How and When to Give Your Puppy a Bath
Worried about when or how to give your puppy a bath? There are things you’ll want to know before you start. Puppies definitely need to be bathed, and as you’ll see, the earlier you start the better.
What age can you bathe a puppy?
If you get your puppy at 8 weeks or older, the earlier you start to bathe your puppy, the better. They need to get used to being bathed when they are young.
How often should you bathe a puppy?
Puppies should get a bath every week for the first 3 or 4 weeks (once they are 8 weeks old). Then change to once every 2 weeks until they are 6 months old.
If your puppy gets extra dirty or gets into the mud, you can add a bath. Or you can just wipe them down with a cloth dipped in warm water with a very small amount of puppy shampoo or baking soda on it between baths. Make sure to wipe them clean with another wet cloth before you dry them.
Pay attention to your puppy’s skin because bathing too often can strip it of essential oils. If your dog’s skin gets dry and flaky, you’re bathing them too often, or the shampoo you are using is not gentle enough.
Once your puppy gets to be 6 months, bathe about once a month.
How do I give a puppy a bath
1. Before You Bathe Them
- Get on clothes that can get wet
- Brush them first – go slow and use treats at first so they learn to like it
2. Prepare The Bath
- Choose your location – Bathe small puppies in the sink or a basin and larger puppies in the bathtub. It’s really helpful to have a spray shower attachment in your tub to rinse them off.
- Use a rubber mat so they don’t slip – Having a slippery surface to stand on might scare your puppy.
- Cover areas around the tub or sink with towels – puppy baths always get messier than you think they will.
- Fill the tub or sink to puppy’s knee height – it’s nice to have a little water for their feet to soak in and to use to splash onto them.
- Make sure water is not too hot – test the water with your elbow instead of your hand since it is more sensitive.
3. Put Your Puppy Into The Tub
- Lower your puppy into the water by holding her under her chest.
- Stay calm even if your puppy doesn’t. You need to be calm for your dog to feel calm. Make sure to talk to them in a reassuring tone.
- If your puppy is scared, gently pour some water over her paws and back with the other hand so she can get used to the water
- Use a plastic cup or container to pour water gently over your puppy’s body to get them wet (Make sure to avoid their face and getting water in their eyes)
- Use gentle, all-natural shampoo – Make sure they are tearless, and never use human shampoo. Dog’s skin is more sensitive than human skin, so they need a shampoo with the right pH level. I have included some shampoo suggestions below
- Rub about a dime size squirt of shampoo onto their coat and suds them up. Make sure to get their armpits, and under their tail.
- Use detangler or conditioner if your dog has a long coat
- Rinse all the shampoo out with a light sprayer from your sink or a tub attachment, or use your plastic container again. Make sure to get all of the soap off their belly and privates since leftover shampoo can cause skin irritation
5. Wash Your Puppy’s Face
- Wash their face separately – Use a wet facecloth, and gently rub their face, making sure to avoid getting too much water in their eyes
6. Towel them off
- Drain the tub or sink and spray off your puppy’s feet.
- Take them out of the tub and wrap them in a towel. Make sure their back feet are wrapped in the towel and supported so they feel secure.
- You can use a blow dryer on the cool setting after you towel them off if the weather is cold. Hold the blow dryer at least 12 inches away from your pup and keep it moving so there is no change for it to overheat one spot on their skin.
7. Love Them and Give Them a Treat
- Bathing can be a scary experience at first, so make sure you snuggle your puppy after a bath. (My puppy likes to be held in her towel for a while), and give her a treat so she starts to associate bathing with good things.
Shampoo – Bert’s Bees Natural Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk
Detangler – Bodhi Dog All Natural Apple Detangling Spray
Rubber Mat for the Tub – OTHWAY Non-Slip Bathtub Mat
Rubber Mat for the Sink – Rubbermaid Evolution Sink Mat
Shower Spray Attachment – YOO.MEE Quick Connect Pets Shower Spray
[RELATED] – 9 Things You Need For Your New Puppy
Can I use Baby wipes on my puppy?
Yes, but make sure to choose an all-natural brand with no chemicals.
Do I need to wash my dog’s genitals?
Yes. Although dogs clean their own genitals, it is good to clean them with soap in a bath to remove dirt from playtime and give them an extra cleaning.
How do I clean my dog’s dirty stomach?
Using the spray attachment on your sink, or adding a spray hose to your tub is very helpful when you are cleaning your dog’s stomach and all of the underside of your dog.
Do dogs like warm or cold baths?
Make sure your dog’s bath is warm, but not too hot. Dogs do not like cold water unless it is very hot outside. Stick to warm water for puppies since cold water can be shocking to them even in high temperatures.
Bathing your puppy can be challenging at first, but following these tips will make it much easier. It takes some time for puppies to get used to bathing, so expect some squirming in the beginning. But if you reassure them, and follow these steps, they will grow to love bath time.
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