As with most questions in life, the answer to how often you need to bathe your dog isn't black-and-white — or brindle, for that matter. Although dogs do groom themselves, which helps hair follicles grow and supports general skin health, they still need baths to get rid of the grime.
That said, most people actually bathe their dogs more than necessary. So how often should you bathe your furry friend?
A dog's breed, coat, lifestyle and health all factor into determining optimal bathing frequency. Obviously, if your dog smells or is visibly dirty, it's bath time. Some dogs love bath time, and as long as your dog is healthy and has no special grooming requirements, it is fine to bathe him or her as often as once a week.
Surprisingly, according to Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary adviser to PetMD, healthy dogs without skin conditions will be fine with only a bath or two a year, to control "natural doggy odors." And the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends bathing a dog about once every three months, but there are many reasons to adjust bathing schedules.