There is so much to consider when bringing home a new puppy. While you might just want to play with them all day and watch them while they sleep in the strangest positions, there’s a lot of work to be done to get them ready for the big wide world. You have to socialise them, teach them how to wear a collar and walk on a lead. In those first few months of being a pup parent, there’s a lot of pressure to think about everything your puppy will need in life and how to get them used to it now. Vet visits are scary, but with your help, you can get them used to having their teeth checked and their ears looked at.
The same stands for grooming! The sooner you start, the easier it will be later in life. It helps that most puppies end up covered in food from their meals and mud from garden zoomies so they usually need a bath pretty soon. You may have a rare breed of puppy that remains pristine but whether you have a mucky pup or one that avoids dirt, getting them used to a bath is still an important part of their socialisation period.
When can you bathe a puppy?
You might get home with your brand new addition and consider bathing them straight away since they probably haven’t had a bath before and have only been spending time with their mother and litter. Puppies can get dirty and stinky quickly, especially as they get to eight weeks when their mum spends less time cleaning them and keeping them nice and tidy. You should wait at least a few days if you can though and give them a chance to settle in.
You might not like how they smell when you first bring them home but it smells like their home and it will comfort them as they get used to living without their mum and siblings. Keeping a blanket that still smells like them from when they first came home can also help to comfort them.
Once they start finding their feet and getting more comfortable, you can consider giving them a wash and start getting them used to being pampered.
What age can you bathe a puppy?
There’s a fine balance between letting your puppy settle in and getting started on teaching them that baths are not scary. You can bathe a puppy from the age of eight weeks and older so they’re ready to start as soon as you get them home and settled in. You should avoid bathing puppies any younger than eight weeks as they struggle to control their body temperature which is why they all sleep in a pile and cuddle up with mum for warmth.
Even beyond eight weeks old, they can still struggle to stay nice and warm when they get wet so be sure to dry them off quickly. You can keep them cuddled up with you or give them a heated pad while they dry off completely.
How to bathe a puppy
Bathing a puppy can be a gradual process. Every puppy will take to their new bathing routine at a different rate and there is no standard. If you’re slowly introducing it and they don’t decide they love their bath time, that’s alright too. Some pups will never love the water and that’s absolutely fine but gradually introducing a bath is still a good idea because it teaches them to tolerate it and that nothing terrible is going to happen.
You can introduce grooming at your puppy’s rate and keep them nice and clean by using grooming wipes to help keep them clean before they’re ready for their bath. Sensitive wipes are great to use on a puppy’s coat like the Furrish Dog Daily Baby Powder Paw & Body Wipes. They’re gentle and made using no harsh chemicals while still being able to remove dirt and grime from your pup’s coat.
Getting a puppy used to a bath should be done in stages. First, you can use your puppy wipes in an empty bath without water to get them used to the environment. While they’re still very small, washing them in a smaller container can help make it less scary so there’s less water involved. Once they’re comfortable with the bath, you can start using water but instead of going all in with the shower head and overwhelming them, fill up the bath or container a little and use a cup or a jug to gently soak their fur. Avoid washing their face until they get more comfortable. The hardest part of getting a puppy used to a bath is usually the first step of getting them wet. The moment you put on the shampoo and rub it in is usually much more enjoyable.
If they’re unsure of the water at first, you may not even get to the shampoo stage but you can give them quick little rinses until they get happier with the experience before giving them a full bath. Within a couple of weeks, they’ll be at least tolerating bath time and smelling fantastic!
Do you need to use puppy specific products?
Like babies, puppies have very sensitive skin so you have to be careful with what products you’re using on them. Sensitive shampoos might just do the trick but using something specifically made for puppies is the best option. Shampoos like The Spa Puppy & Kitten Fresh Baby Powder Shampoo are super gentle. It’s free from harsh chemicals, parabens and alcohol so nothing will agitate their skin or cause damage to their coat. It will leave them shiny and smelling so good they might even enjoy their bath time!
Furrish Pretty Puppy Shampoo is another option for your new addition. Like all puppy shampoos, there are no harsh chemicals and it has the subtle scent of cucumber to make your bundle of fluff smell extra fresh. The Furrish puppy shampoo doesn’t strip away any of the coat’s natural oils so it keeps them healthy and sparkling clean.
How often should you bathe a puppy
Puppies don’t need frequent baths, once a month is ideal for them to get used to the routine and keep them nice and clean. However, you may need to leave it a little longer if it’s especially cold. You shouldn’t bathe your puppy before you plan to take them outside, especially in the cold as they can get cold quickly. If you find they get dirty during the weeks in between a full bath, you can either bathe a specific area of their coat to avoid soaking them and getting them too cold or use wipes to keep them looking and smelling fresh.
For everything you need to introduce your puppy to bath time and all of your other doggy essentials, visit us in store and online.