How often should you bath a german shepherd? You’ll get varying answers depending on who you ask. Some people swear that you should never wash your german shepherd, whereas other people say they wash there’s every week.
It can be hard to tell what’s right and what’s wrong and this article aims to dispel any false information you may have heard!
So keep reading to find out how often you should bathe your german shepherd, what happens if you bathe them too much, or too little, and much more!
How Often Should You Bathe A German Shepherd?
Generally speaking, you should only bathe your german shepherd 2-3 times a year.
However, nothing is ever that simple. The amount you’ll need to wash your german shepherd depends on how dirty they’re getting, if they smell, if they have any skin problems etc.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wash your german shepherd unless you have to. Their coat is rich in oils that help it stay clean. Of course, there are times where they’ve rolled in something foul, and you’ll have to bathe them.
And if they do require more frequent baths due to medical conditions, just make sure that you consult your vet to find out the correct amount of baths they need!
How Often Should You Bathe A German Shepherd Puppy?
German shepherd puppies rarely need bathing. Puppy fur is a lot different to adult fur and it shouldn’t be washed, unless they’ve rolled in something disgusting. By the 6th month mark, your german shepherd should have lost their puppy fur, and then you can begin bathing them.
What Happens If You Bathe A German Shepherd Too Much?
If you bathe your german shepherd too much there could be some unexpected side effects. Here are some of the main problems that are likely to happen.
Their Coat Will Be Stripped Of Oil
German shepherds have oils in their coat which help keep the fur moisturized, shiny and clean. If you wash them too much, then you’re going to strip these oils out of the fur. Their fur may then become dry and brittle, instead of shiny and strong.
You can help combat this by making sure you use a proper dog shampoo when you’re washing them.
It Can Cause Dry Skin
As well as stripping their fur of oil, it’s also going to strip the skin of its oil as well. This can be even more problematic as it often leads to dry skin and other irritations that can cause your german shepherd to feel incredibly itchy all the time.
They Can Get A Chill
If you wash your german shepherd and don’t dry them properly then they could get a chill. Did you know that german shepherds have a double coat? The outer coat helps to protect your pup from the elements (such as wind and rain), and the inner coat helps to keep them warm.
When you’re giving your german shepherd a bath, you’re going to soak the inner coat with water as well, so they’ll have a harder time keeping warm. So if you do give your german shepherd a bath, make sure you dry them thoroughly afterward.
An Increase Chance Of Hot Spots
Because german shepherds have such thick fur, it means they’re a lot more likely to suffer from hot spots. Hot spots occur when a cut surrounded by damp patches of fur becomes infected with bacteria. They’re incredibly painful, and often take a couple of weeks to heal.
The more you wash your german shepherd, the more likely it is they’ll suffer from hot spots.
(Find out more about hot spots in german shepherds.)
It Could Stress Them Out
While most german shepherds like water, some of them don’t. If you’re bathing your german shepherd and they don’t like water, then you’re going to cause them massive amounts of stress.
So make sure before you decide to bathe your german shepherd that it’s absolutely necessary!
(Find out more about german shepherds and water.)
What Are The Benefits Of Bathing Your German Shepherd?
Of course, it’s not all negative. There are also some benefits associated with bathing your german shepherd as well. Here are a few of them.
It Can Help Strengthen The Bond Between You Both
If your german shepherd enjoys bath time, then bathing them can be a great way to strengthen the bond between both of you. Not only will they have fun splashing around, and getting clean, but it also gives them new positive experiences with you!
(Find out more about building a bond with your german shepherd and whether they’re loyal pets.)
They’re Going To Smell Nice
Obviously, this is the biggest benefit. If you bathe your german shepherd then they’re going to smell fantastic afterward! However, remember, even though they smell good, it’s still important to make sure you’re not bathing them too often.
It Can Help With Allergies
Certain skin allergies need frequent bath times with special shampoo to make sure they don’t get out of hand. So not only will bath time help stop your german shepherd from smelling, but they can also ease any discomfort they’re feeling as well.
Just remember, if your German shepherd does require more baths than average, consult a vet to find out the right amount.
If You Do Bathe Your German Shepherd, Make Sure You Use The Correct Shampoo
As a word of warning, if you do plan on bathing your german shepherd, you need to make sure you’re using the right shampoo.
The pH of your skin is around 5, so it’s slightly acidic. The pH of your dog’s skin is 7 which makes it neutral. Shampoos and soaps that are made for people take the pH of their skin into account, so they’re definitely not designed for dogs.
If you do use human shampoos and soaps on a german shepherd, then it could result in them suffering from dry skin and other irritations like hives.
And it can be even worse if they ingest human soap. When this happens it’s likely to result in vomiting, drooling and nausea which isn’t pleasant for your pup.
Lastly, if you buy tear-free shampoo for your german shepherd, you should still make sure you don’t get it in their eyes. If they get shampoo in their eyes it can still cause discomfort.
You Don’t Need To Give Your German Shepherd A Full Bath When They’re Dirty
And lastly, as you can probably guess by now, a lot of the times you don’t need to give your german shepherd a full bath when they’re dirty. In fact, this can often be a waste of time.
Another alternative (and one which I do frequently with my dog) is hosing them down (as long as it’s warm enough outside). Once they’ve been hosed down, let them shake the water off and then back brush their fur.
This gets rid of a lot of muck and grime they may have picked up. And then finally, give them a good dry with a towel. If they still have a dog odor you can even try using doggy deodorant to mask it.
If there is something worse than mud on them, then, of course, you’re going to have to give them a bath. However, dog wet wipes are also an alternative you can consider as well.
So, how often should you bathe a german shepherd? After this article, you should be an expert on the subject. As a rule of thumb, you want to keep bath time to as little as possible, however, there are obviously circumstances where this can’t be done.
When you have no choice but to bathe your german shepherd make sure that you’re using a dog-friendly shampoo, and that they’re being dried off thoroughly afterward as well.
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