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How Often To Bathe A Puppy and Other Must-Know Tips

Mike Moran

“Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend, has never owned a dog.”

Pet owners have it right. What makes a pet the greatest thing of all time?

  • More time outdoors
  • Companionship
  • A bit of adulting
  • Lots of love and fun
  • Pet owner communities to be part of
  • Creating a family with your fur baby
  • Having a canine best friend to unconditionally love you

{Insert young female adult cuddling small puppy up close to her face smiling}

Your fur baby will quickly become your number one. You will want to be up to speed on the best way to bath and pamper your new puppy or dog. So let’s chat about bathing, washing under the collar, ‘free’ shampoos and products for traveling.

Yep, most dogs love water and bath time, but as a new puppy, life can be a bit daunting. Even splashing in puddles, let alone a tub full of water can cause apprehension. So, first build trust. This could include letting your pup sniff or pounce on your grooming tools, hear the bath run or stand in the empty bath. Make sure your pet is all loved up at these times, more than normal. Is that even possible? This might take minutes for your fur baby to be ok with you bathing them or perhaps days of trying. Try and keep calm if it’s not as quick as you hoped. If your fur baby gets distressed ease up and try again at another time. Starting early is key to ensuring your fur baby is happy to be bathed and groomed for many years to come!

Before bathing

  • Brush your pet all over to remove any dirt, dust or matted fur*
  • Check for ticks and fleas
    • Ticks – Rub your hands slowly over your pet’s body taking special care between toes and behind ears feeling for any little bumps
    • Fleas – Look for the crawling or jumping little brown critters especially around the tummy as fleas like hiding in the warm spots. Spread your pups fur to check the skin on other areas.
  • Collect all your grooming and bathing equipment
    • Bath or tub
    • Products**
    • Cup to pour water or spray nozzle attachment – for easy and quick rinsing
    • Several towels – at least one for you, one for the floor and one for your pup
    • Cloth for face washing
    • Hair drier if desired (not all pets need a hair drier to be used, or like one)
  • Wear clothes you are ok to get wet
  • Gather up your calm and patience
  • Find a quiet place for bathing, preferably a room with a door that can close

* CAUTION – Your puppy has very thin soft skin so you mustn’t be tempted to use scissors to snip off any stubborn matted spots in the coat. If this is not going to be the job of your groomer then you can invest in a pair of animal clippers. This will avoid injury to your puppy and punctured enthusiasm at brushing/bath time.

**Shampoo and conditioner | Spritzer | Cotton balls | Any medicated treatment products such as flea rinses

{Insert image of a happy young adult female bathing a dog that shaking water everywhere}

Bathing Tips

  • Avoid eyes and ears using a warm cloth instead
  • Wet pup before lathering with shampoo
  • Rinse before using conditioner if you are using one
  • Ensure your final rinse is very thorough
  • Wipe over puppy’s face with a warm cloth to avoid any shampoo and water going in your puppy’s ear and eyes
  • Dry your puppy well to avoid moist fur, especially around the collar area, causing skin irritation
  • After the bath, clean pup’s ears gently with a cotton ball ensuring it’s not inserted into the ear
  • Spritz puppy if desired
  • VERY IMPORTANT – Lastly, enjoy a treat, a play and snuggle time

Washing Around the Collar 

The collar area can be an extra challenge if the coat has become very soiled or matted here. This area will need attention as well as your furry friend. If your dog is off to the Groomer, change to a clean collar before he goes. Soak and give both sides of the collar a good scrub to remove dirt and oils. Some collars may be machine washable. When purchasing collars, keep the cleaning method in mind.

As collars come in all different materials, check out the best way to clean your pet’s collar here.

Traveling With Your Pet – Wipes and Spritzer

Frequent bathing might not be easy while you are on the move with your furry friend, travelling or exploring or staying with friends. But brushing is vital. You could try using corn starch to help loosen any matted spots if you have a longer haired dog. Or a spritzer de-tangler will make the task much more pleasant. Spritzers are also great for short-haired dogs to cleanse their fur and give them a refresher. Choose a puppy specific spritzer if your fur baby is still young. Another option is pet wipes. A two-in-one cleaning and moisturizing wipe is a great option for messy pups on day trips or holiday travel.

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