waters. They are wired to be in love with water! However, some retriever dogs may not like to swim and that happens because of their personality. Sometimes, fear and confusion may also contribute to your dog’s abhorrence of water.
But many a time just right teaching and company will establish a love relationship between your dog and swimming. On the other hand, brachycephalic dog breeds (with shorter muzzles) like French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston Terrier, etc. are not fit for swimming.
They will have trouble keeping their heads and noses above the water surface when swimming. Also, the dogs with disproportionate legs and body, for example Dachshunds, will have hard time paddleing themselves through water.
Please check whether your dog’s breed is a potential swimmer or not. If it is, you can go on with introducing your dog to swimming.
Should You Bath Your Dog After Swimming?
The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’ both. Well, it depends on how frequently your dog should be bathed and if there’s really a need for it after a swim. Read on to know how to decide whether your dog needs a shower after taking a dip in a large water body.
How Often Should You Bath Your Dog?
Dogs with long hair and coat need to be groomed and bathed frequently because long hair is likely to trap more pathogens, dirt, mud, and other stuff. Moreover, bathing will keep the coat cleaner and silkier. Bathing them twice a month is preferred.
Whereas dogs with medium lengths of coats should be bathed once in two or three months. When I mention bathing, it means washing your dog using appropriate dog shampoos and not just cleaning. If you bathe your dog too frequently, for instance thrice a week, the natural oils will be washed away from their skin and coat due to the chemicals present in the shampoo.
Similarly, dogs with short hair can be washed every three or four months. However, it is important to note that I’ve not included special cases here. If your dog just got sprayed by a skunk or rolled himself in his own poop or mud, you will have to bathe him as soon as possible.
In addition to that, if your dog starts stinking, your dog needs to be in a bath tub! That’s quite self-explanatory.
Some dogs like Basenjis are clean freaks and you may want to bathe them only twice a year. Also, frequent bathing for a longer period of time will cause dry skin, dander, and flaking in them as well. So, research your breed and decide how often you should wash them.
Bath After Swimming
Generally, dogs don’t need to be washed always after they swim in a pool. If your dog likes to get into the pool every day in summer, washing can take a heavy toll on your dog’s skin and coat health.
Instead of bathing your dog with shampoos and conditioner, you can just comb him after drying to clean his coat and remove any foreign particles stuck in.
Also, you can just wash him with tap water after their swimming session. This will help to remove any harmful chemicals or pathogens that might result in skin infections later.
Chlorine is not harmful to dogs but some of them might get irritated skin after swimming in chlorinated water. Cleaning them with tap water can be a great help here.
If your dog took a dip in a pond (with algae and other vegetation inside it) or in an ocean, cleaning them with water becomes more crucial. And once dried, brushing their coat should follow.
However, if you feel your dog is not looking comfortable after swimming in a foreign body, bathing them will be helpful. And if you’re unsure about your dog’s skin health, you should not hesitate to take your vet’s help.
Bathing a dog is an essential part of a skincare regime. I hope the tips I’ve given you in this article have helped you understand how often you should wash your dog and whether to bathe him after swimming. If you want to know more about dogs and swimming, please check out other articles on Doglovesbest.com.
Do you want to share your experience with our reader? Or have a question? Do let us know in the comment section below.
- Hygiene Practices Around Animals – CDC
- How to Give Your Dog Bath – PetMD
- Grooming and Coat Care for Your Dog – VCA Hopsitals
James Wilkinson joined DogLovesBest as a full-time writer with the objective of offering his insights on how to rear pets better. He shares the information through the experience he has gained over a span of 15 years working as a dog trainer. James also used to contribute regularly to several pet publications during his career as a trainer before joining this website. He also donates a portion of his own personal wealth to shelter abandoned animals in Gainesville, Florida and helps in finding a new home for them.