Puppy Baths 101

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Bathing is very important to your puppy’s general care and well-being. By bathing your pup, his skin and coat will be fresh and clean! This helps remove loose hair, debris and improve their coat’s shine. What type of shampoo to use? Puppies have very sensitive skin so choose a shampoo specifically designed for dogs. For dogs […]

Bathing is an essential part of your puppy’s hygienic care and well-being. By bathing your puppy regularly, you help keep their skin and coat clean at all times. Bathtime also helps make your puppy’s coat shinier and softer.

Puppy baths are an activity that most puppy parents worry about. In fact, 56% of puppy parents don’t give their dogs a bath as often as they should, according to Veterinarians.Org. Of course, it’s obvious that most puppies don’t like getting bathed. There are countless videos all over social media of dogs and puppies resisting their bath time. 

However, even if your puppy barks, whines, or fidgets, you must bathe them. Here’s how you can make your puppy’s bathing process easy and stress-free!

When can you bathe your puppy?

You’ll hear different options about when is the right time to bathe your puppy. At Petland, we suggest bathing your puppy as soon as you bring them home. Sniff or run your hands through their fur to check if they need it. Most breeders or pet stores bathe their puppies before they’re sent to their new families. If you want your puppy to be comfortable, you can also wait for a day or two before giving them a bath. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for your puppy.

How often should you bathe your puppy?

Although it may seem like a good idea, avoid bathing your puppy too much. Bathing your puppy often does more harm than good since it strips away the oils from their fur. This causes their fur and skin to dry out, which can lead to skin problems.

There’s no golden rule or schedule to follow but we recommend following this guide:

  • At three months, bathe your puppy once a week
  • At six months, bathe your puppy once a month
  • For one year and older, bathe your puppy whenever needed (usually a month)

All dogs develop a strong odor after a few weeks without bathing. This odor is best described as a stinky dog odor that’s caused by sweat and dirt from their outside adventures.

Once your puppy has this scent, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to bathe them. You should also consider your puppy’s breed, size, and activity level to decide how often to give them a bath. 

What type of shampoo to use?

Because puppies have sensitive skin so be sure to pick a shampoo that’s designed just for puppies, preferably one of their age and size. For dogs with skin issues, ask your local vet what type of shampoo you can use to help treat your pup’s condition.

How should you bathe your puppy?

There are several ways to give your fur-baby a bath! Before you start, we suggest brushing your puppy’s coat first to remove any dirt or debris in their skin or fur. 

Don’t forget to be gentle and loving when bathing your furry friend. Ensuring your puppy is comfortable during their bath helps them associate the experience with positivity.

Here are a few tips on how to bathe your puppy.

  • Brush your puppy’s coat thoroughly to remove dirt trapped in their fur.
  • By placing a rubber mat under your puppy’s feet, you will prevent them from slipping.
  • With a hose or a bucket of water wet your puppy with warm water.
  • Start by shampooing your puppy’s neck and work your way down to its paws. As you rub the shampoo on your puppy, make sure you get a nice lather. Remember to always use your fur-baby’s designated shampoo.
  • When washing your puppy’s face, be careful around the eyes, and don’t get water in their ears.
  • Rinse thoroughly and make sure all the soap is washed out of your puppy’s fur.
  • First, towel-dry your puppy. If your fur-baby has a short coat, you could let them air-dry. However, if your pooch has longer fur you should blow dry on the lowest setting. Be very careful and don’t move the hair dryer too close to your puppy to avoid burns.
  • Once your pooch’s hair has dried, brush their fur again.
  • Check your puppy for any dry skin patches. If their skin is dry, avoid washing your puppy as frequently.
  • Lastly, reward your best friend with a lot of praise and treats!

By making pleasant associations with bath time, it will be easier for you to bathe your puppy in the future and give you the opportunity to bond.  Be sure to pay close attention to the spots behind the ears, their muzzle, paws, and neck area.

Although puppies should not be frequently bathed, don’t hesitate to give your puppy a good wash if they get too dirty. Want to know how you can groom your puppy after its bath? Take a look at our blog, Puppy Grooming for some tips.