As a wee pup, your dog’s mother would have taken care of all her hygiene needs with careful, thorough licking. Now, as a new pup home with you, she still needs cleaning to maintain her skin and coat health.
However, conventional wisdom used to be that puppies should only be bathed when necessary--either when they were really dirty or really smelly--because shampoos were too harsh for their sensitive skin. Now, many shampoos are gentle enough for regular bathing, and bath time can be a bonding experience for you and your pup.
Show your puppy that baths are fun (and safe!) with these tips:
Set the Scene
Gather up the tools you’ll need, including a shampoo formulated for puppies or for sensitive skin, a stack of towels, and a brush appropriate for your pup’s coat.
Brush Your Pup
Before the bath, thoroughly brush out your puppy. Treat it like a puppy massage: long, gentle, calming strokes. This pre-bath routine can help calm a nervous dog, while creating a soothing bath time ritual.
Lather, Rinse, Rinse, Rinse Some More
In a tub of warm water, soak your pup’s coat, then rub in some shampoo. Using gentle pressure from your fingertips, work from the top down, rinsing as you go. Once you’ve scrubbed and rinsed your puppy from nose to tail, start rinsing again. Leftover shampoo or conditioner can cause dry, itchy skin, so rinse and rinse some more.
You can--and should!--give your puppy a bath. Following these tips, work slowly and carefully. Turn the bath time ritual into a nice, long massage, and your puppy will grow up looking forward to bath time instead of hiding from the tub!