I've heard a lot about how dogs don't actually need to be bathed, and washing them too much is actually bad for them. Is it true?
Depends on the dog! Some dogs are smellier and slimier than others. Bloodhounds, for example, just straight up smell. I don’t make the rules, they just stink. They have huge ears, droopy skin, and a bad body odor. They drool, get dirty on purpose, and then want all of your unconditional love. So this breed needs to be bathed every week if you plan to live under the same roof.
On the opposite end, you have a breed like the Basenji that clean themselves! Smooth coated breeds can wait up to every 3 months to be bathed.
Certainly dogs get dirty, though, and can be bathed when that occurs up to once a week. But not more often than that or else you can dry out their skin and coat. Dogs like retrievers have a water resistant coat. Bathing them often will strip them of those essential oils.
Double coated breeds need to be brushed everyday, but not necessarily bathed often. Wrinkly dogs need their wrinkles cleaned everyday but, again, not bathed often. Ears should always be checked, especially droopy ones, and parasite protection is important. Long coated breeds can be a fun taxi ride for bugs to enter your home.
So as a dog, they might not need to be bathed if their coats are maintained to prevent matting and to keep parasites away, but as your companion who sleeps in your bed and lays on your carpet, I would recommend bathing them.