Bathing Dog

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Emma&Tess
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Bathing Dog

Post by Emma&Tess » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:38 pm

Hi all

I was wondering if it would be ok to bath my 18month old German shepherd once every two weeks. we are currently bathing her once a month. I have heard it is not good for their skin to bath them too often. She lives outside most of the time but sleeps in her crate at night and is sometimes allowed inside. Because she is outside so much she really stinks. The few days after we bath her she is often allowed inside and gets lots of attention because she is much more pleasant to be around.

Brushing her helps a bit but she stinks so much that it doesn't do a lot.

Thanks
Emma

wvvdiup1
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by wvvdiup1 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:50 pm

You have that one right, Emma&Tess! :D Not only would you strip your dog(s) of their natural oils which they need for their skin, but as some of the other members have posted, (I'm paraphrasing this) the more you bath your dog, the more it will stink! :lol:
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Sue1234
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Sue1234 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:47 pm

I think it would depend on what you're bathing the dog with. There are many dog shampoos that are very mild, like the oatmeal varieties. While bathing too often isn't desirable, if it must be done then I think you could find a very mild one that isn't harsh on his skin and coat while making her smell fresh and clean. :)

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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by emmabeth » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:25 pm

Honestly - keep her inside instead.

If shes outdoors a lot, then the oils in her coats she NEEDS to keep her warm and dry.

Bathing her fortnightly will remove those and she will get wet and cold much more easily. The toher thing that affects how a dog smells is food, changing her food for ideally, a grain free one or a raw meat diet would really improve how she smells, as will regular grooming.

But really, if you want her in the house, keep her in the house and she wont stink of outdoors. If you want her outdoors most of the time but in when it suits you, then you have really got to put up with the smell (if a change of food doesnt help) as it would be really unfair to strip all the oils out of her coat and then let her get cold or wet outside.

If she is lacking in the attention she needs because she lives outside and thus smells, then you do need to change something about the way you keep her - it isnt fair or kind to have a dog, keep it outside and then deny it the attention it needs!
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Nettle
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Nettle » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:35 am

Dogs really shouldn't stink. It is often down to the food, and with some, a lack of grooming but it sounds as if you are brushing her daily: is that right?

Otherwise it is a health matter. The body cleanses through the skin and if there is a problem inside, the first we know of it is a bad smell. But she is a young dog, so if she seems healthy, maybe brush her more thoroughly and more often. Bathing really should be kept for emergencies. My dogs go their whole lives without being bathed and they smell as sweet as new hay. If they roll in something stinky, I spot-wash the stinky bits.
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Sue1234
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Sue1234 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:48 am

I wholeheartedly agree that keeping the dog indoors is best, but some folks, for various reasons, just can't. If your dog can be indoors more Emma, that's great! But if you have reasons why she just can't, then you do need to address the bathing issue. And maybe dogs really shouldn't stink, but some do anyway. :wink:

I know my own dog (a golden mix) is almost always in the house, we clean our backyard every day (from her potty breaks) and we brush her almost every day. She's fed Acana dog food and is very healthy -- but it's been about 8 weeks since her last bath and we are already beginning to notice she's getting a little smelly. Breed thing maybe? I dont know. My sister's labs are the same way.

Anyway, I think the point is, what do people do when they need to bathe thier dogs more often? With my dog, I would think that a very mild, soothing oatmeal type shampoo would be best. These don't strip out natural oils and will also soothe and condition the the skin and coat. But I'd love to hear from some folks who have this same issue and what they've found to be some good choices.

BecsA
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by BecsA » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:56 am

Hi

Really sorry to jump in to someone else's post, but reading Nettle's comment has made my quite happy! :D
I have had my dog 4 months now and have been unable to bath her because she is too heavy to lift into the bath and will not get in of her own accord. I was starting to worry that it wasn't healthy for her to go without one. If she gets muddy, I have been letting it dry and then brushing or towelling it off.
She doesn't smell at all. I guess what this means is that I shouldn't worry and she will be ok without a bath?

Thanks

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Nettle
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Nettle » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:13 am

Put it this way: :D

We have had two dogs get to 18, one 17 before she was killed by another dog, of breeds that don't normally make it past 12. The rest tend to check out at about 14. I have never bathed any of them and I've been keeping dogs for around 30 years.

I feed a very good diet, exercise them well and often, and brush and comb them frequently.

They really do smell as sweet as new hay.

If a dog of mine starts to smell at all, it goes to the vet. for a full check. So far, each time has resulted in a diagnosis of organ failure. As soon as the illness is treated the dog smells sweet again.

OP's dog is probably fine physically but maybe some small husbandry changes would make her smell sweeter.

And no, it isn't a breed thing for a normal dog - maybe those breeds that have corded coats and can't be groomed are different, but a normal everyday dog shouldn't stink.
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***Melissa***
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by ***Melissa*** » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:28 am

I used to bath Striker about once a week :shock: (loooong ago), untill I found out that it's okay, they clean themselves. So for months now I haven't bathed my dogs, and they are perfectly clean, and don't smell either :lol:

The only exception is when they had a swim in the lake - the water has a really yukky smell - I will give them a quick bath with natural Aloe Shampoo - but that's a big exeption.
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jjphoenix
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by jjphoenix » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:42 am

emmabeth wrote:Honestly - keep her inside instead.

If shes outdoors a lot, then the oils in her coats she NEEDS to keep her warm and dry.

Bathing her fortnightly will remove those and she will get wet and cold much more easily. The toher thing that affects how a dog smells is food, changing her food for ideally, a grain free one or a raw meat diet would really improve how she smells, as will regular grooming.

But really, if you want her in the house, keep her in the house and she wont stink of outdoors. If you want her outdoors most of the time but in when it suits you, then you have really got to put up with the smell (if a change of food doesnt help) as it would be really unfair to strip all the oils out of her coat and then let her get cold or wet outside.

If she is lacking in the attention she needs because she lives outside and thus smells, then you do need to change something about the way you keep her - it isnt fair or kind to have a dog, keep it outside and then deny it the attention it needs!
I do agree, is there any way she can be inside with her crate?

Admittedly i bathe my dogs often, every 2 weeks, sometimes more sometimes less depending on what they've been rolling in! my shepherd has a thing for fresh cow pats :shock: and my staffy loves the bath so much if she gets bathed he insists on being bathed too! I used a natural herbal shampoo that I get online, rose for my staffy and orange and grapefruit for my gsd girl, its brill stuff and really gets rid of the pooh smell.

Mine live inside and sleep in my bedroom in their crates, however as yours is outside it does take out the waterproofing etc.

With Our fosters, often they come in stinking. We change their food to either Burns Pork and potato if their overweight or Burgess Hill Supadog Sensitive Lamb if their underweight (only the sensitive one tough the other supadog choices are utter rubbish) and within a week or so they have stopped smelling so bad.
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Sue1234
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Sue1234 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:23 am

Nettle wrote:Put it this way: :D

We have had two dogs get to 18, one 17 before she was killed by another dog, of breeds that don't normally make it past 12. The rest tend to check out at about 14. I have never bathed any of them and I've been keeping dogs for around 30 years.

I feed a very good diet, exercise them well and often, and brush and comb them frequently.

They really do smell as sweet as new hay.

If a dog of mine starts to smell at all, it goes to the vet. for a full check. So far, each time has resulted in a diagnosis of organ failure. As soon as the illness is treated the dog smells sweet again.

OP's dog is probably fine physically but maybe some small husbandry changes would make her smell sweeter.

And no, it isn't a breed thing for a normal dog - maybe those breeds that have corded coats and can't be groomed are different, but a normal everyday dog shouldn't stink.
You see, this is exactly why I see this forum less as a place to come and share and more just a place to come and be force-fed "the rules and regulations of dog husbandry and ownership" as set down by the matriarchs of this site. I'm telling you my dog is healthy, she is fed one of the best foods on the market, she is brushed, her yard is kept clean, she's kept mainly indoors and she is healthy as can be. Yet you still insist that if she smells, she must have something going on like organ failure! She's fourteen months old, for crying out loud.

Well guess what? Sometimes dogs smell! And you know what else? I've owned dogs for well over thirty years myself and believe it or not I actually know a thing or two about taking care of them. Despite the fact that some of them were bathed regularly, each lived beyond the life expectency for their breed. Not one ever died for lack of the best vet care I could provide them. Not one ever left this earth without having been loved whole-heartedly, fed the best food I could provide, given the best of health care and a life that most dogs would envy.

When I (or anyonelse for that matter) offer an opinion on a subject here, I have neve once had one of you write, "well, it may not be how I would do it, but there are many ways to do something right. So your way is different from mine, but still one way to go." No, all you get here is, "it's my way or the highway".

But here's the thing. Some folks will bathe their dogs regularly. Some go the groomers every six weeks and are bathed and groomed. Some are water dogs that spend lots of time romping in lakes, streams, ponds, swimming pools and even oceans. Should everyone stop doing these things because it's "bad" for their dog's coat and skin? According to you ladies, yes! That is so absurd. You get so caught up in your own righteousness you forget to be practical as well.

I'm not saying you didn't make some valid points, but you leave NO room for anyone elses opinions or thoughts. I've had it with this forum and those of you who think you not only have ALL the answers, but the only right answers out there.

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Mattie
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Mattie » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:55 am

Sue that is a load of rubbish, just because people don't agree with you don't give you the right to attack them. This is the internet and we can't see each other's body language so we do have to make allowances on what is written.

I have over 60 years experience, I never bath my dogs and a friend who has a puli never baths her's either apart from when she got mange through stress, my friend's husband because very ill, she nursed him at home until he passed away.

You want to make work for yourself, fine, as long as you don't expect me to, I prefer to spend my time with my dogs differently, bathing can affect the bonding between you and your dog because dogs rarely enjoy a bath even when they love to swim in dirty rivers and ponds.

What is wrong with everyone at the moment, people seem to be looking for ways they can attack other posters.
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Nettle
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by Nettle » Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:07 am

I think Sue should read the posts properly before she goes off on one. Nobody has been rude to anybody except Sue herself.
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emmabeth
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by emmabeth » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:37 pm

I think some people find a dogs natural smell unpleasant... I find the scent of shampoos and airfresheners revolting so I guess some folk can be the other way round.

I actually don't mind a dog being bathed, one of mine is bathed every six weeks -- because he is a Tibetan Terrier and I choose to keep him with a long coat - if he isnt bathed, his coat mats very easily and this is uncomfortable for him.

The point is, none of my dogs are lacking in the attention and interaction with humans that they need because of whether they smell or not, and I am not stripping the oils out of a dogs coat so he/she smells sweeter to me... and then sending him out to live outdoors where he needs those oils to keep him warm and dry.

This is the situation that is the problem - a GSD, even a long coat, should not need regular bathing. Smooth and wire coated dogs should not need regular bathing and if any dog smells 'horrible', then there are things that need looking at such as health and diet.

Dogs with floor length coats like my Tibetan Terrier, who still hasnt fully gotten his adult coat yet (which will be harder, less fluffy, and pick up dirt less) will need bathing so that they dont mat and tangle, but even then when he needs a bath he doesnt stink!

My old dog who died recently was 15, she'd never been bathed in her life, at the most she'd had the hosepipe on her legs to wash off some particularly stinky mud once or twice. My other dogs *(excluding the Tibetan) get bathed very infrequently, when something happens such as they roll in fox poo.

So.. my advice to the OP stands.

Check out the dogs health, check out and consider changing the dogs food.

Evaluate the dogs quality of life - is living outdoors permanently giving the dog the interaction and attention and company she needs? I have no issue with dogs who live outside, sleep outside, as long as they still get the attention they need.
It sounds to me as if this dog does not get that, because she lives outside and because she smells bad - there is then something wrong (if my understanding of the OPs dogs situation is correct) that needs correcting, and regularly bathing a dog who lives outdoors and needs to stay warm and dry is not a kind or sensible option.
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jacksdad
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Re: Bathing Dog

Post by jacksdad » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:45 pm

It really is important to read advice given in the spirit it is given and realize that not everyone is going to take the time to type out so and so offers one possible way to do X, but here is how I do it. Most people are going to just type out their 2 cents and experience, and leave it up to you to digest it and figure out what your going to do.

So with that in mind, here is how I took ALL the posts in this thread.....

Most important thing I learned is dogs don't become smelly simply due to lack of bathing like us humans do.

I learned there is nothing wrong with bathing your dog. No where did I see a bathing is bad and your wrong to do it. BUT do be aware you need a shampoo that isn't going to dry out their skin. If the dog is an outside dog you should bath a lot less because they need to the oils in their coat to keep warm and dry.

I also learned that bathing isn't as necessary as people may think. This does not equal THOU SHALT NOT BATH your dog or your a bad dog owner. It just means bathing isn't as critical as you may think. And if you don't bath your dog regularly or at all your not harming your dog.

I learned that a smelly dog MAY have health or grooming issues. But no where did I see a blanket smelly dog = health emergency..period no if and or but. If you stop and think about it though, smelly being a possible symptom of a health or grooming issue does makes sense. not because of who said it, but because think about how/why humans often become smelly. we sweat. Dogs don't, well at least not like us. In terms of smelly odors and dogs, I personally have noticed with my dog his breath changes with his anxiety/arousal/stress levels. when calm and relaxed I often notice little to no "bad" breath. when worked up, excited, stressed etc, his breath becomes "stinky". So why wouldn't his body odor change because of reasons other than being "dirty"?

So, IF your dog hasn't been rolling in something really smelly, playing in the mud etc, and is other wise clean but is suddenly smelly considering there may be a health/grooming issue as the possible cause makes sense. The person pointing this out indicated in their experience it was organ failure. But I didn't take the comments to mean smelly dog automatically = organ failure.

Food being a cause of smell in an otherwise healthy clean dog also makes a lot of sense. Humans body odors change with the food we eat. we often don't notice because we all often eat about the same thing in our respective cultures and area's we live in. But we do smell of what we eat. why wouldn't the same be true of our dogs? And while it could be a indication of low or crappy quality of food, it could also just mean you smell of what you eat.

So, bottom line a lot of good info was shared by all. If you notice your dog is smelly and read this thread you now have info that covers possible reasons from simply being dirty from a romp in the field to organ failure and in between. Personally I think the forum worked. No hard and fast rules are being forced. Information was shared and now people are better informed about smelly dogs, possible causes and possible solutions.

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