Puppy bathing can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re a new owner, and don’t know the ropes, or don’t quite understand the needs of your furry little friend.
Of course, most dogs don’t enjoy bathing, but that needn’t mean it would be a struggle for everyone, every time.
If you know what you’re doing, and understand things from your pup’s point of view, you can make puppy bathing a quick, easy, and, in cases, even an enjoyable time for you and your pup.
Here we’ll get into some of the basic do’s and don’ts of puppy bathing, and help make you turn the entire process into a faster, easier and neater affair, and maybe even an enjoyable one, for you and your puppy.
1. Don’t Bathe Them Too Often
It’s easy to think that the more you bathe your dog, the cleaner and healthier it’ll be in general. But that’s not quite right.
Your dog’s skin and coat normally have a layer of protective oils that help keep them clean and offers as a basic guard against germs and insects.
Bathing washes away this layer, and it gets replaced gradually over some time. Thus if you wash it away too frequently, you may be depriving your pup of that little basic protection that’s essential.
For a dog, bathing once a month is frequent enough, although it can be more or less depending on your judgment. In any case, if your pup looks filthy or stinks – you know it’s time for a bath!
2. A Nice, Thorough Pre-Brush
Brushing your puppy’s coat thoroughly before you have him jump into the tub is a great way to smoothen out the whole process, and get the cleaning done more thoroughly.
Brushing the coat removes all kinds of dirt, mud, insects, dead skin, stray hair, etc. from the coat – and at least loosen up the stuff that doesn’t come out just from brushing, so you can wash it away in the bath.
Make sure you use a dog brush with rounded, relatively soft bristles that don’t hurt your puppy’s skin, and it’s almost guaranteed he will be lost in blissful enjoyment through the whole brushing process.
Also, brush the coat both forwards as well as backward, to help dislodge and get as much of the gunk and debris as possible.
3. Use a Towel on the Floor of the Tub
A towel at the bottom of the tub in which you’ll bathe your puppy would help it avoid slipping and sliding as you wash and rub it down, leading to less of a mess as well.
This also makes your pup feel more secure and comfortable, and generally, makes the whole experience smoother.
4. It’s Good to Have a Helper Around
You can, of course, bathe your dog on your own without any trouble – unless it’s a big dog and you need help after all.
But having a helper around can really speed up and ease the whole thing, as someone is always around to keep an eye on the dog, secure it, or help around in any other way.
A helper can also soothe the dog and help calm it down if it’s distressed or too exciting.
5. Having the Collar on During the Bath
Sometimes it’s helpful to have the collar on during the bath, as a means to hold and move your pup around while washing it, making puppy bathing much easier.
6. Don’t Wash the Face or Ears
For the face and ears, generally avoid washing them directly with water, as getting too much moisture into the wrinkles and ears could lead to difficulty drying them properly.
It’s important that the ears and wrinkles are kept free of excess moisture, as these tend to lead to infections. You can also use dog ear cleaner to keep your dog’s ear clean and not too waxy.
Thus, avoid using water directly in these areas, and even when you’re washing the head, be careful that you pour or rinse to avoid water running down your pup’s face.
You can do this by tilting its head so the water goes down the back or neck.
You can also use cotton balls to block water from entering the ears.
After you’re done puppy bathing and washing, you can use wipes to clean out the wrinkles and face. You can read up more on these in our posts on cleaning bulldog wrinkles, and also on clearing up tear stains.
Make sure you’re using the right kind of shampoo for your dog, and not merely a product for humans. Those might even cause more harm than good to your dog’s coat and skin.
Consulting your vet for shampoo recommendations is a good idea, as he or she can suggest products that may particularly suit your own dog’s needs based on the vet’s observations.
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When you’re shampooing your dog, make sure you’ve washed and soaked his coat thoroughly, all over before applying the shampoo for effective and even cleaning. Premixing the shampoo in some water before applying it really helps.
Also, don’t let the shampoo dry out, else it won’t wash out properly and that’ll lead to the coat being matted in those places.
Did you find these tips for puppy bathing informative and useful? If you have any other tips of your own that helped you personally, do share them with us here! You can comment with your opinions and suggestions in the section below.