Dogs get dirty, and puppies need a bath. Puppies need a bath. If your pup needs a good cleaning, let’s discuss how to bathe a puppy if you’re doing it for the first time.
Step By Step Guide On How To Bathe A Puppy
Mothers will keep their litter clean, but you’ll need to bathe them as the puppies get older. Depending on the breed, some dogs require a bath more often than others. So, let’s go over a step-by-step guide to bathing your puppy.
Determine Your Puppy’s Coat Type
First, you’ll need to determine your puppy’s coat type. Is it smooth, wiry, curly? Is the length short, medium, or long? Maybe you have a hairless dog.
Their coat will determine how to bathe them and how often.
For example, a curly-coated pup requires bathing more often. This is because dirt and other debris can get stuck in their curls. So, frequent brushing and bathing are a must to keep them clean.
On the other hand, if your doggo has a silky or wiry coat, they’ll only need a bath once in a while.
Smooth coats won’t need a bath as often. You can damp a washcloth and wipe them down from time to time without needing to do the whole bathing routine.
Of course, bathing your pup once in a while is always a great idea to keep them clean. It’ll also keep their coat and skin healthy.
Gather Your Supplies Beforehand
Once you’ve determined your doggo’s coat type and how often to bathe them, you’ll want to gather your supplies.
You certainly don’t want to bring your pup to the tub and leave them unattended when you get everything.
Get your supplies out and set everything up before bringing your puppy to the bathing station.
If you have the space in your bathroom, you should have a separate shelf or cabinet to keep all your dog bathing supplies.
What Supplies Do You Need?
There’s a variety of grooming supplies you’ll need to get from your local pet store. You can talk to your vet if you don’t know which types to get. Or, you can ask a professional dog groomer for advice.
For example, some supplies you’ll need are listed below.
- Puppy Shampoo
- Puppy Conditioner
- A comb or brush (depending on their coat type)
- Hand Dryer
- Wash Cloth
- Towels (for you and the puppy!)
If you have a small pup, then putting them in your bathtub might not be ideal since they’re so small. Instead, you can get a separate dog tub or bathe them outside in a kiddie pool. Or, you can always use the kitchen sink.
On the other hand, getting a separate dog tub for puppies who shed a lot may be a good idea. You can bathe them in your bathtub, but you’ll have extra cleanup afterward.
In addition, depending on your dog’s needs, there are other products you can get, such as ear care, eye care, and skin care.
Use Lukewarm Water And Gentle Shampoo
Once you have all your supplies ready, it’s time to fill up the tub. Again, be sure to use lukewarm water. You certainly don’t want to boil the puppy, and you don’t want it to be too cold for them.
In many ways, your puppy is similar to a human baby. So, be mindful of the temperature of the water. Keep your pup warm during the bathing process.
Also, you only need the tub filled about a quarter of the way with water. You don’t want your puppy slipping and hurting themselves. Also, it’ll make the bathing process less intimidating if they don’t like water.
Once the warm water is ready, and your puppy is in the tub, the bathing truly begins.
Dampen your pup with a gentle pet-safe shower hose or with a washcloth. Once wet enough, you can lather them in the gentle shampoo.
Ensure you get your pup all over, avoiding their face and other open areas. For instance, water in their ears can cause ear infections and water over their eyes can sting. So, ensure you only get the soap and water on their body.
Then, rinse your pup thoroughly, getting all the shampoo off them.
Once the shampoo is gone, it’s time for conditioner. You’ll do what you did with the shampoo.
Gently lather it into your pup’s fur and rinse thoroughly afterward.
Now it’s time for your puppy to get out of the tub. Wrap them up in a towel to keep them warm and dry them off well.
You can use a small hand dryer to speed up the process. As long as it’s not too cold or hot and the dryer isn’t too intense, it’ll be a good way to dry off your pup.
Give Lots Of Treats And Praise
You’re done! Give your pup a couple of treats and praise. This will reinforce that bathtime isn’t bad. Show your pup that they did a great job being bathed.
In addition, you can also take this as an opportunity to clip your puppy’s nails and clean their ears, if needed.
Tips For Bathing A Puppy
Bathing a puppy is easier than it seems. So, you’ll want to make it fun and positive. So, let’s discuss how to bathe a puppy.
You’ll want to introduce your pup to water as soon as possible. However, puppies under three months old (about 12 weeks old) shouldn’t use shampoo or conditioner.
Until then, give them a good cleaning with puppy wipes or rinse them off occasionally with lukewarm water in the tub.
This will get them used to the sensation of getting cleaned. Also, it’ll introduce them to water.
Maintain A Bathing Routine
This tip is one of the most important ones. Keeping a bathing routine not only allows your puppy to get used to being bathed, but they’ll know what to expect and when to expect it.
In most cases, you’ll need to say “bath,” and your pup will immediately know what you’re talking about. If they enjoy bath time, they may race you to the bathroom.
Brush Before Bathing
You don’t have to, but brushing your pup’s fur before bathing them can be a good idea.
It will smooth down their coat, getting out any tangles or mats to make bathing easier. Also, it’ll be a preview of your pup’s bathing process. They’ll soon learn that a bath is coming after.
Of course, you should also brush your doggo after the bath. Once they’re dried, their fur may be extra poofy. You can brush it down to smooth it back out again, also getting out any tangles from bathing.
Bring Them To A Professional Grooming Salon
Bathing your puppy at home is undoubtedly a good idea. It gets them used to the process and fun bonding time for you.
However, bringing them to get bathed at a professional grooming salon once in a while is a good idea too.
Dog groomers will be able to do more than you can at home. For example, they’ll pamper your pet with brushing, bathing, nail clippers, haircuts, and everything else.
In addition, it’ll get your dog out of the house for a bit. They’ll get the chance to socialize with other dogs and other humans.
Have You Bathed Your Puppy Yet?
Bathing regularly is a great way to getting started with having a new puppy at home. Do you often bathe your puppy at home? Or do you leave it up to the professionals? Bathing your puppy is a fun experience, and it’s good to have the supplies on hand, just in case.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.