How Often Should Dogs Get Groomed?

Filed in Dog Health on June 13, 2022

How Often Should Dogs Get Groomed

Grooming is an essential aspect of dog ownership. However, in today’s busy world it can be hard to find the time for coat maintenance.

Regular grooming helps your dog look and feel their best, but it’s important to find a schedule that works for you and your dog.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss how often dogs should get groomed along with how often to perform specific types of grooming such as haircutting, nail clipping, bathing, and more.

How Often Should Dogs Get Groomed?

The type and frequency of grooming needed by your dog will depend on many factors, including but not limited to coat type and length, age, and breed.

Even dogs of the same breed will grow nails and hair faster than others, so if you have multiple dogs, you may need to have them on different grooming schedules.

Haircutting

Longer coated breeds that require haircuts typically need to be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks. If you spend a lot of time brushing your dog’s coat to prevent matting, the length of time between haircuts can be longer.

If you don’t do daily or weekly coat maintenance, you’ll likely need to schedule more frequent haircuts.

The time between haircuts will also vary based on how you want your dog to look. If you aren’t a fan of the shaggy look, or your dog’s coat grows quickly, it’s recommended to cut their hair every four to six weeks.

It’s important not to wait too long between haircuts if you don’t brush your dog’s coat on a regular basis, especially for dogs with curly or wavy coat types.

Poodles and poodle mixes, for example can quickly become matted without regular coat maintenance. If the coat does become matted, your dog may need to be shaved short.

Many breeds, such as smooth or double coated dogs, will not ever need a haircut. In fact, it can be harmful to trim these types of coat as it removes the dog’s natural layer of insulation against both the cold and heat.

Nail Clipping

Dog nail cut by clipper

Dog nail getting cut by plier-style dog clippers

As with all aspects of grooming, there are no precise guidelines on how often you should clip your dog’s nails. Most groomers recommend nail trims every 2 to 4 weeks, but your dog may need more or less frequent trims.

Active dogs or dogs that spend a lot of time walking on rough surfaces such as pavement will often wear their nails down naturally, so they may be able to go 4 or more weeks between nail trims.

Sedentary dogs or those that exercise on soft surfaces such as grass will not wear their nails down as quickly and may need to be trimmed weekly or every two weeks.

Regular trims are crucial for your dog’s safety and comfort, so it’s important to find the right schedule for your dog. Nails that are too long can cause serious discomfort and can affect a dog’s natural gait, which can lead to injuries.

The best guideline to follow is to listen to your dog as they walk across hard surfaces such as wood or tile. If their nails click as they walk, they’re probably ready to be trimmed.

Bathing

Baths should be an important part of every dog’s grooming routine, but bathing too frequently or not frequently enough can affect the health of their coat. Again, the best bathing schedule will depend on your dog’s coat type and condition.

Some coat types, such as wirehaired breeds like terriers, should not be bathed too often as it can soften their coat’s texture. Using the right shampoo for your dog’s coat type will also help to ensure that their coat stays as healthy as possible.

However, all dogs need to be bathed on occasion as it helps to remove dead hair, skin cells, dirt, and oil. Otherwise, they will build up in their coat and can cause serious skin problems including redness, irritation, and even hair loss.

Bathing too often can strip the coat of its natural protective oils, which can result in dry, damaged hair. As previously stated, it’s important to use the right products for your dog’s coat type to maintain its condition.

Most professional groomers recommend bathing every two to eight weeks, depending on coat type. Active dogs that enjoy playing outside may need more frequent baths than dogs who spend more time playing indoors.

A general guideline to follow is to bathe your dog whenever you feel that they’re starting to smell or is visibly dirty. If you aren’t sure what the best schedule for your dog’s breed is, consider asking your local groomer for a recommendation.

Cleaning the Ears

cleaning dog's ear

Wiping dog’s ear after a bath

Although some dogs will need their ears cleaned more often than others, it’s important to check your dog’s ears at least weekly.

Keeping a close eye on your dog’s ears will help you spot any problems before they develop into painful issues that require veterinary care.

At the very least, you’ll need to clean your dog’s ears after every bath or swimming session to help remove excess moisture that could potentially cause an infection.

This is especially important for dogs with floppy ears since this ear shape limits the air’s ability to reach the deeper parts of the ear.

Dogs with upright ears typically require less ear care than floppy eared breeds since the ear canals have more natural airflow.

It’s common for dogs with allergies to be more prone to ear issues, so if your dog has any food or environmental sensitivities, you may need to clean their ears more often to maintain optimum health.

As a reminder, use only a cotton ball or pad on your fingers to clean your dog’s ears rather than a cotton swab, which can cause injury if inserted too far into the ear canal.

Brushing Teeth

When considering your dog’s dental hygiene routine, it’s important to compare it to your own. If you were to only brush your teeth once a week or even once a month, you would likely see a noticeable buildup of plaque and tartar within a few months.

The most effective way to manage your dog’s dental health is with daily brushing. It can take some time to get your dog used to the process, but with practice it only takes a few minutes per day.

Even with daily brushing, most dogs still need routine veterinary dental care. Brushing removes most of the plaque and tartar buildup.

However, a professional cleaning will help remove buildup below the gum line and check for signs of dental disease and tooth decay.

Although daily brushing will not eliminate the need for veterinary care, it can help lengthen the amount of time between professional cleanings.

Brushing Fur

brushing dog's fur

Unless you have a hairless breed, brushing should be a regular part of your dog’s grooming routine. Not only does it help remove dead hair and dirt from the coat, but it helps to distribute the natural oils, resulting in a shiny, tangle-free coat.

Smooth coated breeds may only need to be brushed once or twice per week for optimum coat health, while double coated breeds will need it more often during periods of seasonal shedding.

Curly or wavy coated breeds may need brushing as often as every day to prevent tangles and matts.

How often you brush your dog will also depend on you and your dog’s preferences. Many dogs and owners enjoy the process and use brushing as an opportunity for bonding.

Frequent brushing will also limit the amount of hair left on your furniture, floors, and clothes.

With coats that are prone to matting, it’s best to brush more often. A quick brush every day, or every few days, will be less work for you and less discomfort for your dog than if you wait a few weeks to tackle the tangles.

Why You Should Regularly Groom Your Dog

A clean, well brushed coat is a healthy coat. Regular brushing and bathing help to remove excess dirt and oil that can cause skin irritation. Plus, it’s much nicer to snuggle with a freshly groomed dog than a dirty dog.

Regular grooming also conditions your dog to tolerate and even enjoy the grooming process.

Dogs that are only groomed once or twice per year tend to be fearful and stressed out, which can make the process more difficult for both the groomer and the dog.

This is especially true for dogs that develop matts without regular grooming. Dematting can be an incredibly painful process, so most professional groomers will choose “humanity over vanity” and shave a matted dog rather than brush it out.

Extremely tight matting can also limit blood flow to certain areas of their body including ears, tail, and legs. Matts around the rear end can absorb urine and feces, which can cause serious skin infections if not removed.

As previously mentioned, long nails and dirty ears can also cause serious health issues, so it’s important to keep your dog on a regular grooming schedule no matter what breed he is.

Conclusion on How Often Should Dogs Get Groomed

Although there is no specific schedule recommended for any individual dog, it’s important to keep a close eye on your companion. You’ll want to develop their grooming routine based on their unique needs.

If unsure on specifics to your dog, check in with your veterinarian or groomer.

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