Bathing your dog is an important part of their care. Most dogs don’t need a bath more often than once a month. But how often you bathe a Labradoodle will depend upon how messy they are! As a low shedding breed, these mixes often only need occasional bathing, unless they become dirty when out exercising.
Today we will take a look. at how to decide the perfect bathing schedule for your Labradoodle. And give you top tips for the best way to keep their coat and skin in the best possible condition.
You should start bathing your Labradoodle when they’re a puppy, so they can get used to the process. Helping them get accustomed to the bathing and drying process will make it easier when they are bigger.
The specific method used to bathe a Labradoodle will vary from one dog to the next, because their coat types can vary significantly. Some may have the tight curls of the Poodle, whilst others have straighter, thick Lab coats.
Is Labradoodle Bathing Important?
While many Labradoodle dogs are easier to manage than other breeds or mixes thanks to their low-shedding fur, they still need routine grooming. And yes, this sometimes includes a scheduled bath.
Labradoodles are energetic, playful, and fun-loving breeds that love spending time outdoors and in water. And, playtime outside almost always involves some splashing in puddles and rolling in dirt. When this happens, your doodle dog will need a bath!
This could also be the case if your pet develops a skin condition that needs to be treated with a medicated shampoo. So, you may find the event happening more often than you first expected. And you need to be prepared
It’s not something that any Labradoodle owner can avoid. Even if you take your dog to the groomer regularly, there will be times where you need to clean them after a particularly messy walk. That said, there are some dos and don’ts that come along with bathing your Labradoodle, and that’s where we come in.
A Closer Look at the Labradoodle Coat
Before we get into bathing your Labradoodle, it’s best to have a basic understanding of the Labradoodle dog’s coat. Because Labradoodles are crossbreed dogs, their coat’s texture, color, and shedding frequency can vary. This is especially true if you have a first- or second-generation Labradoodle crossbreed.
Their fur sheds less and produces less allergy inducing dander than many other types of dogs. Still, it’s important to know that there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. All dogs shed and shed most during shedding season, including the Labradoodle.
Along with being low shedding, the Labradoodle also has a dirt-repellent coat that tends to be much easier to manage. This doesn’t mean they can’t get messy when they find a lovely muddy puddle. But, it is good news if you’re looking for a lower maintenance dog when it comes to grooming. Still, it’s best you keep your Labradoodle on a bathing schedule that starts during puppyhood.
At What Age Should You Start Bathing Your Labradoodle?
You can begin bathing your Labradoodle once he reaches three months of age. Try using a quality shampoo and conditioner that is designed for puppies. Before three months, it’s a good idea to get your Labradoodle puppy used to being wet and being washed. This is a part of socialization and can help make future bath times much easier.
How Often Do Labradoodles Need Baths?
Once you begin bathing your Labradoodle, you may be tempted to do it more often than needed. After all, who doesn’t love a super soft and yummy smelling dog? But, over-bathing your Labradoodle can actually be damaging to their skin and fur.
Once your Labradoodle reaches at least three months of age, you can begin bathing him once every two to three weeks. Some Labradoodles can go up to five weeks if they don’t get into anything especially yucky in the meantime.
The Consequences of Over-Bathing
It’s important not to over-bathe your Labradoodle. Doing so could have a negative impact on their skin and coat. All dogs produce natural oils that help aid in skin and coat health. Over-washing them can hinder this natural production of oils they need in order to keep their fur healthy.
Overproduction or underproduction of these oils can cause an increase in skin problems. Including allergies, dry skin, patchy fur, and can even increase shedding.
Luckily, Labradoodles are not known to carry much doggy odor. Still, if you want to help keep your Labradoodle smelling fresh between bath time, you always have the option of using grooming wipes or coconut oil. Some owners find this helps to reduce dry skin, soothe allergies, and keep their Labradoodle smelling lovely. However, be aware there is currently little evidence in scientific studies for these claims.
How to Bathe a Labradoodle
When you do begin bathing your Labradoodle, make sure the water is warm, not hot, and that you protect your Labradoodle’s eyes, ears and nose. You have the option of using cotton balls to protect your dog’s sensitive ears from water and shampoo.
- Start off by wetting your Labradoodle’s fur completely.
- You can then gently rub in your chosen shampoo, working it through their curls gently.
- Make sure the shampoo is fully rinsed out before moving onto the conditioner.
- Once again, make sure all conditioner is fully washed out afterwards.
- When the product is completely removed from your dog’s fur, you can finish the bath.
- Dry them off with a towel at first, gently patting them dry and squeezing water out of the fur.
- You may choose to finish drying them off with a hairdryer, but make sure this isn’t too hot on their skin.
Use your hand to soften the intensity of air. Try to get your Labradoodle as dry as possible after their bath, so that they don’t get too cold. Wash your Labradoodle’s body first and then carefully focus on the head to ensure water doesn’t get into the ears.
Tips for Getting Your Labradoodle Used to Bathtime
Getting your Labradoodle puppy comfortable with being bathed at an early age can make all the difference when it comes to routine bath time. We should note that most dogs do not like being bathed. Even dogs who love water often tuck their tails when it comes time for a good wash.
That said, you can help make bath time easier for your Labradoodle by starting early and introducing them to water gently. Don’t force your Labradoodle into the bath. Instead, go about it slowly and at your Labradoodle’s pace. Use treats and praise to introduce them to all elements of the bath including:
- The bathtub
- Wash rag
- Blow dryer
It might be the case that you have to introduce each of these things separately, over a few weeks to keep your Labradoodle happy with bath time as a puppy. Try and ensure that every experience is as positive as possible for your Labradoodle to help decrease stress in the future.
Choosing the Right Products
Keeping your Labradoodle on a routine bathing schedule can help reduce the chances of causing damage to his skin and coat. But it’s also just as important to make sure you are using the right products.
Try and stay away from human shampoos and conditioners when bathing your Labradoodle. Many of them contain fragrances, alcohols and chemicals that can be harmful to dogs.
Remember, Labradoodles, (and all dogs, for that matter), have a different PH level than human beings do. And they are very sensitive to certain ingredients in our soaps, shampoos and conditioners.
Instead, stick with more natural products that are tear-free and specifically designed for dogs. It’s also a good idea to look for shampoos and conditioners that are specified for your Labradoodle’s specific age. Puppies will do best when washed with a gentle puppy shampoo and conditioner, and adult dogs should be fine with an adult dog shampoo and conditioner.
How Often Can You Bathe A Labradoodle
Bathing your Labradoodle is an important part of their care. But it shouldn’t be done too often, to avoid skin irritation or removal of important oils from their coat. Most dogs only need bathing once a month routinely, and in between a quick spray down should remove most muck.
Do you have tips and tricks our readers should know about when it comes to making sure your Labradoodle stays clean? Leave your thoughts about bathing your Labradoodle in the comment section below.
References and Resources
- Craig, M. ‘Canine Skin Disease – Using the Right Shampoo’, Veterinary Nursing Journal (2014)
- O’Neill, D. ‘Progress in Purebred Health Since the Bateson Report of 2010’, Vet Record (2014)
- Vredegoor, D. (et al), ‘Can f 1 Levels in Hair and Homes of Different Dog Breeds: Lack of Evidence to Describe Any Dog Breeds as Hypoallergenic’, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2012)