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How To Decide When To Bathe Your Boston Terrier

  • December 27, 2020
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How To Decide When To Bathe Your Boston Terrier

This post is dedicated to my youngest one Orbit who acts like she’s allergic to water.

If your best furry friend is an active Boston Terrier, loves to roll, run, play outside in the dirt, grass or beach, as well as cuddles with you on your sofa and bed then you should bath your pup every week.

If your dog is not active, doesn’t smell, isn’t sticky, and doesn’t sleep in your bed then there is no reason to bath them regularly. You can stretch it out and bath them between three to four weeks.

The middle ground would be if your Boston Terrier is a house dog who goes on daily neighborhood walks, then you could stretch it out so that you bathe them every two to three weeks.

Don’t Overdo It

Boston Terriers have short coats with no under coats. Avoid:
– Unnecessary baths
– Using the wrong shampoo
– Bathing your Boston with hot water
– Bathing your Boston for too long

If you bathe your dog more frequently than they need it, using the wrong shampoo, at a high temperature or bathe them too long they run the risk of their skin and fur drying out as well as depleting their natural oils.

Every dog is different so you will need to decide when the right time is to bathe your dog depending on the following factors.

When should my boston terrier have a bath infographic

Signs Your Boston Terrier Needs a Bath

– They smell
– They feel sticky
– Their coat feels like a rough brush

I think as dog parents we over think things. We seem to be able to raise children and know instinctively how to take care of them but we pause when it comes to our dogs.

At the very basic level your dog should have a bath they they are dirty. It’s really that simple.

How Dirty Is Your Boston Terrier?

If my Boston Terrier could talk she would plead that baths are evil and unnecessary. Luckily she has no say in this matter.

It takes my two, one week to get dirty. We’re an active dog family walking between three to five miles a day. One of our daily walks is on the beach while the evening one tends to be around the neighborhood.

They wrestle and play bitey face and like Pigpen in Snoopy always seem to end the day covered in dirt and sand.

Sometimes they play so hard they look like bowling balls rolling around on the trails at the beach that I have to give them a water rinse when we get home.  I think this I might be a “two Boston Terrier household” thing because Maggie didn’t get this dirty when she was an only dog.

Luckily for them, this water rinse takes less than a minute in the sink.

In addition to our daily walks we hike and lead pack walks on weekends.

By the end of the week Maggie and Orbit need a bath.

Now my sister’s dog on the other hand is a couch potato. They go on leisurely walks around the neighborhood. As a single dog she lacks a wrestle partner to get dirty with. She gets a bath every three to four weeks.

Your Climate Factors Into the Picture

A friend of ours used to live in San Diego and would bathe their Boston every two weeks.  But when they moved to Seattle they can stretch out the time in-between baths to three and four weeks for the same dog with the same activity level.

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust. Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Boston terrier playing in the beach

How Active Is Your Boston Terrier?

As a general rule. The more active your dog is, the more often they will need a bath.

Now I will say that a high level of activity doesn’t always mean your dog is dirty.

We have a friend who walks with us every day. He’s the only dog in his house and he doesn’t wrestle with my girls. He happily trots along with us and he doesn’t get as dirty as my two.

Does Your Boston Terrier Have Allergies?

You can bath your dog every day up to once a week depending on the severity of their allergies.

For example, when Maggie broke out in a rash and got a staph infection the vet gave her a medicated shampoo to use daily for a week.

When she was younger and her allergies were bad, I’d give her a daily water rinse after our hikes and beach walks.

boston terrier in sink about to get a bath

Does Your Boston Terrier Smell?

There’s a very distinct smell the girls will get at the end of two weeks. A few times I have waited that long and they start to get the “terrier” smell which is a cross between Fritos and musk.

We hypothesize that it’s due to their not having a lot of fur on their chest or bellies and then getting sweaty especially in the hotter summer months.

Should You Bathe Your Boston Terrier in the Sink or Bathtub?

It’s easier to bathe your dog in the sink. Especially if they are on the smaller side.

Both Maggie and Orbit are approximately 17 pounds. They fit in my kitchen sink quite easily.

I use the bathtub when I am bathing them at the same time.

boston terrier in sink about to get a bath

What Shampoo Is Best For Boston Terriers?

Please do not use Dawn soap, Dr. Bronner’s soap, or any human shampoo for your dog.

Instead, use shampoo that is formulated for dogs.

I love TropiClean’s PerfectFUR shampoo for short haired dogs.

It’s made with natural derived ingredients and its mild formulation is gentle enough for me to use every week without the risk of their skin and fur drying out.

I have previously done a review of their shampoo here.

They always feel silky soft after a bath. They smell great and they sleep better once they are clean.

It’s formula also helps to lightly de-shed your Boston Terrier while they are getting bathed which means you don’t need to brush them during the process.

Use lukewarm water, start at the tail and work your way up to the head. I use a simple wash cloth to gently wipe water around their eyes and on their face and neck.

I rinse from the neck down.

And I keep bath times short and stress free.

How To Decide When To Bathe Your Boston Terrier

Will Frequent Baths Harm Your Boston Terrier?

No as long as you use a gentle shampoo made with natural ingredients like TropiClean’s PerfectFUR.

Dog skin is different from ours.

The pH Level of dog skin is 7.0 to 7.52 and humans are around 5.2 t 5.5

Avoid products that have artificial additives or ingredients such as surfactants sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLEs).

I also recommend that you avoid products that have parabens.

Do You Need A Brush When Bathing Them?

No – save the brushing session for a different time.

I’m in the no brushing while bathing camp.

The main reason is that I try to keep the baths are short as possible.

I normally brush them before they get their nails trimmed once a week.

Keep The Treats Handy During Bath Time

Having treats handy during bath time makes the experience more positive for your Boston Terrier.

I even will reserve a certain kind of treat JUST for bath time. I feed treats as they get into the sink, after the rinse, shampoo and rinse.

Final Thoughts

Approach when to bathe your Boston Terrier as follows

– Bathe when they are dirty or smell
– Use a gentle shampoo formulated for short hair dogs like TropiClean’s PerfectFUR.
– Keep bath time periods short
– Keep bath time periods fear free and positive by using treats your dog loves.


Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.

I also want to help Boston Terriers learn as much as they can about this breed so they can raise their dogs responsibly.

I spent twenty years in the resort hospitality business.  At the peak of my sales & marketing career I had twenty six resorts under me.  I got tired of traveling and decided to work for myself.

I now run a social media agency handling social media for succesful pet brands.

I have two dogs.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By, December 27, 2020
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