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How often are you supposed to give a dog a bath? My friend was horrified to learn that we bathe Bailey about once every week-2 weeks. She'd be so smelly otherwise! My friend said that it's really bad for their skin and they'll star itching, etc. Is that right?

Also - we're feeding her Blue Buffalo Chicken and Oatmeal Small Breed Puppy food. In a couple of months when she turns 1, I want to switch her to adult food, but still for small breeds. The options with Blue Buffalo are all chicken or lamb or salmon mixed with brown rice. Is one protein better than the other? Why choose one over the other? And someone at the pet store said that a lot of times terriers are allergic to grains? I haven't seen anything online about that. Ever hear that? Do I need to worry about the brown rice? I know the food issue is a personal thing and people have strong opinions about it. I have heard pros and cons for feeding completely grain free. I'm just not sure what's best for her breed (breeds?) and why. I had an easier time starting my kids on solid food!

I know this is all over the place - thanks for bearing with me and offering any advice you've got!
 

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As long as you use a proper gentle dog shampoo and make sure to wash it out completely, bathing more frequently shouldn't cause a problem. I wouldn't do it super frequently (like more than once a week) unless she really needed a bath.

As for the allergies, I don't know about other terriers but bully breeds (which are terriers) do tend to have allergies to food more often than other breeds, as far as I've seen at the shelter.
 

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I won't admit to how few baths my two get. I do know hair-type can play a big part in grooming maintenance. Mine would start itching if I were to bathe them that frequently, but if you have been bathing Bailey that often, and he hasn't started itching yet I personally wouldn't worry about unless you start to have a problem. (He is really cute by the ways!)
 

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Thank you, both! She seems to be tolerating it ok - we've only had her 6 - 7 weeks and she seems fine. They say she's a Cairn and wire hair terrier mix, but she's got the cutest underbite. No idea what she is, but we adore her! I never thought I'd be such a dog person!

Any advice on the food?
 

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It's just fine to bathe that often, as long as you are using a high quality shampoo. I have personally found the "dries out their skin" warning to be an old wives tale. Sure, if you are using a heavy detergent it's not good, but clean skin and coat is healthy! I'm a groomer, and would like to bathe mine every 1-2 weeks if I weren't so tired of bathing at the end of the day. ;)
 

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Hair type and breed can definitely play a roll in how often your dog needs a bath. Size can play a roll too. I admit I am lazy and it is really inconvenient to bathe Duke most of the year. He is just too big to bathe in the house so that leaves doing it in the yard or dragging him to a groomer (not paying $40+ for some one else to just wash him) or to one of those self service dog wash places. American Bulldogs do not do well with too many washes, their skin does dry out but they can be "dirty dogs". They drool and roll in dirty and their coats are not "self cleaning" like some breeds. So if he is really dirty or particularly smelly in the winter months I do drag him to a "doggie wash" but otherwise I admit that he may go several months without a bath. He gets one once a month in the summer. Remus who has the coarse protective outer coat is essentially self cleaning. Unless he has been running at the lake (which we do in the nice months) and is really stinky I don't bathe him because he is essentially self cleaning. He goes all winter without a bath because like Duke he has gotten too large to bathe inside and he doesn't swim in the lake in the winter. In the summer he may get hosed at least more frequently and really washed once a month or more often (like when he has sand worked down in his coat or he smells like the dead fish he decided to roll in *eww). Blue is a tiny terrier/chihuahua something mix and she is not self cleaning or too big to bathe in doors. She gets a bath at least once a month if not more often. She does start to stink if not washed and because she sleeps on the furniture we prefer that she smells decent. My oldest son bathes her and she usually just gets washed in human shampoo. Right now the puppy is washed whenever she messes her crate, we will see how often she needs bathed when she gets past this point.

As far as food, I don't know if terriers are more likely to be allergic to grain or not. My little terrier mix can eat anything. I know the trend is to be grain free right now and dogs don't really need grain however if your dog is doing fine on it there is no reason to think she won't continue to do fine on it. My American Bulldog has severe food allergies, it is very obvious when he eats something he shouldn't (strangely he can eat crayons and frogs without an issue). He can't have beef and while he can have chicken he does better off of it. Read the labels, many of the foods may have one of the proteins as a primary source but still have the others. I had an awful time finding a cat food without chicken in it. Limited ingredient diets are made for dogs or cats who have specific dietary needs, I can't remember if Blue makes LID foods or not. We use Kirkland Nature's Domain because it is a good price and it was the food that didn't make Duke sick.
 

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It's kind of odd that your dog smells that badly, I find my terrier mix has a pleasant "sunshine" smell to her fur, not at all offensive. I only bathe her when she gets into something smelly outside. Have you brought it up to your vet by chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's not that she smells abnormally bad. It's just that she's small and low to the ground and can get muddy and stinky just from being outside. I will admit that my husband and I are neat freaks and sensitive to smells, and just don't want the smell of dog or wet dog in the house (and she does go on the furniture). She seems to be doing ok, I was just so taken aback by my friend being to shocked that we bathe her every couple of weeks!
 

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Honestly? Depends on the dog.

I bathe Kylie about once a month/every other month - her fur takes on a strange texture and starts getting a little... stiff, if I don't. She's also got a strange coat in general (harsh, straight, no under coat, and she doesn't shed but instead gets almost terrier like where fur just comes unattached and has to be stripped out by hand, in spite of not having a wire coat at ALL). The RT and BT get bathed three, maybe four times a year. Thud? Once or twice in a year. This is all assuming they haven't gotten into anything particularly gross, and it's not a situation where I can like wipe down paws because they walked through something, or wait for mud to dry and brush it out.

They're GOOD with being bathed, but honestly they don't smell unless there's an ear infection or diet issue, and nobody has fur inclined toward being greasy. I'm definitely NOT a neat freak, either. So it's basically a lot of work for minimal payoff. I'd probably curl up and die if someone told me I had to bathe anyone every week, much less everyone, but i really, really hate that particular chore.

If your dog's doing okay, though, obviously you're not doing anything wrong.
 

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This really depends on the dog.

My dog starts getting dirty at around 2-3 weeks so I wash him every 2 weeks or so. He's small, so low to the ground, and has long hair, so lots of stuff gets on him lol.
 

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I remember seeing this before; http://noseoffense.com/

It's just meant to eliminate odor, so if it's more the smell that bothers you but she's not necessarily -dirty- you could look into trying something like that. From what I understand you can use it right on the dog's fur, as well as other areas that can get smelly like their bed. Seems to have good reviews, I haven't tried it personally.
 

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My Katie is a standard poodle and starts to smell (mostly like dirt) after about 2 weeks. She's bathed every 2-3 weeks depending on our schedule and the amount of dirt that comes off her - especially her feet - is amazing. As Ireth0 said, as long as you're using a gentle, dog-specific shampoo, bathing weekly / biweekly should be fine.

As far as food, some dogs do better with different proteins, some with grain-free, and some with specific grains. Often it's just trial and error with finding a food your dog does well on. As far as food and smell, Katie has been on a variety of foods - different proteins, some grain-free, some grain-inclusive - and I've not noticed any difference in odor.
 

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My Katie is a standard poodle and starts to smell (mostly like dirt) after about 2 weeks. She's bathed every 2-3 weeks depending on our schedule and the amount of dirt that comes off her - especially her feet - is amazing. As Ireth0 said, as long as you're using a gentle, dog-specific shampoo, bathing weekly / biweekly should be fine.

As far as food, some dogs do better with different proteins, some with grain-free, and some with specific grains. Often it's just trial and error with finding a food your dog does well on. As far as food and smell, Katie has been on a variety of foods - different proteins, some grain-free, some grain-inclusive - and I've not noticed any difference in odor.

You know, I really sort of suspect this is related to lack of shedding. Like the hair isn't coming out/turning over, so whatever gets in that coat - including smells and oils - is staying there. Kylie's a little better thanks to the texture of her coat, but she still gets bathed three times as often as my more normally shedding dogs.
 

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You know, I really sort of suspect this is related to lack of shedding. Like the hair isn't coming out/turning over, so whatever gets in that coat - including smells and oils - is staying there. Kylie's a little better thanks to the texture of her coat, but she still gets bathed three times as often as my more normally shedding dogs.
That could be it. We've noticed that she smells less after brushing, but she's usually clipped so short that there's not much to brush. And the dirt that comes out of her feet is just gross.
 

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Dog show people often bathe their dog weekly (or more often) when not showing, and every day when showing. If you use the right products, dilute them appropriately, and rinse them out completely, it's not a problem. I bathe my dog every 6 weeks on average. He doesn't really get smelly at all until 8 weeks, but I like to keep him trimmed and neat looking and it's best to only trim clean fur. It's totally up to you how often you bathe your dog. Some dogs need it more often than others.

Why do you want a food for small dogs specifically? The percentage of fat/protein/carbs that dogs require doesn't really vary between large dogs and small (though may vary between individuals a bit). It will open up your options to more food brands if you don't look for just small breed foods. As far as grain allergies, some dogs have it, some don't, but it's not like all terriers are allergic to grain.

Many people alternate foods so the dog gets a variety. I switch between two different brands primarily (Dr Tim's and Nature's Variety Instinct) and switch up the flavors too. You don't have to stick with one food and one flavor forever. One benefit to mixing things up is you can see how your dog does on different foods with different ingredients.
 

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Eh, yeah, depends on the dog. I have big, thick-coated dogs. 2 of them with long fur. It takes HOURS for them to fully dry after a bath (but not after swimming? I think because the shampoo gets the water down into their undercoats and swimming doesn't). So I don't bathe them, unless they get into something truly awful. If they get dirty, I just let it dry and brush it out. They don't smell too ba most of the time :p. My mom's dogs have single coats (one long, one super short) and they do get smelly and usually get bathed about once a month. I wonder if it has to do with the undercoat absorbing the body oil or something.

Anyway, if you get a good moisturizing shampoo it shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Eh, yeah, depends on the dog. I have big, thick-coated dogs. 2 of them with long fur. It takes HOURS for them to fully dry after a bath (but not after swimming? I think because the shampoo gets the water down into their undercoats and swimming doesn't). /QUOTE]

Shampoo breaks down the oils on the coat and lets them get wetter than swimming would.
 

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Atlas only gets bathed every 6 months or so, unless he gets into something nasty. He never really starts to smell bad.

He's got this amazing coat where no matter how muddy and gross he gets, within about an hour to 2 hours it has has fallen off and you can't even tell he was dirty. It's fantastic.
 

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On average I give Jubel a bath every 6-8 weeks, we're running "late" on a bath right now. I've just been busy and a bit lazy. He really doesn't get smelly but his coat starts to feel a bit grimy. He's really not bad right now but I am starting to feel it in his fur a bit, probably get to it this weekend.

As everyone else has said how often you bathe your dog depends on you and the dog. If she isn't having an issue then you don't have a problem.
 

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I only bathe Toby if he seems to be having issues with dandruff or if he's gotten ridiculously muddy on a walk or at the park, otherwise... maybe once every few months?

It's fine to bathe your dog frequently as long as you're rinsing well, and you don't have to use shampoo every single time. If she's not having issues, you're fine to continue as you are.

As for allergies, they can spring up at any time - but if your dog isn't having any reaction (unexplained bumps, itching, rash, redness, swelling, etc..) than I would assume you're safe to continue feeding her as you choose.
 
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