There’s nothing quite like the experience of bathing your puppy. It’s a great way to bond with your pup. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be, as they will get used to it from a young age.
All dogs need to have a bath occasionally, as you’ll know if you have ever taken a dog out for a walk on a wet and muddy day. They can come back a different color from when they went out. When done correctly, bathing is one of the most enjoyable grooming experiences for your dog.
While that may not apply to young puppies, they might have the occasional accident as they go through toilet training. So, it makes sense to know how to bathe them.
Preparation is key
Give your pup a good brush first to remove any tangles or dirt in their fur. It makes sense to get the worst out before you put them in the bath.
Make sure you purchase some dog shampoo too. Don’t use human shampoo as this can have all kinds of things in it that could cause issues for your pup. If you don’t have anything suitable, be sure to buy a recommended puppy shampoo first.
Have a towel close at hand as well. Handling a wet puppy while trying to find a suitable towel is not the easiest of scenarios to cope with!
Making baths enjoyable
If you achieve this when your puppy is young, you’ll have a much easier time in future. A couple of bath toys are ideal for this. A ball or toy that floats is ideal. Keep it for bath times too, so your puppy will learn they can have fun while in the bath.
Shower, bath, or sink?
This depends on the breed of your puppy. Small breeds might fit fine in the sink. However, most people opt for the bath or shower. Having access to a shower hose is ideal but do make sure the water doesn’t come out at high pressure. This could frighten your puppy and make them nervous of the experience next time.
Check the temperature of the water before you start too. It should be warm, so your pup doesn’t get too cold and isn’t at risk of being scalded.
How to bathe your puppy
Start by getting their fur wet. Do their face last, as this is most likely to make them shake. Be prepared to get wet anyway!
Grab your puppy shampoo and pour the recommended amount into your hand. Lather up your puppy, making sure you cover their entire body and legs. If they’ve been out and got muddy, you might want to run an inch or two of water in the bath before you start. This will soak the worst off their paws while you wash the rest of them.
Use the shower hose to thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of their coat. Once their body is washed, get their face wet. Make sure you don’t get any water in their ears and cover their eyes while you get their face wet. Some people find it easier to wet their puppy’s face by hand. Make sure you praise your pup for good behavior as you go along.
A proper dog shampoo should be formulated to be safe to use on their face. However, be sure you don’t get the shampoo in their eyes. Rinse it off and make sure all the soap is washed out.
What about conditioner?
This depends on the breed of dog you have. Dogs with longer coats or curly coats fare well with a conditioner. It helps keep the fur soft and more manageable to brush. However, if you have a short-haired dog you probably won’t need this. If you do buy one, be sure it is a proper dog conditioner.
Get ready to dry your puppy
If you have water in the bath, run it out before you lift your puppy out. If not, run your hands down their coat to get rid of excess water before lifting them out. They will shake too, so be prepared for a soaking before you finish the bath.
Wrap them in the towel you put aside for this and lift them out onto an absorbent bathmat. This will soak up some more water while you start toweling them down. You can use an ordinary towel for this, but an absorbent one designed for use with dogs is better. They’re often smaller but they suck up an amazing amount of water very quickly.
This means blow-drying your puppy will be much faster. Set your dryer to a lower heat than you would use for your own hair. Make sure you hold the dryer away from your puppy too, so they don’t feel too much heat.
Getting them used to the process is half the battle, but bathing your puppy is a great way to bond with them from an early age.
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