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Hi everyone,

I'm new here and am hoping for a bit of advice/suggestions. We have an almost 17-week-old Saint Bernard pup. We are very experienced dog owners; however, he is our very first Saint. We also have 3 other dogs, an almost 8-year-old Golden Retriever, a 6-1/2-year-old Golden Retriever, and a 4-year-old black Lab. My question is can bathing a Saint puppy too frequently have any sort of negative effect on their coat growth? He is a rough coat (long haired) Saint and all of his brothers and sisters from the same litter have significantly more coat than he does. His older siblings from previous litters as well as both of his parents are also very full coated. I have been guilty of bathing our pup about once a week as he does get quite dirty and muddy playing outside and he occasionally has accidents in his crate (although that is gradually getting better as he gets older), requiring him to be washed. I do use an all natural gentle oatmeal puppy shampoo (Oster Oatmeal Naturals), which is what our breeder told us to use so that it doesn't strip the natural oils from his coat, but I am wondering if having a bath and blow dry every 7-8 days is causing his coat not to come in like his brothers and sisters coats have. His head and ears are VERY fluffy, but the rest of his coat is very short. He was also very fluffy all over when he was younger. I do blow dry him after his baths with a dog dryer (not a human blow dryer). Maybe that is drying out his coat too much as well? He does get organic coconut oil as well as fish oil every day for his skin and coat and eats a good quality food, but I'm wondering (and hoping) if I back off a bit on the bathing that his coat will start to fill out and get much thicker and longer. Our breeder told us that none of her pups have ever had a coat as short as his. I actually just ordered some Earthbath grooming wipes to use instead of having to bathe him every single time he gets dirty and smelly, so hopefully that will help. Plus, it would definitely make things a lot easier on me and save a lot of time if I don't have to bathe him quite so frequently!

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm new here and am hoping for a bit of advice/suggestions. We have an almost 17-week-old Saint Bernard pup. We are very experienced dog owners; however, he is our very first Saint. We also have 3 other dogs, an almost 8-year-old Golden Retriever, a 6-1/2-year-old Golden Retriever, and a 4-year-old black Lab. My question is can bathing a Saint puppy too frequently have any sort of negative effect on their coat growth? He is a rough coat (long haired) Saint and all of his brothers and sisters from the same litter have significantly more coat than he does. His older siblings from previous litters as well as both of his parents are also very full coated. I have been guilty of bathing our pup about once a week as he does get quite dirty and muddy playing outside and he occasionally has accidents in his crate (although that is gradually getting better as he gets older), requiring him to be washed. I do use an all natural gentle oatmeal puppy shampoo (Oster Oatmeal Naturals), which is what our breeder told us to use so that it doesn't strip the natural oils from his coat, but I am wondering if having a bath and blow dry every 7-8 days is causing his coat not to come in like his brothers and sisters coats have. His head and ears are VERY fluffy, but the rest of his coat is very short. He was also very fluffy all over when he was younger. I do blow dry him after his baths with a dog dryer (not a human blow dryer). Maybe that is drying out his coat too much as well? He does get organic coconut oil as well as fish oil every day for his skin and coat and eats a good quality food, but I'm wondering (and hoping) if I back off a bit on the bathing that his coat will start to fill out and get much thicker and longer. Our breeder told us that none of her pups have ever had a coat as short as his. I actually just ordered some Earthbath grooming wipes to use instead of having to bathe him every single time he gets dirty and smelly, so hopefully that will help. Plus, it would definitely make things a lot easier on me and save a lot of time if I don't have to bathe him quite so frequently!

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!
I really don't know that bathing frequently would stop his fur from growing, but it definitely is no good for your dog. Using shampoo with oatmeal that is supposed to be less stripping of oils will not matter if you're doing it that frequently. I would definitely invest in wipes and cut back on the bathing. Also I'd wait for a nice sunny/warm day if you need to bathe and let the dog air dry. "Nooties" brand has an excellent selection of spritzers that moisturize your dog's fur and leaves an amazing scent. You could also think about using salmon oil on your dog food just to fortify your dog's skin and coat.

Also, when you bathe your dog you can transfer some shampoo into a spray bottle and dilute with water, then apply to your dog. Shampoo is usually very concentrated, and if you're putting some on your hands and rubbing into the fur, or applying directly to fur to your dog, it isn't being distributed properly, causing certain areas to be extra dried out, and also wasting shampoo.

Hope this helps! My beagle is always a mess in the summer (we hike, and he is a creek swimmer) and I only bathe once a month at the most. Wipes are your friend!
 
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I would think bathing that often is definitely not good for the skin or coat. Dog coats can be amazingly self cleaning. I've had my dogs literally covered head to toe to tail in mud. I did not bath and the mud dried out quickly and I then gave them a good brushing (outside) and they are as good as new, no bath needed. At the same time, it is good to get a giant breed dog used to being bathed as I can only imagine how difficult it could be to bath a full size Saint who does not want to be bathed, lol, but once a week is too often. I too would let air dry, no need to over-dry with a dryer.

Don't worry about his coat not being full right now. It will come as his adult fur grows in and he looses the puppy fuzziness. My husbands brother got a Great Pyrenees/Akbash/Maremma puppy and his fur was quite short and he had a rat tail. Now it's growing fuller and fuller by the day and his tail fur has gotten pretty full too and has feathered. He is about 6-7 months old now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I would think bathing that often is definitely not good for the skin or coat. Dog coats can be amazingly self cleaning. I've had my dogs literally covered head to toe to tail in mud. I did not bath and the mud dried out quickly and I then gave them a good brushing (outside) and they are as good as new, no bath needed. At the same time, it is good to get a giant breed dog used to being bathed as I can only imagine how difficult it could be to bath a full size Saint who does not want to be bathed, lol, but once a week is too often. I too would let air dry, no need to over-dry with a dryer.

Don't worry about his coat not being full right now. It will come as his adult fur grows in and he looses the puppy fuzziness. My husbands brother got a Great Pyrenees/Akbash/Maremma puppy and his fur was quite short and he had a rat tail. Now it's growing fuller and fuller by the day and his tail fur has gotten pretty full too and has feathered. He is about 6-7 months old now.
Thanks so much! I know that I was bathing and blow drying him quite a bit, A LOT more than I do with our adult dogs (they only get baths about once a month, sometimes every 2 months). I'm pretty sure that he is just going through a phase of blowing his puppy fuzz. Our two Golden Retrievers went through the same thing when they were puppies. This is our first Saint, so we weren't exactly sure what to expect as far as coat changes as he grows. I actually talked to some other Saint owners last night and they told me that this is very normal with rough coat saint puppies, that they will be super fuzzy and fluffy one week and then the next week they will lose most of that fluff and go through exactly what our pup is going through right now and that he will go through several other coat changes as he grows and matures. I am definitely going to cut way back on his baths, though, and only bathe him when it's absolutely necessary. We did order some Earthbath grooming wipes off Amazon yesterday to use to wipe him down when he needs it instead of giving him a full blown every time he gets dirty and/or stinky. The wipes are mango scented, so that will be nice. :) He also gets his daily fish oil and organic coconut oil, so I'm sure that will help his skin and coat some as well. :)
 

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Bathing too frequently

The frequency bathing of your Saint Bernard will depend on the time of year and the shedding cycle, and when it got allergies or sensitive skin use a hypo-allergenic shampoo with a tea tree and aloe shampoo. I guess with a proper and right product you choose to use for them much depend for any negative impact if ever.
 

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There is an article called 'Benefits of Bathing Your Dog' by Shawn Messonnier DVM (in Animal Wellness Magazine) that dispels many of the old wives tales about bathing too often... there are many good points....Google it! I would link it but I can't!!!
 
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Here's the article........................






 
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