How to embark on bathing a puppy
In the first few weeks of a puppy’s life, he or she will be kept clean by their mum, who will keep them spick and span with a regular routine of licking.
But, as puppies grow up a bit and explore the world, they will inevitably get dirtier and only a bath will do.
When can you wash a puppy?
Even at just a few weeks old, it’s safe to start bathing a puppy, as long as you take your time and do it carefully.
In fact, it’s advisable to introduce your puppy to bathing early, so that it’s a calm and less stressful experience as they grow up.
This is particularly important with long-haired breeds that will need a lot of grooming through their life.
How to give your puppy a bath
It’s vital that the experience is a positive one for your puppy. Give yourself plenty of time and try to stay calm throughout.
One of the most important aspects of bathing a puppy is to make sure he or she is warm, so have the heating on and a nice warm towel ready.
Make sure you give your puppy’s coat a good brush before you start. If you’re planning to use a hairdryer to dry your dog’s coat, then switch it on for a while before you start, so that he or she can get used to the sound.
Introduce your puppy to the sink or bath before you put any water in. Let them play for a while in the bath and then help them out before you run any water.
Introduce water slowly, so your puppy gets used to the sight and sound of it. Fill the sink with a little water and, again, let the puppy play in it. The water should be warm but not too hot.
Gently wet your puppy by dripping water on to him or her, starting from the back.
Use plenty of praise and treats to try to keep them calm. If you’re lucky, your puppy might let you wet the whole coat while he or she is happily splashing around.
Choosing the right dog shampoo
It’s important you get a shampoo designed for dogs, available from most shops that sell pet items. Tearless shampoo for puppies are available and this might be a good choice.
Don’t be tempted to go for shampoo or soaps designed for humans, as these can irritate a dog’s skin.
Be sure to keep the lather away from your little dog’s eyes and rinse the soap thoroughly, just as you would when washing your own hair.
Drying your puppy
Wrap them up in a warm, fluffy towel to get rid of as much water as possible. If your puppy has a coat that needs blow-drying, make sure the air is warm but not hot. Don’t have the setting too high, or the noise might frighten your puppy.
Keep your puppy indoors until he or she is fully dry. If they are allowed out while damp, it might not be very pleasant for them. However, they can’t catch a chill from it – this is purely an old wives tale.