Puppy First Bath: When, How Often, & Step by Step Guide

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Puppy First Bath

A lovely little furry ball is running around your house and it’s full of personality that brings happiness and love. Puppies are very cute and lovable which makes them so nice to cuddle but this furry ball is very playful and needs a little bit of work to maintain its cleanliness. Bath time should not be stressful for both owner and the puppy so the early introduction of bathing to your puppy will play an important part for the puppy to get used to it. Puppy First Bath is very important so you as a fur parent must know when is the perfect time to do it, how often you should bathe a puppy, and the proper step-by-step procedure to do it.

It’s natural for the puppy to get easily dirty because they are full of energy and loves to explore this is the part of their growing up and it makes them learn a lot so you don’t need to stop them but instead supervise them so they won’t get to danger. A dirty puppy needs to be clean so they won’t get sick and of course for you to enjoy cuddling with them, making or preparing a plan on how to bath your puppy (especially if this is a Puppy First Bath) is very advisable, everything you need to know about Puppy First Bath is below so keep reading to make sure your puppy is safe while making them clean.

When can puppies have their first bath?

Puppy First Bath in the bathtub

Newborn puppies shouldn’t be bathed until they are at least four weeks old because they can’t regulate their own body heat. It is advisable to wait until they reach 8 weeks old (2 months) before you take them to their Puppy First Bath because at this time they can now tolerate some little coldness. Make sure you bathe your puppy in a nice warm room with warm (not too hot) water, if your puppy is shivering the water isn’t warm enough so take extra care in preparing the water. Use dog/puppy shampoo and conditioner in bathing your puppy.

After bathe makes sure to dry your puppy to prevent them from getting cold that sometimes could even lead to pneumonia.

How often should I bathe my puppy?

Puppy First Bath

Ideally, you should bathe your puppy once a month or if needed (if they get grimy, they have to attend dog shows, etc.).

The seasons will also affect how often you should bathe your puppy, if it is summer you can bathe him/her more often (at least once a week) depending on how thick their coat (thicker or longer coat can get easily feel hot during summer). If your puppy is prone to dry skin, you can wait longer between baths because bathing your dog too often can wash out the natural oil of its coat that helps it keep shiny and healthy.

When bathing your puppy avoid using human shampoo because it has chemicals that disrupt the acid mantle that protects the skin, if this damaged it will leave your dog vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Make sure to use dog shampoo (recommended organic shampoo) on your puppy to protects their natural oil that keeps their coat/fur shiny and healthy.

Note: If your puppy is younger than 7-8 weeks, you should hold off on that first puppy bath. A puppy’s little body isn’t ready to regulate body temperature on its own. If your little furry ball is dirty and they are less than 8 weeks old you can wipe him/her down with a warm cloth if you need to give him/her a quick clean.

7 Step by step Guide on how to bathe a puppy

Puppy First Bath

Now that your little puppy is ready to take his/her First Puppy Bath it is time for you to learn the step-by-step process to make bath time smooth and safe for your puppy.

The following are the step by step guide on how to bathe a puppy:

1. Prepare all essential things in bathing your dog

Before you start to wet your dog make sure you already prepare all the things you will need to use. The following are the essential thing a puppy needs during and after bathe:

  • Lukewarm water
  • Puppy shampoo
  • Puppy Conditioner
  • Towels (lots of towels)
  • Blow dryer
  • Comb
  • Cotton balls
  • Mineral oil
  • Treats

In choosing the right shampoo for your puppy it is best to first determine your puppy’s type of coat because some short-coated dog needs oil to the point of grease while the Long-coated dogs need humectants for moisturizers. Talk to your vet first to find out what products suit your puppy best.

2. Choose a safe place to bathe your puppy

For small puppies it is common to bathe them in the sink of your bathroom or kitchen, you can also use buckets filled with water so you can ‘dunk’ your puppy to soak his/her fur, lift him/her up thoroughly, and then rinse. For medium to large puppies, you can bathe them in your bathtub or shower room.

If it is summer day you can bathe your puppy in the garden or patio but make sure to close all the gates or any holes where your puppy can run to be safe.

3. Put a drop of mineral oil or artificial tears in each eye & cotton balls in both ears

Before you start bathing your dog it is advisable to put mineral oil or artificial tears in each eye to protect it from irritation.

A cotton balls place in the ears will prevent the water from getting in, with that you can protect the ears from getting infection or irritation.

4. Bathe time!

Make sure the water is not cold or too hot lukewarm is the best temperature of water to use for the puppy.

  • Make your puppy stand on the water below his knee (if your puppy being so hysterical don’t force to do it).
  • Wet the fur of the puppy using a plastic cup or hand help sprayer.
    • Note: Don’t spray or dunk the puppy’s face in the water, instead, use a washcloth to clean and rinse the face.
  • Once the puppy’s fur is wet you can apply now the puppy shampoo, rub it thoroughly but slowly, and then rinse.
  • After the shampoo you can now apply the puppy conditioner, rub it thoroughly but slowly and massage the body for about a minute for the coat to absorb the conditioner well, and then rinse.
  • After the final rinse removes the cotton ball in the ears, leaving it in the ears can cause an ear infection.

Note: Make sure to rinse well and do not leave any soap in the coat because it can cause allergy, attract dirt, and makes the fur look dull and dingy.

5. Dry the puppy well

After rinsing let the puppy shake off the water to his/her body and then wipe his/her body with dry towels until it has no dripping water in his/her fur.

Start blow drying the fur make sure to avoid high heat so your dog won’t get burnt. Continue drying until all the fur is fully dry.

6. Brush the fur and Clean the ears

When the fur is fully dry brush it smoothly to prevent any matting. Clean the ear after to make sure no water gets inside that will cause an ear infection.

Note: You can start to brush your puppy’s teeth as early as 8 weeks old check our article on How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth for proper guidance.

7. Maintain a Bathing Routine

4 weeks old to 1 year old is a perfect time to train the puppy, make sure to established a maintained bathing routine so your puppy will get used to it and the process will be smooth and fun for both of you.

Make sure to give treats to your puppy every end of the bathing time to make it fun and exciting for your puppy.

Butler Oh
Butler Oh is a long time dog lover. Dogs are always part of her family since she was young and she grows up as a loving and caring fur parent. She has been part of our team here at ohmylovelypets since 2019 and has provided a lot of great research and information about dogs.

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