As a wee pup, your dog’s mother would have taken care of all their hygiene needs with careful, thorough licking. Now, as a new pup at home with you, they still need help to maintain their 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 the best puppy shampoos are gentle ones and many shampoos and conditioners 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:
Spray and Brush Your Pup
Before the bath, thoroughly spray your puppy with grooming spray before brushing out your puppy. Never brush a dry dog! Brushing a dry dog can lead to hair breakage and painful pulling. Brush with long, gentle, calming strokes. This pre-bath routine can help calm a nervous dog, while creating a soothing bath time ritual. Make sure to offer treats as you brush.
Lather, Rinse, Rinse, and Rinse Some More
In a tub of warm water, soak your pup’s coat by gently pouring water over their body, starting at the base of the neck and then down the back and sides. Gently 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. Massage conditioner into the coat and rinse thoroughly. 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!