Puppies have a habit of getting into things they shouldn’t, and that can leave your adorable bundle of fluff needing a bath to get him clean.
But when can you give your puppy his first bath?
At What Age Can You Bathe Your Puppy?
According to the American Kennel Club, you should wait until your puppy is at least eight weeks old before you give him his first bath. Unlike adult dogs, young puppies can’t regulate their body temperature effectively and could get chilled if you bathe them.
How Often Should You Bathe Your Puppy?
Frequent baths can strip your puppy's coat of natural oils, potentially causing dry, irritated skin. So, depending on your pup’s breed, it’s recommended that you only bathe your puppy around four times every year. That said, puppies are notorious for getting themselves dirty and rolling in things they shouldn’t. So, you might need to bathe your puppy more often than that.
Alternatively, specially formulated dog wipes, such as Earthbath Ultra-Mild Puppy Wipes, are the perfect solution for a mucky pup when you don’t want to bathe him. These wipes contain mild cleansers to freshen, clean, and deodorize your puppy, exotic Hawaiian awapuhi to give your pet’s coat a gleaming shine, and there’s also Vitamin E and Aloe Vera to moisturize the skin and coat. These wipes are suitable for puppies over six weeks old.
Bathing Different Breeds
Puppies with thick or curly coats, such as Goldendoodles and German Shepherds, generally need a bath every two months or so to stop dirt from accumulating in their double-coat. That’s especially important in the spring and fall when the undercoat is shed, as bathtime helps to get rid of loose fur and dander.
Breeds such as Labrador Retrievers have water-repellent coats that are designed to keep the undercoat dry when the dog is swimming. Dog shampoo can allow water to penetrate the underfur, trapping moisture and potentially causing skin irritation.
How To Bathe Your Puppy
First of all, it’s essential to know that you must never use human shampoo on your puppy. Human shampoo is far too harsh for use on puppies.
Instead, use a high-quality dog-specific shampoo, such as Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo. This mild shampoo is formulated using the finest ingredients, contains no fragrances, colors, parabens, or sulfate, and is specifically created with a pH to suit your dog’s sensitive skin. You can use this product safely on puppies over six weeks of age, and the shampoo won’t wash off topical flea applications.
What You’ll Need
- Dog shampoo
- Dry, fluffy towels
Before you get your puppy wet, you must thoroughly comb the coat to remove any tangles and mats. If you wait until the fur is wet, it’ll be impossible to comb through, and you can even cause matting!
Fill the sink or tub with warm water. The water only needs to come up to your puppy’s armpits; you don’t want him to start swimming!
If possible, recruit someone to help you. It’s much easier to bathe a squirming, excited puppy when someone else is keeping him still. Hold the puppy firmly but gently by the scruff of his neck. That’s how mother dogs handle their pups, so your little guy will instinctively understand that he should keep still and not wriggle.
Rather than spraying your puppy with a shower attachment, use a cup to slowly pour water over him.
Use a sponge to wet the puppy’s head, and be extremely careful not to get water in his eyes or ears.
When your puppy’s coat is wet, take some shampoo and work up a lather.
Now, rinse all the shampoo out of your puppy’s fur.
Grab a dry, fluffy towel and give your puppy a good rub down to get him as dry as you can.
Use a hairdryer to dry the damp coat and warm your puppy. Use the lowest setting so that you don’t burn your puppy’s skin.
Never let your puppy go outside to dry off. Even on a warm day, it’s possible for your pet to get chilled.
Puppies should ideally be at least eight weeks old before they get their first bath. Older pups are more able to regulate their body temperature, whereas younger ones can easily be chilled if they get totally wet.
When bathing your puppy, be sure to keep him warm, and make bathtime fun by rewarding your pup with lots of praise and treats. Always use a high-quality dog shampoo to bathe your pup.