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How Often Should You Bathe Your Australian Shepherd?

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An Australian Shepherd being bathed

The Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, is arguably the best-looking herding dog breed. The breed has a medium-length coat that comes in various colors that are strong, clear, and rich. If you are a new Aussie owner, it might be difficult to determine your puppy or adult dog's bathing frequency. In actuality, how frequently an Aussie needs a bath depends on a few factors.

Factors that contribute to bathing frequency

The Australian Shepherd is a breed of remarkable versatility. That means they can adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities. One factor to consider when determining your Aussies bathing frequency is your or your dog's lifestyle. For example, an Aussie kept as a farm dog may need to be bathed more frequently than an Aussie kept indoors.

Another factor to consider is your dog's type of coat. Aussies have a thick, double-coat that naturally insulates them seasonally. As a result, they require occasional bath times, as overbathing could strip too much oil from the skin, and cause dry skin.

How often you should bathe your Aussie also depends on your place of residence, how much time your dog spends outside, as well as how dirty it gets. Like little children, some Aussies tend to get dirtier than others.

Recommended Bathing Frequency

As a general rule, Australian Shepherd dogs only need to be bathed once every two or three months. On the other hand, a working Aussie may require bathing every four to six weeks. In essence, you should bathe your Aussie when it's no longer huggable. In other words, when your Aussie has become smelly or has dirt on its coat. 

Moreover, routine bathing is not necessary for Australian Shepherds' coat health. For the most part, weekly brushing keeps Aussies' coats and skin in good condition. Australian Shepherds benefit from monthly ear cleaning and nail trimming as well.

If your Aussie has a specific health condition, your groomer or vet may recommend using medicated shampoo while bathing your dog.

Then, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there’s the health of the dog's owner. At times, the bath is for the dog owner’s comfort, not the dog’s. If you suffer from allergies, you will usually react to your Aussie’s dander. As per the AKC, this case can be managed with a weekly bathing routine involving a dander-removing shampoo.

Bathing Tips for Australian Shepherds

Most Aussies are biddable and enjoy the water. If your Aussie has a knack for rolling around in the mud and therefore needs necessary baths, the following tips may make the bathing process somewhat easier:
  • Baths should be given indoors: Except on warm, sunny days, it is recommended that you bathe your Aussie indoors using a bathtub or basin. Additionally, you shouldn't overfill the bathtub.
  • First brush your Aussie: Brushing your Aussie first before bathing it helps remove dirt and prevent mats. Moreover, you will spend less time detangling your pet’s wet fur.
  • Collect all needed supplies first: You've got to be prepared before you start the bath. Being unprepared prior to starting the bath will only prolong the process and can stress your Aussie.
  • Provide a non-slip rubber mat: To make bath time pleasant for your Aussie, put a non-slip rubber mat on the bottom of the tub before filling it.
  • Don’t use human shampoo: Human shampoo contains fragrances that are deemed too acidic for dogs’ skin. Using one may irritate your Aussie's skin and cause it to dry. Once that happens, your Aussie may be at risk of developing a skin infection. Luckily, you will find dog shampoos for all coat types at your vet’s office or at pet supply stores. After thoroughly rinsing your Aussie, squeeze out as much water as you can by hand. Then allow the dog to shake before blotting it dry with a towel.
  • Brushing and combing after the bath: When done with the bathing and drying, brush and comb your Aussie to keep its coat shiny and looking its best.
  • Take your Aussie to a pro pet groomer: Do-it-yourself dog grooming helps strengthen your bond with your dog. Additionally, it helps build trust and can be a fun time to share. However, if DIY dog bathing is an unpleasant experience for you and your Aussie, consider scheduling a grooming appointment.
I think the below video might help.

Signs of Over-bathing

Overbathing your Australian Shepherd depletes the natural oils which will contribute to:
  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Dull or brittle coat
  • Skin redness or inflammation
Visit your vet if you notice these signs in your Australian Shepherd.

Conclusion

How frequently you should bathe your Aussie depends on how frequently it is no longer huggable. Like every other breed, Aussies need no more than absolutely necessary baths. Furthermore, they definitely need not to be bathed more than once every 6 weeks. Remember, weekly brushing helps keep your Australian Shepherd clean between baths.

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