When Can You Give a Puppy Its First Bath?

Bringing home a new puppy often feels like bringing home a baby! However, puppies and babies have far different needs, particularly when it comes to bathing. Parents often bathe their infants daily or every other day. A puppy requires far fewer baths, but absolutely deserves a thorough shampoo and rinse now and then. Clean puppies are healthier, happier and sweeter smelling.

First Baths: When Is the Right Time for Puppies?

Most dog grooming experts agree that a typical puppy first-time bath age ranges from six to eight weeks old. By then, puppies’ growing bodies can handle the experience without them experiencing a wide, uncomfortable temperature fluctuation.

Of course, you can start running a warm washcloth over a dirty or muddy puppy rather than instituting full-blown baths. A washcloth or pet-safe wipe can do the trick without necessitating a bigger bathing adventure. Eventually, though, you’ll want to embark on your furry friend’s inaugural bath.

What Do You Need to Prep for a Puppy Bath?

Before plopping your puppy in a bathtub or sink, think about your overall plan. You’ll need several items to ensure that you and your puppy have a pleasant, positive time. For instance, gather everything you need — from pet shampoo to at least two or three big towels.

Pick a spot in your home that can get wet, such as a bathroom or the kitchen. Or, you can make life easier by running to the nearest standalone pet wash grooming facility. If the weather is warm, you could potentially bathe a puppy outdoors in a small tub, but be very careful and never leave your puppy unattended.

Finally, wear older clothing. You’ll get wet, too, no matter how careful you are! Oh, and have treats on hand — loads of them.

How to Give a Puppy a Bath

Now you’re ready for action!

Ease your puppy gently into the tub. Add a towel or floor mat for better traction. And make sure you’re ready for tons of wiggling!

As for water, always test the temperature. It should be lukewarm to avoid chilling or scalding your puppy’s sensitive skin. You won’t need a tremendous amount of water, either. Puppies of most breeds are fairly small for the first few months.

What if your puppy seems terrified? You may have to abandon the bath and wait until later. It’s better to let your puppy’s mood guide the bath. If you force a scared puppy into bathing, the puppy might hate baths for a long time due to the emotional association.

To lather your puppy, first put a bit of water on its back and hind area. Then, wet your hands. Place a drizzle of shampoo on your puppy’s back and try to work it in. Move from the puppy’s back to rear quarters to legs. Avoid washing a puppy’s head to keep the soap and water out of the puppy’s eyes and ears.

Give your puppy a second shampooing if necessary, particularly if the puppy has a double coat. Double coats are naturally water-repellent, which makes double-washing a better idea. However, you should never overdo the shampoo. The last thing you want is to remove your puppy’s natural oils, which keep its skin moisturized and free from itchiness.

Finally, rinse off your puppy and use all those towels to get your puppy as dry as possible. Make this time more of a game and your puppy will have a blast!

How Often Should Your Puppy’s Bath Cycle Be?

After you have started bathing your puppy, you probably won’t need to do another bath for at least two to four weeks. The exception would be if your puppy became exceptionally filthy, or somehow frolicked in salty water.

Is bathing a puppy a bit of a production? Absolutely. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful chance for you to build a strong bond with your family’s newest member.

Read More About Washing a Dog:

How to Dry a Dog Post-Bath

How Often Does Your Dog Need a Bath

Tips on How to Clean a Muddy Dog