Bathing a puppy for the very first time is among the greatest moments an animal lover can ever experience but when can you give a puppy a bath? Not all dogs love being wet or covered in a soapy substance.
Some factors need to be considered before you give your puppy its first birth and are directly linked to the puppy’s health. It is your job to create a good first impression since it could be the difference between a puppy that loves or hates baths. Ensure the bath time is fun and bearable for your puppy so that he does not leap out and cause a mess.
When Can You Give a Puppy a Bath?
Puppies of any age can get dirty, but it is not wise to give him a bath when he is too young. Generally, puppies do not need a bath unless they are smelly, visibly dirty, poop on themselves, or steps on something which is unpleasant. The natural oils in the puppy’s fur are essential to keep their soft skin healthy.
Until they become old enough, you will have to clean it with a sponge bath. Use a damp cloth to spot clean your little dog. Use a gentle dog shampoo on his sensitive skin and hair, and then dry the puppy right away. The less water the better for a puppy which is less than 12 weeks old.
A very playful puppy that is too young to use shampoos can get dirty to a point that he needs a bath. In that case, the puppy will have to be cleaned but using very small amounts of baby shampoo or with no shampoo at all. You must keep him warm during and after cleaning since cold can make them sick or even die.
It is advisable to bathe your puppy only when he is older than twelve weeks. Bathing your puppy regularly will disrupt its fur and skin’s natural balance to some extent, this does not matter if you buy the most puppy friendly shampoo. It interrupts the fur’s natural waterproofing which builds up as the dog grows.
Growing Adult Fur
Most puppies grow adult fur between 6 and 12 months old, and that fur is quite waterproof. The waterproofing is made by the oils from the puppy’s skin.
It keeps him comfortable and warm when he is out in the rain or even swimming. Shampoos will get rid of these natural oils and water will get into the coat to the skin. Therefore, regular baths are not essential.
Before you even get your dog wet, figure out what type of shampoo and conditioner to use. This depends upon what type of fur your puppy has. Talk to your vet first to find out what products suit your puppy best.
“Some coats need more minerals,” notes Bishop-Jenkins. “The short coats really need oil to the point of grease. Long-coated dogs need humectants [moisturizers].”
Read the original article – American Kennel Club
Dog Shampoo and Bathing
It is important to note that not all shampoos are good for all puppies. Each shampoo has a label that notes the age of a puppy that it can be used on. Different dogs have different types of skins and different dog shampoos are made for different skin types such as sensitive skin or dry skin. Get the right one for your dog.
Furthermore, you should never bathe a newborn puppy. You must not bathe a puppy until weaning. Let the mother clean the pup until they are old enough to be washed with dog shampoos.
Always use shampoos designed for puppies since other shampoos can cause discomfort and other negative side effects. Just brush the puppy gently to get rid of debris, dirt, and loose hair.
To answer the question, you can choose to bathe your puppy at any preferred age if you really have to but avoid doing so until they have weaned from the mother. Let the mother lick its puppy or you may clean them using a moist washcloth. If the puppy is very dirty and you feel the need to wash them at a very tender age, avoid using any shampoo.
How Often Should You Bathe a Dog
Unlike human beings, bathing your dog will depend on factors such as its hair length, its breed, level of activity, and health conditions. You need to know the reason for bathing it. Bathing to control body odors, manage skin sensitivity, or remove dirt have various bathing frequency proposals.
If you bathe him too much, you can ruin his skin’s protective layer though.
You are best using moisturizing puppy shampoo since it will protect their skin from frequent contact with water and prevents them from becoming dry.
You will not hurt the puppy if you never bath them, but here are some reasons why the puppy may need bathing. He may need to be washed for medical reasons such as allergies, parasites, and infections. Bathing will help remove bad substances from the fur and it will also reduce odors in certain breeds.
Some breeds have a strong body odor naturally, especially some sporting breeds. Labradors and some gun dogs can really smell bad. Most dogs smell stronger with age and elderly dogs may smell really bad if they are not washed from time to time.
To prevent your dog from becoming upset when washing them, start washing them from an early age for it to be a peaceful event for you and them when they get older.
Be Careful How Often You Bathe Your Dog
Over-bathing a puppy can make their skin irritated and itchy. This will make them scratch and cause more irritation and inflammation. Do not overdo it.
Generally, dogs are usually bathed more than they should be. Unless a dog has a health condition or a skin problem, you do not have to wash them regularly.
Over-washing your dog could dry out their skin, which could lead them to form a skin condition and suffer from dandruff.
Consult a vet if the dog has any skin condition and depending on that condition, it may be better if you do not bathe him at all.
How To Bathe a Dog
There are two methods when it comes to bathing your dog, the two methods are bathing your dog outside and inside the house.
The Outside Method
1. Get all your supplies ready
The moment you are clear on when you need to bathe your puppy, you will need a sponge, puppy shampoo, hairdryer and towels, warm water, warm and relaxed atmosphere before giving them a bath.
To avoid thermal shock in your dog, provide a very warm environment. If you want to do it during winter, put a heater on before bathing because moving them from a very cold temperature to a hotter temperature immediately could destroy its nervous system and cause health issues.
2. Fill the outside tub or pool
Some individuals would prefer using a steel tub to bathe their dogs but one can just use the plastic kiddie pool. Whatever you choose, fill it with lukewarm water. Ensure it’s not too cold or too hot.
3. Introduce your dog or puppy to the water
It may take time to convince your dog to get into the water if you have never washed him before. You can use a toy or treats to persuade him to get into the pool with assistance.
You can make getting into the water exciting by associating the deed with nice rewards. Avoid things like a splash or making many waves if the puppy is fearful.
4. Rinse & Shampoo
Use warm water to slightly rinse off your dog. Apply the dog shampoo and rub him gently on all areas that require cleaning such as the ears, eyes, and nose.
5. Rinse and play
After shampooing, rinse him again to remove any suds remaining. You may choose to turn the bath time into game time. This can be done with toys or things that he enjoys playing with and incorporate playing with water. If possible, let your dog air-dry, this is only advised in hotter climates.
The Inside Method
1. Put some warm water into the tub
Ensure that the tub is filled before getting your dog in it, to prevent so much noise or alarm. The water should cover his paws and his legs, but shallow enough for him to stand or walk without a problem.
Too much water may make them feel stressed or some sense of suffocation.
2. Place treats at the edge of the tub
Your puppy will snack on them as you rinse him off. If they are sweet enough, they will be much more interesting than that water’s feeling. This will make him less scared.
3. Shampoo quickly
Quickly lather and wash every bit of the dog which requires cleaning. Be thorough on the wrinkles or areas which are hard to reach.
4. Simple rinse
Using a cup or showerhead, rinse off the shampoo including the hard-to-reach areas.
5. Dry him and reward
Get him from the tub and pat him dry with a towel to remove moisture from the fur. Avoid excessive rubbing since it can irritate and scare a puppy who has never been washed before.
Avoid the eyes and ears when giving your puppy or dog a bath since they are sensitive and could cause irritation if the shampoo gets in. If you have a fearful dog, keep the bath time very short. Remember to always dry your dog to prevent any sliding or slipping on the floor. If you would like further information, please check our 5 basic training tips for your dog.