Washing and bathing your puppy is a great way for you to bond with your pet, plus they’ll be extra cuddly and sweet-smelling following a bath. Here’s some advice on introducing them to washing and bathing routines and some mistakes to avoid.
Puppy’s first bath
Getting your puppy used to bathing and grooming is really important when they’re small because you want your puppy to be exposed to different experiences and feel comfortable with them. This is something you can focus on when they first come home when they’re 8-10 weeks old and aren’t yet able to go to the park as they haven’t been fully vaccinated.
To help with their socialisation you should regularly give your puppy cuddles and desensitise them to you handling their paws, ears, tail, mouth and more which will help you during bath time. Before you give them their first bath, let them play in the tub area without any water so they become comfortable with it. Remember, their first bath should be a positive experience so that they do not react negatively to baths in the future.
How to wash a puppy
- Keep a light tone and reassure your puppy throughout this process as this new experience can be scary for them at first but they will soon learn it is fun!
- Comb your puppy’s coat while they are still dry to remove knots and tangles. If there is any matting, carefully tease these out, shave them, or as a last resort, carefully trim these with children’s blunt scissors
- Prepare the bath area by providing your puppy with a non-slip mat or towel to stand on, and making sure you have additional dry towels at the ready
- Fill the tub with comfortably warm water so your puppy does not catch a chill. Make sure they can securely stand in the tub and are not at risk of drowning
- Use a mild, soap-free puppy shampoo, not adult dog or human shampoo, as your puppy has sensitive skin and needs a gentle touch
- Wash your puppy’s body first and take care not to wet their head. Instead, wipe down their face with a wet towel and avoid getting soap or water in their eyes and ears
- Rinse and dry your puppy making sure there is no leftover shampoo in their coat. You can towel dry your puppy or use a blow dryer on a low setting if you have taken the time to accustom your puppy to this device
- Now your puppy will be clean and ready for cuddles!
How often to bathe a puppy
It’s important to familiarise your puppy with the bathing process from a young age but don’t wash them too often as this strips the natural oils from their coat. We recommend that you wash them once a month though of course with changing weather conditions, you may have to adjust your routine if your puppy has had too much fun in the mud, or if their long coat has become tangled in the wind.
Washing your puppy will be a great experience for them to get used to. If you notice that your puppy has dry, flaky skin and a brittle coat this could be a sign that you need to find an alternative shampoo. However if you are concerned about your puppy’s coat condition, please take them in for a checkup at your nearest Greencross Vets clinic.
Brushing is something you can do each day in order to maintain your puppy’s appearance in between washes. This will keep their coat neat and also help you manage their hair shedding. You can also find a range of sprays that can keep them fresh between washes.
If you want a professional wash and groom, find your nearest Petbarn grooming salon where our friendly and experienced team members will make sure that your puppy has a great time and leaves looking their best!