When to wash your puppy

How soon can you give your new puppy a bath?

As a new puppy owner one of the exciting things to look forward to is the first time you can bath your puppy, but many people are hesitant to give their new puppy a bath. Much of this anxiety comes from being unsure of what age is too young for a bath. Luckily for the new owner as soon as the puppy can leave it’s mother (usually 8 weeks old), it will be able to have a bath. Most experienced dog groomers will recommend that dog only be washed once a week at a maximum and many experienced dog owners wash their dogs only when the absolutely need it. It just depends on the individual dog and owner and their living arrangements. There are a few tips and tricks outlined below to help make those first few baths enjoyable for both you and your new best friend.

  • Always ensure that the first bath you give your new puppy is body temperature or even a little warmer during the colder months. This will help make your puppy comfortable during the bath and help encourage your puppy to associate the bath with good feelings rather than the feeling of being cold.
  • Always use a puppy shampoo as these are much more gentle on your dogs skin than adult formula and the puppy shampoos can be used on your puppy even when they are an adult. Never use shampoo or conditioner made for people (even if it is an expensive brand) as these shampoos and conditioners will quickly dry out your puppy’s skin and cause them to have itchy and flaky skin.
  • Wash your puppy away from drafts so your dog doesn’t catch any chills and towel dry them first before you use a blow dryer to ensure that your puppy is completely dry before they are allowed outside.  If your dog has long hair, squeeze as much water out of the fur with your hands as possible before towel drying. Don’t actually press the blow dryer against the skin, as it can grow hot and burn your dog.
  • Feeding your puppy small treats while having a bath will also reinforce the idea that the bath is a great thing in your puppy’s mind. Also start the dryer at a distance from your puppy and move in closer while feeding the treats to acclimate your puppy to the sound of the dryer.
  • Avoid getting water in your puppy’s ears and eyes as this will irritate your puppy as will splashing water on their face.

Just remember to try to make bath time fun and both you and your puppy will look forward to bath times.