When can you Bathe a Puppy?
When can you Wash a Puppy and Ensure that it is a Pleasurable Experience for them?
How soon can you bathe a puppy? As a basic rule of thumb, let the mother lick her puppies clean if they’re 3 months old and below. At 3 months old and up, the puppy is safe for bathing.
However at that age, keeping your puppy clean isn’t just about running some water into a tub and dunking them in.
Remember: taking a bath is going to be a part of your puppy’s entire life and it should be a pleasant experience so they won’t struggle in the future. They might be easy to handle now, but just imagine trying to give a 30 lb. dog a bath in the future.
So let’s make bath time a pleasurable time so you know your dog will always look forward to being clean and you’ll have a great smelling dog at all times.
The Basics: What You Should Prepare
- Doggie treats (very important)
- A wash cloth
- A large tub of warm or tepid water
- A hose set on the softest spray level
- Non-toxic shampoo specifically designed for puppies
- A large towel for drying off
- A blow dryer (optional)
- A wide tooth comb specifically designed for dogs
- A pair of scissors
- A nail clipper
- A collar and a leash (optional)
- Another person to assist in giving treats while your hands are wet or shampooed up (optional)
Okay, that about sums it up. If you have all of those, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Easing your Puppy in
A puppy is used to being cleaned by their mother. The mother does this by licking the puppy thoroughly, so it’s only logical to try a method to mimic this motion first to ease your puppy in to bath time.
First, have a wet wash cloth, non-toxic shampoo and a tub of warm or tepid water at hand. Place your puppy near these items, then give out some treats. The scent of all of these items should register as pleasant in his mind when he begins to associate these smells to treats.
As soon as the initial excitement is over, slowly wipe him with the wet wash cloth, then give him another treat. Every time you wipe him, give a small treat.
Next, place a small amount of shampoo on your palms and rub them together. This should warm the shampoo up. Proceed to rubbing the shampoo on his entire body. It would be good to have another person who can help you out in handing the treats to your puppy at the same time to keep the experience pleasurable for both you and your pet and to avoid too much stress early on.
Thoroughly wipe off the shampoo with the wet wash cloth and dry your puppy immediately with a towel. This is also the best time to groom your dog. You can cut his fur and nails if they are already too long. By doing this, your puppy will begin to understand the whole process and will eventually look forward to each bath and grooming session without any fuss.
Moving on from Washing to Bathing
As soon as your puppy is old enough, slowly introduce bathing by dipping him in the tub with just enough water in it.
Gently gather some water in your palm and pour it slowly over your puppy’s body. After he is completely wet with water, rub some shampoo into his fur and gently lather it up. Rinse the shampoo off completely and towel your puppy dry.
You can also use a hose with a light spray of water to get your puppy used to the feeling of being hosed clean. Set your hose to a fine mist and spray your pet with the water until they are completely wet. Gently rub some shampoo into his fur and lather him up.
After you’re done, completely rinse off the shampoo and wipe your puppy dry. This will be helpful when they get older and all you will need to do to clean your dog up is to hose them down.
How Often can I Bathe my Puppy?
Some sort of routine is good and cleaning your puppy every week will do no harm. As your puppy gets older, you can clean less regularly every other week or so or depending how messy your dog tends to get on walks out and about.
And last, but not the least…
On a parting note, you may have questions about “when can you wash a puppy” and “when can you bathe a puppy”. To answer that, at 3 to 3 ½ months, use a washcloth and slowly integrate bathing towards the end. After 3 ½ months, you should be able to bathe your puppy in a tub comfortably or by using a hose without any struggle. Never forget to give out a treat after each session, so your puppy will always look forward to their next bath time.