How often should you wash your dog?

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Most dogs will happily roll around in mud all day or frolic through puddles. Therefore, it’s up to dog owners to make sure their pets are clean, happy and healthy at home. has collated some expert grooming tips for dogs, to help owners look after their beloved four-legged friends.

How often should you trim a dog’s nails?

It’s important dog owners pay special attention to their pooch’s nails, in order to avoid their pets experiencing any problems with walking.

Dr Jessica May, UK Lead Vet at video vet service, FirstVet, told “If a dog’s nails aren’t clipped regularly, it can cause pain and problems whilst walking.

“When clipping your dog’s nails, try to angle the clippers so as to keep the shape of the nail.

“There is a blood vessel towards the base of the nail called the ‘quick’, so be careful and don’t clip your dog’s nails too short.

“You can see the sensitive pink quick in dogs with clear nails, but the quick will not be visible in dogs with black nails.

“If you do cut the quick, it will cause bleeding – try to keep your dog calm if this happens.

“Applying styptic powder to the affected area should stop any bleeding within a few minutes, although a vet should be contacted if the bleeding continues for longer than this.

“The best way to avoid the quick growing too far into the nail is regular clipping each month. This keeps the quick short and reduces the risk of bleeding; consistency is key.

“Some dogs may become scared or irritable when faced with a pet pedicure, so make sure to watch out for any signs of discomfort.

“If you really struggle to keep your dog calm enough to clip their nails, it may be best to have a professional groomer show you the ropes.”

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How often should you wash your dog?

Washing dogs too much can actually cause complications for them, according to animal charity Blue Cross.

The Blue Cross website states: “You may be tempted to think that a dog’s coat needs to be washed as often as we wash our own hair.

“But, in fact, dogs are better left without being washed for as long as possible.

“Dogs have sensitive skin and cleaning them too often can really dry out their coat and can cause skin irritation.

“Unless they get dirty or roll in something a bit gross, it’s best to leave the natural oils in their coat do all the hard work – they’re pretty great at self-cleaning.

“If you use drop on flea and worming treatment, this will also be washed away every time you bathe them.”

Petplan explain there isn’t an “exact science” to how often owners should wash their dogs, but it is generally advised dogs are washed at least every three months.

How often a dog needs washing will depend on their lifestyle, whether they are short-haired or long-haired, or if they have any medical conditions.

Dog owners can always consult their vet about how often a dog needs to be washed, based on their specific needs.

Dr Jessica May added: “Dogs should be bathed around once every three months but bear in mind that dogs with skin problems or a penchant for the outdoors may need to bathe more regularly.

“Always avoid applying water directly to the eyes, ears, or nose of your dog: using a wet washcloth is a good way to avoid any mishaps in these areas.

“Also, it is important to use a specialist dog shampoo, as human shampoos can contain irritants to pets.

“These are some of the essentials for ensuring that your pet is in top form all year round, but if you have any questions or queries, seeking a vet’s advice is the best way to better understand how to keep your pet looking best in show.”

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