How often do I give a German Shepherd a bath?

by Donna

From the reading and research I have done, my type of dog breed,(German Shepherd), needs only to be bathed twice a year. They say that due to the natural oils in their skin, bathing to frequently will cause dry, flaky, scaly skin.

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Sep 13, 2008
Brush and Shampoo

Donna -

Hi Donna,

The double coat of the German shepherd requires regular brushing because it sheds bits of hair all the time. Seasonally, it sheds heavily. The coat should be brushed once or twice a week. More often if hair in the home is a problem.

Brushing is one of the best ways to take care of your dog's skin and coat and, in many cases, is more important than bathing. and removing mats should always be done before the bath.

Frequent bathing has not necessarily been embraced by all dog owner as a concept, but people are coming around. For years owners have been told not to bath a dog too often or it may strip the oils from their coat and dry their skin. I have checked with some veterinarians and the consensus is What puts a shine on your dogs' coat is a high-quality diet and possibly supplements more so than bathing or lack of it and this is true for all breeds.

It is not the water that dries the coat and skin, it is the shampoo. Always use a shampoo specifically for dogs. Do not use a human shampoo. They have a different pH level and often use harsher detergents than dog shampoos. You can do more damage than good if you use a human shampoo on pets. Rinse thoroughly. Shampoo residue can be very irritating to your canine friend.

Bath when needed but no more than every 2 weeks. I recommend once a month unless it is flea and tick season, in which case you may need to give more frequent baths.

The reasons for bathing will determine the type of shampoo used:

  • Your dog rolled in something and smells.
  • You may need a dandruff shampoo.
  • An oatmeal shampoo for allergies.
  • External parasite shampoo for
    fleas and tics.
  • Dog odor may be a problem.

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