Staying on top of your Dachshund’s grooming needs is an important part of being a responsible dog owner.
Not only is a proper grooming routine helpful in keeping your house clean, but it also has a direct impact on your dog’s health and well-being.
It controls shedding, prevents painful matting, removes dirt and grime, and allows you to spot any signs of illness.
How often should you bathe a Dachshund? Can you bathe a dachshund too often?
The answer depends on several factors including your dog’s age, coat type, and lifestyle.
In this article, I’m going to break down everything you need to know about bathing your Dachshund, including how often to bathe your dog, tips, and tricks for a stress-free bath experience, and solutions for making your dog smell fresh and clean without a bath.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
When You Should Give a Dog a Bath
Are you wondering how to know when it’s bath time? Have you ever asked yourself “How often should I bathe my Dachshund?”
Your decision to wash your dog may be influenced by several different factors.
Here are 3 signs that it’s time for a bath.
When your Dachshund starts to smell
Many people wonder, “do Dachshunds smell?”
A clean, healthy Dachshund doesn’t usually have much of a body odor. They don’t even have that well-known and recognizable “doggy smell” that many other breeds have.
If you notice that your dog has an unpleasant aroma, it’s a good sign that it’s time for a bath.
Your dog produces natural body oils on their skin. These oils serve many important purposes.
Not only do they nourish your dog’s coat, keeping it healthy and shiny, but they also create a protective coating for your dog that repels dirt and water.
Dogs that have an overproduction of body oils can build up a foul smell over time.
Dogs that are experiencing an overproduction of these oils, and those that are having a hard time keeping up with their regular grooming, can develop an odor from the build-up.
Your Dachshund’s coat type can also have an impact on how often your dog will need to be bathed.
For example, long-haired Dachshunds usually need grooming and bathing more often than short-haired Dachshunds.
The one area of a Dachshund that is known for its distinct smell is the paws.
Many Dachshund owners share that their dog’s paws smell like corn chips or Fritos, an observation that is often referred to as “Frito feet”.
The scent is a yeasty smell caused by naturally occurring bacteria on your dog’s paws. It’s completely normal and not something that you should be worried about.
When your Dachshund is dirty
If your dog has been playing in the mud or rolling in something unpleasant smelling, it’s a clear sign that it’s time for a bath.
Dogs that enjoy spending time outdoors will inevitably get dirty from time to time.
Even if you don’t see the dirt visible on their fur, you may notice it collecting on their dog bed, their blanket, the couch, or the floor.
This is even more common during the spring season, a time associated with rain and mud.
If your dog loves the outdoors, they’ll likely need a bath more often.
If your dog lives a very outdoorsy lifestyle, the chances of your dog needing a bath will increase.
Dogs that camp, hike, paddle, or swim outdoors will get dirty much more frequently.
While you can rinse most mud and dirt off with just water, it won’t always clear up the smells that come with it.
If your Dachshund has a skin condition
Dachshunds that suffer from skin conditions may need to be bathed more often or less often due to their unique needs.
A gentle bath can help to soothe some conditions, removing irritants and offering relief. At the same time, it can trigger discomfort in other conditions.
There are several skin conditions that are commonly experienced by Dachshunds such as bacterial folliculitis, seborrhea, yeast infections, or dermatitis.
If you know that your dog suffers from a skin condition, contact your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s unique needs.
They will advise you as to how often you should be bathing your Dachshund and whether there are any other considerations, such as a specialty shampoo.
How Often to Bathe a Dachshund
Dachshunds are naturally clean dogs, one of many reasons to fall in love with the breed.
This means that they will not need to be bathed as frequently as breeds that are known for their greasy coats.
There is a balance to learn to make sure you don’t bathe your dog too much.
But for many Dachshund owners, the real questions are, “how often can you give a Dachshund a bath?” and “can you bathe a dog too much?”
Learning how often you should bathe your dog is a balancing act.
You want to bathe your dog often enough to prevent any unpleasant smells without bathing your Dachshund too frequently.
How often can you bathe an adult dog?
How often can you give a dog a bath?
If possible, you should try to bathe your Dachshund once every three months. However, this is a general rule of thumb that can differ from dog to dog.
To find the best timeframe for your dog, you will need to pay attention to your dog’s unique needs.
Pay attention to any signs that your dog may need a bath. Keep track of how long it is between baths and watch for any trends. You may notice that your dog needs to be bathed a little more often than usual to prevent that “doggy smell”.
Can you bathe a dog too often?
While too much oil is an issue, you also don’t want to strip all the oil from their skin by bathing too often.
Bathing your dog too frequently will strip too many of the natural oils from your dog’s skin. Too much of these oils can be a problem, but so too can too little oils.
Without the oils present to properly nurture your dog’s coat and skin, they can dry out. The result is dry, itchy skin and dull, lifeless fur.
If you notice any signs of dryness, cut back on how frequently you are bathing your dog.
If your dog tends to get dirty more frequently, you can try rinsing your dog’s coat occasionally using just water to remove as much dirt as you can without removing all the oils.
How often can you bathe a puppy?
Puppies are more fragile than adult dogs.
If you have a puppy in your home, you may be wondering, “how often can I bathe my puppy?”
Puppies have delicate skin, meaning that they can fall victim to sensitivities far easier than an adult dog.
For this reason, it’s better to hold off on bathing your puppy as much as possible during the first year of their life while still keeping them clean.
For minor messes or quick clean-ups, rinse your puppy off with just water or wipe them down with a gentle, puppy-friendly grooming wipe such as Earthbath Ultra-Mild Wild Cherry Puppy Grooming Wipes.
How often can I wash my puppy with shampoo?
Limit your puppy’s full baths to times where they are most dirty or when you’re concerned that your puppy may have been exposed to something dangerous.
For example, if your puppy has been swimming in dirty water, a full wash will remove any dangerous algae or bacteria that they may be carrying in their fur.
How to Bathe a Dachshund
Giving your Dachshund a bath doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is a little patience and preparation.
For a successful bath, here are some simple steps to follow.
Step one: start with a quick but thorough brushing
Before you do anything related to the bath itself, you need to take a moment to groom your dog with your brush of choice.
Brushing before a bath gets out dead hair and knots before you begin the bath.
When your dog gets wet, any knots or dead hair can quickly become clumped up or matted, preventing the shampoo from getting down into the roots of your dog’s fur.
Step two: gather your supplies
To make the process as easy as possible for both you and your dog, you should gather everything that you’re going to need and place it within reach of where you will be bathing your dog.
- Rubber non-slip mat or towel for traction
- Soft washcloth
- Dog-friendly shampoo and conditioner suited for your dog’s coat and skin types
- Cup or hand-controlled shower hose attachment
- Lick mat or another form of positive distraction
- High-value dog treats for rewards
- A large bath towel or two
When selecting the best shampoo and conditioner, make sure that you are choosing one made specifically for dogs.
Human shampoos contain ingredients that can be toxic for your dog.
Step three: prepare the bath
Whether you’re bathing your dog in the bathtub or the sink, the next step is to run a bath of lukewarm water.
The ideal temperature for dog bath water falls between 90- and 98-degrees Fahrenheit. Water that is too hot or too cold can be shocking or uncomfortable.
Fill your tub up with a couple of inches of water, enough to cover your dog’s paws.
Put a non-slip rubber mat in your bath so they won’t slide around.
Place a non-slip rubber mat or a towel in the bottom of the bath. This will give your dog better traction during their bath, helping to make them feel secure.
To distract your dog during the bath, smear their favorite treat on a lick mat with suction cups and stick it to the side of the tub within their reach.
You can use any soft food that your dog enjoys such as peanut butter (without xylitol), canned dog food, mashed berries, or pumpkin puree.
Step four: place your dog in the bath
Carefully pick up your Dachshund while supporting their back and place them into the bath.
If this is your dog’s first bath, take some time to allow them to adjust to standing in the water while rewarding them with high-value treats.
The combination of treats and praise will help to set the stage that this is a positive experience.
If you are using a lick mat, direct your dog’s attention to the tasty treat on the mat.
Step five: wash your dog’s face
Before introducing any shampoo to the water, take your soft washcloth and gently wash your dog’s face.
If possible, stick to just water when cleaning around the eyes and nose.
If you are cleaning something off that will require the help of shampoo, be careful to avoid getting soap into their eyes, ears, or mouth.
Step six: wet, lather, and rinse
Using a cup or jug, carefully wet down your Dachshund’s body while trying to avoid startling or upsetting them.
If you have a shower hose attachment or shower wand, you can use it set to a low level.
There are shower hose attachments specifically designed for cleaning dogs like the Aquapaw Dog Bath Brush.
The sprayer on this attachment is a silicone scrubbing tool similar to a curry comb, allowing you to brush and scrub your dog while bathing.
The sprayer on this attachment is a silicone scrubbing tool similar to a curry comb, allowing you to brush and scrub your dog while bathing.
A special brush attachment can help get the soap to the root of their fur.
Slowly add shampoo to your dog’s fur and massage it into their fur from head to tail.
If you aren’t using the Aquapaw tool, consider using a rubber bath brush to help ensure that the soap is reaching down to the root of the fur while also removing any loose fur that was missed during the initial brushing.
Take your time rinsing all the shampoo out of your dog’s fur. Any residue left behind can cause skin irritation and itching.
Repeat this process with the conditioner, if you are using it.
Work the conditioner into your dog’s fur a little at a time to avoid using too much.
For long-haired Dachshunds, comb through the fur with a detangling brush to loosen up any knots.
Carefully rinse all of the conditioner out.
Step seven: dry fully
With your dog still in the tub, allow the water to drain out.
Place a towel over your Dachshund before carefully lifting them out of the bath and placing them on the bathroom floor.
Use the towel to dry your dog as much as possible.
Be prepared for the fact that your dog may shake and send water flying all over you and your bathroom. You may want to have extra towels available to dry the space (and yourself).
Dachshunds can get cold very easily, so it’s important to try to dry them as much as possible before letting them loose in your house.
Unless it’s a warm, sunny summer day, avoid letting your dog go outdoors until they have completely dried.
What Should I Do if My Dachshund is Afraid of Water?
If your Dachshund is afraid of water, bath time is going to take a little extra patience. Make sure to stay calm yourself, as your dog will pick up your energy levels.
You may need to start the process of desensitizing your dog to bath time before even placing them into the tub.
Make the experience positive by giving them treats and praising them when they come by the tub.
Bring your dog into the bathroom, offering treats and praise while your dog is near the tub. You can do this between bath times to continue to enforce this positive connection with the bathroom area.
Speak to your dog calmly from start to finish. Your calm voice will go a long way to help settle your dog’s nerves.
Take bath time slow, giving your dog the opportunity to dictate how quickly you move from one step to the next.
For example, if you notice that your dog is having a hard time standing in the water, focus on calming them down and easing that anxiety before introducing shampoo.
Remember: This is a process.
Your dog’s first bath may be full of challenges. But, with each bath after, their comfort level will grow.
Alternatives to Giving Your Dog a Bath
You might be wondering how to give your dog a bath without water or how to make your dog smell good without a bath.
There are going to be times when a traditional bath isn’t going to work.
In these moments, there are alternatives to freshen your dog up quickly and easily.
These options are ideal when you’re traveling, including camping or staying at a hotel where bathing your dog in the bathroom isn’t an option.
If your dog is recovering from an injury, they may not be able to get wet until they have healed.
Or, if you’re the one in recovery, you may not be able to lift your dog as needed for bath time.
Whatever the reason, these bath alternatives make it easy to freshen up your dog until you can bathe them once again.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy cleaning solution to freshen up your pet’s fur or paws, grooming wipes are a great option.
These cleaning wipes work to remove dirt, dander, drool, and more from the surface of your dog’s fur.
You can purchase grooming wipes with fresh scents like the Earthbath Pet Mango Tango Grooming Wipes.
Grooming wipes are a quick way to clean your dog up without having to give them a bath.
Using these scented products, you can remove the dirt and grime while leaving behind a pleasant smell that can help to mask any deeper odors that you can’t completely remove without a bath.
There are also fragrance-free options for dogs that have sensitive skin.
Grooming wipes are great for surface-level dirt, but they don’t address any dirt found beneath the surface of the fur.
Similar to dry shampoos that are used by people, waterless shampoo is a no-rinse formula that can be used to remove dirt and deeper smells from your dog’s coat when a bath isn’t an option.
Waterless shampoos are made from naturally derived ingredients that are safe for your dog, even if they are licking their fur after use.
However, I recommend you take the time to read through the label of any product you are considering to make sure that there is nothing concerning.
Dog deodorizing sprays
Deodorizing sprays don’t necessarily clean dirt and grime like a waterless shampoo, but they do work to neutralize odors and leave your dog smelling fresh.
They’re more than just a perfume or “body spray”.
Instead, they are formulated with PH-balanced deodorizers that reduce smells, while also reducing the risk of itching, dryness, hot spots, and excess shedding.
There are many different formulas available including deodorizers with fresh scents, fragrance-free deodorizers for dogs with sensitive skin, and even dog deodorizing sprays made specifically for puppies.
Are you concerned about the big question, “how often can you bathe a dog?” If so, a deodorizing spray is a great way to keep your dachshund smelling fresh in between baths!
Brush it out/wipe it off
If you’re out enjoying the great outdoors, you may find yourself faced with a muddy Dachshund and no option for cleaning it.
As your dog’s fur dries, much of this dirt will naturally fall off.
Once the dirt on your dog dries, it’s easy to wipe it all off.
You can help it along by giving your dog a quick brush or wiping them down with a towel.
I go for a lot of muddy hikes and wet walks with my Dachshunds Summit and Gretel.
Their belly and feet are often really dirty when we come home or I go to put them in the car.
I always towel them off the best that I can and let them dry. Miraculously, most of the dirt is gone once they dry!
If some dirt does remain, it eventually wears off or I can use a dog grooming wipe when I have access to one again.
Putting a Dirty Dog in your Car
If you’ve been out enjoying time in nature with your Dachshund, you may now be faced with the challenge of bringing a dirty or muddy dog home.
If a quick wipe down with a towel isn’t enough, there are additional steps that you can take to protect your car from muddy paws.
For dog parents that are concerned about their car seats, you may be interested in installing a car hammock.
These are protective barriers that cover the seats and seat backs in the backseat of your vehicle, preventing mud, water, dust, and dirt from getting into your vehicle.
For Dachshund owners that are concerned about that “doggy smell”, we’ve presented many great options to keep your dog looking and smelling fresh.
Going back to the original question, “how often should I bathe my Dachshund?”
While the general rule of thumb is once every three months, every dog is different.
Pay attention to the signs that your dog needs a bath and record the time that passes from one bath to the next.
Before long, you will be able to create a custom bath schedule to meet all your Dachshund’s needs!