How to Bathe a Puppy
It’s puppy month here at Groomers, and we know that some of you may have a new addition to the family. Here are our tips on when and how to bathe your puppy:
You should bathe your puppy when they are visibly dirty or smelly to keep then clean. How often will depend on the puppy, as some are particularly dirty and will need a bath regularly while others may not.
When is it safe to bathe? Ideally, your puppy should be over 6 weeks old before being bathed with shampoo. Before that time, they are unable to properly regulate their body temperature and so if they do get dirty, it is best to spot clean them with a damp cloth.
What should I use? Puppy skin is delicate, easily irritated and can dry out quickly, so it is best to use a specially formulated shampoo and conditioner. Use a puppy tub or sink to bathe the puppy and use a shower head or jug to wet and rinse the coat.
How do I prepare?
- If your puppy has been neutered or spayed, be sure to wait for two weeks before bathing to prevent infection.
- Get your puppy used to bathing by allowing them to play in water and to get wet
- Ensure the puppy is in a room with a closed door to prevent escape.
- Make sure you are in a kitchen or bathroom as it will get quite wet.
- Place a damp cloth or non-slip mat at the bottom of the puppy tub.
- Ensure you have enough towels and don’t forget one for your puppy to stand on. Our microfibre towels will soak up excess moisture and keep your dog cosy.
- Before bathing, gently comb or brush through the hair to ensure there are no mats or knots in the coat as bathing can make this worse.
How do I bathe my puppy?
- Fill the puppy tub with water until it reaches the knees of the dog.
- Ensure the water is lukewarm, not hot. As you would with a baby bath, dip your elbow in to test the heat.
- Stand the puppy in the tub, wet them and then lather up shampoo in your hands and massage it into the coat. How much shampoo to use depends on the size of the puppy, but generally a thin line of shampoo can be applied from the base of the neck to the base of the tail that will clean the body. Use slightly more for a thick coat. If the shampoo is to be diluted, please follow the instructions on the bottle for the correct dilution rate. Groomers Puppy Shampoo is diluted 10:1.
- Reassure throughout the process and to stay calm.
- Remember to be gentle as puppy skin is very sensitive. Also try not to get any shampoo in the eyes or ears. Some people choose to put cotton balls in the ears to prevent this, but don’t forget to take them out afterwards.
- Use a washcloth to clean the face rather than pouring water over their head.
- Rinse thoroughly until all traces of shampoo are gone. Any left-over shampoo could irritate the skin.
- Take the puppy from the bath or drain the water. Then gently towel-dry them. Owners of puppies with thick coats may want to wrap their puppy in a towel for a while to allow the moisture to soak up.
- Leave the puppy in a warm room to air dry.
- For thick coats, you may like to dry the hair with a dryer. If so, use a low heat and speed setting and a quiet dryer so that the puppy is not scared by the noise or pressure and cannot be burnt. Keep the dryer well away from the face and about 30cm away from the body, moving it quickly along the coat.