Bathing your German Shorthaired Pointer is crucial for its overall well-being. However, it might be challenging for many new GSP owners to figure out how often they should bathe their pets. The truth is that the answer is dependent on a variety of factors.
A healthy German Shorthaired Pointer doesn’t have to bathe often. They can go for an extended period (4-8 weeks) because these shorthaired breeds regularly shed, which helps remove excess oil and dirt. Thus, one bath every month is good enough.
However, the number of times to bathe a German Shorthaired is not as straightforward as most people perceive. To help you out, I have prepared a well-researched article on bathing this sporty, intelligent breed. So please read on.
Considering Regular Baths for German Shorthaired Pointers
German Shorthaired Pointers are not too furry hence do not pick up cockleburs or require regular baths. However, you can bathe your German Shorthaired as often as possible, especially when they stink or play in the dirt.
The more fur a dog has, the more work it takes to groom them, including bathing it regularly. Therefore, except when your teeny-tiny puppy has sneaked into the dumpster or was out for a hunt, you can put off the bath.
GSPs are also adept swimmers. Your GSP can use swimming in place of a bath. If you let your dog swim on occasion, keep an eye on them and keep them in safe, shallow waters where they can always touch the ground.
However, you should regularly check their skin and body even when you aren’t bathing them to ensure they are in the best condition.
GSP Bathe Guide
Bathing dogs frequently can dry out their natural skin coat, which can lead to skin breaks. Thus, it would help if you bathed your GSP only when necessary. Otherwise, frequent baths may dry out your GSP’s skin because they will strip the natural oils on the skin and coat.
Remember, the oils keep your GSP’s coat healthy.
When you decide to bathe your GSP, they usually require two baths. The first wash cleans your GSP’s coat. After clearing away all-natural oils, dirt, and dead skin cells, a second rinse is used to re-nourish and moisturize the coat.
Brush your GSP regularly between baths to help remove the dirt and debris that might accumulate in his coat. Your dog may hate the brushing at first, but they come to like it gradually, especially if you do it like a massage.
Be Keen on Sensitive Skin
When bathing your dog, beware of allergies such as Lupoid Dermatosis that usually affect young GSPs. Your GSP’s skin sensitivity may influence how you should bathe your dog.
Since some shampoos may be reactive with the skin, it’s advisable to use a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo, preferably one that is oatmeal-based. Oatmeal is gentle and moistens your GSP’s dry skin.
The Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo formula (available on Amazon.com) is one such shampoo designed for dogs prone to skin allergies and also has a pleasant scent.
Even if your GSP’s skin isn’t sensitive or infected, it’s still advisable to wash him with a gentle shampoo.
And as a golden rule, you should never use a cleanser or soap designed for humans on your dog since the pH level of a dog’s skin differs from ours. Human shampoo is destructive to dogs as it might cause dryness and irritation, or even disrupt the acid mantle and expose your pup to pests or bacteria.
In addition, you should never bathe your German Shorthaired Pointer in hot water. The water should always be lukewarm. If the water is overly hot, it can burn or irritate your dog’s skin.
Protect Your GSP’s Eyes and Ears From Shampoo
Rub in the shampoo on all parts, including the underbelly and between legs, for a thorough clean. However, keep shampoo away from your GSP’s eyes and ears when bathing him.
To remove stubborn and caked-on grime, it is advisable to use a rubber brush. Make sure to rinse well before repeating the process. If you don’t wash away the shampoo properly, your dog will probably itch and scrape.
Once done with the cleaning, you should gently “squeegee” off excess water with your hands and dry him off with a towel. Proper drying gives your GSP a healthy, appealing coat.
Tip: To keep the coat in perfect condition, follow the bath with a conditioner or moisturizer. For instance, the Espree Aloe Hydrating Spray For Pets (available on amazon.com) not only conditions and hydrates dry skin, but also leaves your pet with a clean aloe vera fragrance.
More Tips on Grooming Your GSP
Your GSP naturally produces oil to keep their skin from drying out. Some hairs are extremely soft and short, while others are slightly longer and coarser in texture.
Pay attention to the following when bathing your GSP:
- Coat: A GSP coat requires very little maintenance. Any soft-bristle brush will suffice. You don’t need any “dog glove” with needles or combs.
- Eyes: Flush any foreign matter from the GSP’s eyes with an opti-soothe eyewash.
- Paws: You should use a paw balm once a week to keep paw pads soft and smooth. It also prevents pads from drying.
- Ears: Clean the ears during baths to prevent the development of any ear problems.
- Check anal glands: Check to ensure the anal glands aren’t blocked, especially if you detect an unusual odor.
- Clip nails: Excessively long nails may get caught, e.g., on the couch and torn off, leading to injuries.
- Nurse wounds: GSPs are high-energy dogs and may get hurt while playing or hunting. A healing cream can help treat such wounds, especially when applied gently after baths.
Experts advise against bathing your GSP too often as it can do more harm than good and end up drying your dog’s skin instead of hydrating it.
As a result, it’s critical to strike a fine balance between what will work best for your dog in terms of bathing frequency.
I strongly recommend keeping these tips in mind:
- Bathe your GSP only when needed or once or twice every 1-2 months.
- Brush your GSP’s coat, cut the nails, and regularly groom the ears and eyes.
- Choose the right shampoo.
- Check their skin for any allergies.