Bathing Your Puppy: The Complete Guide

puppy bath

Bathing Your Puppy: The Complete Guide

Are you ready to give your puppy its first bath? Being the adventurous pets they are, they love to play outside, be social with other pups, and get their paws messy!  All of that fun can lead to a pup that is ready for a bath. Whether it’s dirt and grim from outside or possible pests and bacteria from playing with others, it is essential to keep your pup clean! Follow these tips for bathtime success with your new puppy.

Products You Will Need

To make bath time go smoothly and stress-free for both you and your pup, you will need a few supplies. Gather these items before you start the bath so you are not scrambling to find them when your pup is already in the tub.

  • Towel
  • Dog shampoo
  • Cup or small bowl
  • Brush (if your pup has long hair)
  • Treats!

Now that you have all of the supplies you need, it is time to get started. Follow these steps for the perfect puppy bath.

How to bathe a puppy at home

  1. Prepare the bathroom or an outside area that’s enclosed and easy to clean. If your pup is inside or outside make sure the space is warm so they don’t get cold. Depending on the size of your pup, you may need to use a small tub, sink, or even just a hose outside if it’s warm enough. Close the door or use a leash to prevent any escapees!
  2. If you’re using a tub, fill it with a few inches of lukewarm water. Test the water temperature with your hand to make sure it is not too hot or too cold. Adjusting the puppy bath temperature is an important step to bathing you do not want to overlook. Young puppies can’t regulate their body temperature as well as older dogs. Keep the water room temperate if you’re inside. It can be a little colder if it’s a hot summer day and you’re bathing your puppy outside. 
  3. Once you have the water temperature right, start with rinsing. Use a cup, small bowl, or hose, to pour water over your pup’s back. Avoid getting water in their face, especially their eyes. Once they’re fully wet, it’s time to shampoo.
  4. Choose a puppy shampoo that will be gentle on their skin and coat. Apply the shampoo to your pup’s back and work it in with your hands. Be sure to avoid getting any soap in their eyes, ears, or nose. You’ll notice suds forming as you massage the shampoo into their coat.
  5. Now it’s time to rinse, rinse, rinse! This step is important to make sure all of the soap is out of your pup’s fur. Leftover soap can cause irritation or skin problems. Use the cup, bowl, or hose to pour water over their back and work through their coat until the water runs clear. Make sure the soap is completely rinsed out to avoid any problems.
  6. When you’re done rinsing, gently remove your pup from the water and wrap them in a towel. Rub their fur to help them dry off and keep them warm. Most pups like this part because it feels like a good scratch! Once they’re mostly dry, you can use a blow dryer on the low or cool setting to finish the job. Just be sure not to hold it too close to their skin and move it around so you don’t overheat any one area.
  7. Once your pup is dry, if they have long hair, you can brush to comb the fur. This will help remove any knots or tangles that might occur after washing and drying. 
  8. Give your pup a treat! They were so good during their bath and they deserve it!

When can you bathe a puppy?

You can start giving your puppy baths as soon as they come home! When young pups are still with their mom, she’ll most likely be the one bathing them. Her tongue and motherly instincts will keep them clean for the most part. There are circumstances when the mom needs extra help bathing the puppies such as if the puppies are in contact with fleas or other pests or if they find a special mud puddle to play in. Rinsing young pups with water and puppy-friendly shampoo will help them stay healthy. Make sure the puppies dried off well and are kept in a warm place to continue drying. If a puppy is left wet in the cold, it could be at risk of dying.

How often should you bathe a puppy?

You should only bathe your puppy if they are dirty or if they have been exposed to something that could be harmful such as fleas, ticks, or other pests. Over bathing, a puppy can dry out their skin and cause irritation. If you need to give your pup a bath, make sure to use a mild, puppy-friendly shampoo to avoid irritation.

You can also spot clean your pup if they are dirty. This is a good option after they walk or play in the rain and accumulate mud on their paws and underbelly. You can spot clean your pup by using a damp cloth or wipes and gently wiping down the area that is dirty. Be careful not to use anything too harsh on their delicate skin, a little bit of water is just fine. 

How to shower a puppy

If you’re going to use a shower to bathe your puppy, you’ll want to use a detachable showerhead. When you bathe your puppy it’s important to avoid getting water in their eyes, nose, and ears. If a shower is your only option to bathe your pup, it might be more difficult to avoid getting water around their face. You can try using your hand to block the stream of water or use a cup to pour water over their back.

How to brush puppy teeth

If your puppy is resistant to having their teeth brushed, you can try getting them used to the idea by gently rubbing their gums with your finger. Once they are used to that, you can start using a toothbrush that is specifically designed for puppies. Start by using a very small amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Gently brush the teeth in a circular motion. Make sure to get all of the surfaces of the teeth. Rinse thoroughly and give your pup a treat!

Toothpaste for puppies

When choosing a toothpaste for your puppy, make sure to select one that is made specifically for puppies. Puppy toothpaste is usually flavored to make it more appealing to them and is less likely to cause irritation. Avoid using human toothpaste as it can be too abrasive for their delicate gums and teeth.

Best puppy shampoos

A puppy shampoo is a puppy bath soap that’s meant to clean the coat without being harsh on their delicate skin. When bathing your puppy, it’s important to use a mild, puppy-friendly shampoo to avoid irritation. There are a few things to look for when choosing a puppy shampoo. It should be mild so it doesn’t cause irritation, pH balanced to help keep their skin healthy, and tear-free to avoid any discomfort. You also might want to consider a shampoo that is fragrance-free to avoid any allergic reactions.

Here are some top brands of puppy shampoos:

Can you wash a puppy with baby shampoo?

While baby shampoo is formulated to be gentle on a baby’s skin, it’s not the best option for washing a puppy. Puppy skin is different than human skin and can be more sensitive and has a different ph balance. It’s best to use a shampoo that is made specifically for puppies or dogs.

How to dry puppy after bath

It’s very important to dry a puppy after a bath to avoid any health problems. puppies can get sick very easily and if they’re not dried off properly and can catch a cold putting them at risk of dying. You can use a towel to dry them off, or you can use a hair dryer on the lowest setting. Make sure to keep the hair dryer at least 6 inches away from their skin and never leave it on them for more than 10 seconds at a time.

If your puppy isn’t used to the hairdryer, it might seem scary for them at first. Here are some ways to get your puppy used to the hairdryer:

  • Start by turning the hairdryer on for a few seconds while it’s pointing away from the puppy. This will get them used to the sound.
  • Next, hold the hairdryer a few inches away from their body and move it around so they can get used to the sensation of the air.
  • Once they are used to the sound and sensation, you can start using it to dry them off. Start on the lowest setting and move the hairdryer around their body. Avoid pointing it directly at their face.
  • Give them a treat and some extra cuddles. They deserve it!

Alternatives to bathing a puppy

How to clean a puppy without bathing

If you don’t want to give your puppy a traditional bath, there are some alternative options. You can use a wet cloth or sponge to wipe them down. This is a good option if they just need a quick clean. You can also use a dry shampoo specifically made for puppies. Apply the dry shampoo to their coat and brush it through.

How to make your puppy smell good without a bath

If you don’t want to give your puppy a bath, you can use a pet-safe air freshener in their room or spray their bedding with a light scent. You can also wipe them down with a wet cloth or sponge. If you’re using dry shampoo, make sure to brush it through their coat so it evenly distributes the scent.

How to clean a dog with baking soda

Baking soda is a great natural cleanser for dogs. It’s gentle and won’t irritate their skin. To use baking soda to clean your dog, mix about 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1litre of water. Apply the mixture to their coat and massage it in. Rinse it off with room temperature water and dry their coat with a towel. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the mixture for a nice smell. If you’re interested in making a DIY dry shampoo for your pup, here is one recipe to try.

Dry bath for dogs homemade

There are a few things you’ll need to make a dry bath for your dog:

  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the cornstarch and baking soda until they’re well combined. If you’re using essential oils, add them to the mixture and stir until it’s evenly distributed. To use the dry bath, simply sprinkle it on your dog’s coat and brush it through. The cornstarch will absorb any dirt and oils and the baking soda will neutralize any odors. The essential oils will add a nice smell if you choose to use them. 

How to bathe a puppy without dog shampoo

If your puppy has rolled in something icky and you need to bathe them right away, the best option to replace your puppy shampoo is dish soap. It’s gentle and will get the job done. Avoid using hand soap, laundry detergent, or any other kind of soap that may be more harsh on their skin. 

Times you can’t bathe your puppy 

There are a few times when you should avoid bathing your puppy:

  • If they’re sick or have a fever, avoid bathing them until they’re feeling better.
  • If they’ve just been groomed, wait at least a week before bathing them.
  • If they’ve just had a flea bath, wait at least 2 weeks before bathing them.
  • You can bathe your puppy after they’ve been vaccinated. Just make sure to avoid bathing them in the days immediately following their vaccination. Puppies are vaccinated to help them build up immunity to diseases. vaccination, their immune system is working hard to build up immunity. Bathing them right after they’ve been vaccinated can stress their immune system and make them more susceptible to disease.

Your puppy’s first bath should be an enjoyable experience for them. With a little preparation and positive reinforcement, bathtime can be a fun and stress-free experience for both of you. Bathtime might even be something they start looking forward to!