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How Often To Bathe Shiba Inus: (Full Bathing Guide)

Bathing your Shiba at the right frequency and with the right method can make a drastic difference to their skin and coat health. If you own a Shiba, this definitely worth your time!

Below I’ll cover bathing your Shiba Inu, including how often to do so, why these dogs don’t require too many baths, the importance of avoiding overbathing, and the benefits of natural ingredient dog shampoo.

shiba inu bathing

How Often to Bathe a Shiba Inu

Unlike many other breeds, Shiba Inus are remarkably self-cleaning animals, similar to cats in their grooming habits. As such, they don’t require frequent baths.

Typically, bathing a Shiba Inu once every 3-4 months is the perfect bathing frequency.

However, the frequency can depend on your specific dog and their activities.

For example, if your Shiba Inu is a fan of outdoor escapades and gets dirty more often, you might need to bathe them more frequently. Conversely, if they primarily stay indoors and manage to stay relatively clean, bathing them every four months should suffice.

Here’s a simple bathing schedule to consider:

  • Regularly: Brush their coat to remove dirt and loose fur.
  • Every 3-4 months: Full bath (adjust based on individual dog’s lifestyle)
  • As needed: Spot clean muddy paws or dirty fur

According to VCA Hospitals, brushing your Shiba Inu’s coat not only keeps it clean between baths but also distributes oils, promotes healthy skin and coat, and strengthens your bond with your pet.

Shiba Inus are Naturally Clean & Don’t Need Too Many Baths

Shiba Inus have a unique double coat that is designed to keep them clean and insulated. They will often groom themselves, much like a cat, which contributes to their general cleanliness.

Overbathing can lead to unnecessary problems, which we’ll discuss further in the next section.

Shiba Inus also have a waterproof undercoat that helps repel dirt and keeps their skin dry. This layer is another reason why these dogs stay relatively clean compared to other breeds.

However, you should always remember that a clean coat doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy coat, and part of maintaining a healthy coat involves the occasional bath.

Why Owners Must Avoid Overbathing

Excessive bathing can strip away the natural oils in your Shiba Inu’s fur, leading to dry, itchy skin, and a dull coat.

Overbathing can also disrupt the natural pH balance of their skin, which can lead to a variety of skin conditions. WebMD Pets provides more details about the negative effects of overbathing.

Additionally, overbathing can cause your Shiba Inu unnecessary stress. Like many other dog breeds, Shiba Inus are not typically fond of water, and forcing them into too many baths can lead to anxiety.

Why Owners Should Use a Natural Ingredient Dog Shampoo

Choosing the right dog shampoo is an essential part of your Shiba Inu’s bath time routine.

Shampoos made with natural ingredients are less likely to irritate your dog’s skin or strip away the natural oils from their coat.

Opting for a shampoo made with ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, or lavender can be soothing for your dog’s skin and can leave their coat soft and shiny.

Our favorite shampoo (I’ve been using this for years)

Be sure to avoid shampoos that contain harsh chemicals or fragrances, as these can cause skin irritations. The American Kennel Club has a fantastic article that elaborates on the importance of choosing the right dog shampoo.

7 Great Shiba Inu Bathing Tips

Bathing your Shiba Inu can be a more positive experience for both you and your pet with the right approach. Let’s dive deeper into the steps and tips for a successful bath time.

Preparation is key.

Before you even turn on the water, make sure you’ve thoroughly brushed your Shiba Inu’s coat. This will help remove any loose hair and detangle knots, making the bathing process smoother and less stressful. Additionally, having all your bathing supplies such as shampoo, towel, and treats, within reach before starting the bath can help the process run more smoothly.

Adjust the water to a comfortable temperature.

Just like us, dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Ensure the water is lukewarm – neither too hot nor too cold. This will make the bath more comfortable for your Shiba Inu and reduce their anxiety.

Wet your Shiba Inu’s coat thoroughly.

Before applying any shampoo, it’s crucial to get your Shiba Inu’s coat completely wet. This will help the shampoo distribute evenly and work more effectively. Always start wetting your Shiba from the neck and move downwards, this helps keep water from getting into their ears and eyes.

Apply shampoo from neck down.

To protect your Shiba Inu’s eyes and ears from shampoo, start applying it from the neck down. Use your fingers or a soft grooming brush to work the shampoo gently into their coat. Ensure that the shampoo is applied evenly across their body, paying particular attention to dirt-prone areas such as the belly and paws.

Rinse thoroughly to prevent skin irritation.

After working in the shampoo, make sure to rinse thoroughly. Leaving shampoo residue on your Shiba Inu’s skin can cause irritation and discomfort, and may also lead to dry, itchy skin. Be thorough but gentle in your rinsing, making sure to get all areas of their body, again starting from the neck and moving downwards.

Dry your Shiba Inu gently.

After the bath, it’s time to dry your Shiba Inu. Avoid rubbing their coat aggressively, as this can cause breakage and irritation. Instead, pat dry gently with a towel. You might want to consider using a microfiber towel as they are more absorbent. Some Shiba Inus might also tolerate a blow dryer on a low, warm setting, but always observe your dog’s behavior to make sure they’re comfortable.

Reward and praise your Shiba Inu post-bath.

Lastly, don’t forget to praise your Shiba Inu and possibly give them a reward after the bath. This will help build positive associations with bath time, which can make future baths easier.

By following these detailed steps, you can ensure your Shiba Inu’s bathing routine is not only thorough but also a positive and stress-free experience for your pet.

Why These Bathing Tips Will Result in a Healthier Skin & Coat

These bathing tips are crucial to ensure your Shiba Inu’s coat and skin stay healthy. Regular brushing, as mentioned earlier, not only removes loose hair and tangles but also distributes the coat’s natural oils, enhancing its health and sheen.

Using the right water temperature and shampoo ensures that the bathing experience is comfortable and not damaging to the skin. Thorough rinsing is crucial to prevent shampoo residue from causing skin irritations, while gentle drying helps to prevent damaging the fur and skin.

By following these practices, you are promoting a healthier skin and coat, which is integral to your Shiba Inu’s overall health and well-being.

Last Thoughts

While bathing your Shiba Inu might seem like a daunting task, it’s a necessary part of their grooming routine that, when done correctly, can contribute significantly to their overall health and happiness. It’s crucial to remember that less is more when it comes to bathing your Shiba Inu. Use natural ingredient dog shampoo, maintain a regular (but not too frequent) bathing schedule, and always keep their comfort in mind during bath time. These best practices will ensure your Shiba Inu remains clean, comfortable, and healthy.

Happy bathing to you and your Shiba Inu!


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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