You’ve got a cute little (or not so little) indoor dog that you love. And somedays it smells like roses and sunshine, and on other days……not so much. But most of the time, you may find your dog to have no discernible smell impact on the house. Since your dog remains inside all the time, is there really any benefit in washing your dog consistently like you would an outdoor dog?
Benefits of Washing Your Indoor Dog
Bathing your dog comes with big benefits. But it won’t get these benefits unless you commit to a consistent grooming habit. One advantage is that your dog won’t be severely anxious if you need to emergency wash it if it soiled itself. And shampoos come with all sorts of benefits. For example, washing your dog with good shampoos fixes simple problems like dry skin, itchy skin, and flaking.
Dry skin can occur even if there aren’t any irritants or you’re giving your dog the perfect doggy diet. Itchy skin has numerous causes, and indoor irritants can cause persistent scratching. Doggy shampoos, grooming, and brushing all help treat and prevent skin problems.
But some shampoos help more than others because they are targeted at specific issues. Oatmeal shampoos are specifically designed to help soothe irritated skin. And shampoos don’t just fix skin problems. Dogs with bright coats lose their luster when dirt and grime get into your furry friend’s coat. Whitening shampoos help illuminate bright coats back to their original sheen.
And the most significant benefit of your washing routine: your doggy smells nice! It’s easy for dogs to give your house their own patented puppy smell. The only way to truly prevent doggy smells is to keep your doggy clean.
You might be sold or are already washing consistently, but your problem is frequency. How often can you wash a dog? The answer varies on the situation. If the dog rolled around in the nearest source of pungent manure, then your dog needs emergency bathing time. But ordinarily, it’s just your dog living its doggy life, and you want to know how to best take care of the little indoor guy. If it’s not outdoors much, nor rolling around in anything terrible, then once every 2-8 weeks is the recommended amount.
But, you can wash more often! Washing your dog’s coat frequently can pull out too many oils, making your dog’s skin and coat very dry. But there is a solution! It’s good that shampoos take out oils and the bad stuff from your doggy’s coat. But if you don’t replace those oils, then frequent bathing can become what you’re trying to avoid: itchy and upset skin. The best way to replace those oils you’re taking out if you’re going to bathe your dog frequently is to use conditioners. They soothe your dog’s skin but also keep your dog’s coat from drying out. You get the benefits of washing but without the downside of irritating your dog’s skin.
Different Breeds, Different Needs
Not all breeds are created alike. All breeds have different coats, and their grooming needs differ from other dogs even if they are alike. For example, chihuahuas only really need to be washed once a month. Even as adults, you need to take extra special care, so they don’t get cold after a bath. Chihuahuas naturally have issues with getting their body heated, and bathing can be a chilly experience. Chihuahuas also don’t shed much, making their grooming habits easy overall. But a very similar small dog, the pug, needs different care.
Pugs don’t need to be washed as often as outdoor dogs either, but they may need to be washed more often than chihuahuas. Pugs are more active outside, and Chihuahua puppies could require as little as 15 minutes to tucker themselves out. Pugs need about 40 minutes of exercise and likely have other bursts of energy throughout the day. And not only will they want to go outside more but also shed much more. Many modern-day pugs have a double-coat making them shed twice as much. This makes pugs big shedders year-round. So, even though they are little indoor dogs, pugs will need more washing than a chihuahua.
Then there’s the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Border Collie. A King Charles Spaniel is an athlete trapped in a tiny body. They need a lot more activity than other small dogs and like multiple daily walks. And the border collie is the same. They could run for miles easily even though you could keep them indoors. More athletic breeds will need to be washed more often, even if you keep them inside most of the time. It's important to keep in mind they will spend more time outside than their less athletic counterparts. This lends them to being smellier and having more irritants in their coats.
Keep Your Indoor Doggy Clean
Indoor dogs still need bathing for their skin. Even if your dog doesn’t go outside long enough to get the smell or irritants in its coat, it will still need special care for its coat. You can follow the 2–6 week recommendation or use conditioners to wash your dog a lot more.
So, keep your friend fresh and smelling clean. Just make sure you replace the oils lost during bath time. And by bathing your indoor dog, you’ll keep your house smelling fresh and ready for guests! Have a little fun with bath time this week! If you’re really feeling like treating your dog extra special, get some treats to make bath time a little easier.