Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have beautiful, silky coats that require minimal maintenance when compared to other dog breeds. However, these dogs do shed and require regular brushing. They also benefit from having a bath every 1-6 weeks.
The frequency of baths Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need will depend on each individual dog’s lifestyle and skin and coat health. By understanding your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s unique grooming needs, you’ll be able to find the right time to give it baths.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Coat Care
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a single coat that sheds moderately. Because they have long and wavy hair, their coats can get tangled and matted easily.
Matting can prevent air from getting to your pet’s skin and trap moisture, which can lead to skin infections and lesions. Severe matting will also yank on the skin and be extremely irritating and painful to pets. Matted coats can also trap urine and feces, which is both unhygienic and can lead to further infections.
Regular brushing will help keep coats tangle-free and help distribute natural oils. However, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will also benefit from regular baths. A bath can help remove dirt and grease from the skin. It can also help reduce shedding by releasing loose hair from the coat. Using high-quality dog conditioners can nourish your dog’s skin and coat and help alleviate dry, red skin.
It’s important to note that show quality Cavalier King Charles Spaniels cannot have their coat clipped except for beneath the paw pads. If your dog isn’t competing in shows, it’s fine to take your dog to the groomer for a light trim. A groomer can make sure to clip around your dog’s paw pads and any hairs growing in the ears.
It’s important not to completely shave a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as this can cause disruptions in their ability to regulate their body temperature and remove protection from sunburn and insect bites. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s hair length should never be any shorter than 1 inch.
Signs Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Needs a Bath
In general, most Cavalier King Charles will need a bath once a month. Show dogs typically take conditioning baths once a week leading up to a competitive show.
The most common sign to look for is greasiness. Your dog’s skin will produce natural oils, and they’ll build up regardless of how much you brush your dog. Once the texture of your dog’s coat starts to feel greasy or coarse, it’s a good sign that it’s bath time.
You can also look for dirt buildup and may notice that your dog’s coat looks duller. If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel steps or falls into dirt or mud, bathe them as soon as possible.
Another sign that your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs a bath is odor. Dogs will naturally emit an odor, and most dog owners just become used to the smell over time. However, if the smell is too strong, it can become quite a nuisance and warrant a bath.
When it comes to odors, it’s important to note that strong odors may sometimes indicate an infection or other underlying medical condition. If you notice strange smells or stronger odors from your dog, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes.
Some Cavalier King Charles Spaniels may have skin conditions that require more frequent bathing with medicated shampoo. If you suspect that your dog has developed a skin condition, you can consult with your veterinarian to provide proper treatment.
How To Tell If You’re Bathing Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Too Much
Too much bathing can strip your dog’s skin of natural oils that moisturize and nourish the skin. So, it’s important to prevent overbathing your dog. One common sign of too much bathing is a dry, coarse coat. The coat will also look duller and weak.
Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may also start to itch or lick its skin more frequently. Look for dry skin, flaking, or redness. These are all signs that could possibly point to overbathing.
Tips for Bathing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
When bathing dogs, it’s important to provide a calm atmosphere. Staying calm will let your dog know that it doesn’t have to worry or feel nervous.
It can be helpful for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel if you lay a rubber mat in the tub or sink to help them maintain their grip while you bathe them. You can also gently place cotton balls in its ears to prevent water from flowing into the inner ear. Just make sure to keep them close to the surface of the ear to keep them from getting lodged inside.
You may need to shampoo your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel twice. This is because this breed has a water-resistant coat, so the shampoo may not fully get incorporated with one round. For extra nourishment, apply conditioner.
You can use a damp cloth and wipe your dog’s face to prevent water and shampoo from getting into the eyes, nose, or mouth. A dog shampoo wipe can also help you keep your dog’s face clean without causing irritation.
After you completely rinse your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat, use ear cleanser to clean out their ears. Since this breed has long, floppy ears, moisture can get trapped inside more easily than in other dog breeds. An ear cleanser will help remove debris and keep your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s ears dry.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels don’t have extensive grooming needs, but they still require routine brushing and bathing. Bathing your dog can help maintain healthy skin and coat, while overbathing can irritate the skin and strip the coat dry. So, finding the right frequency will greatly benefit your dog’s skin and coat health.
If you’re having trouble determining the right grooming schedule for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you can always consult with your veterinarian or a reputable groomer. These professionals can help you develop a healthy grooming regimen that will keep your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel clean and happy.
Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock