How To Bathe A Puppy

You got a new pup a few weeks ago! That’s super exciting. Unfortunately, little fido rolled in some poo and you don’t know what to do! It could be a poo roll or he could just be a little smelly from playing around so much. Either way, it’s time clean up time. We’re going to cover everything from what kind of shampoo to use to step by step instructions on how to give your doogy dog a bath. To skip to the how-to guide, click here.

How Old Does A Puppy Have To Be To Get A Bath?

Baby pups are not the same as a baby human. You don’t need to give them a bath every day. Typically, baby pups don’t need a bath until they are about 3 months old. This doesn’t mean you can’t give them one, it just doesn’t have to be on a regular basis. Most shampoos for dogs say that they are meant for dogs that are at least three months old. So what happens if they are under three months old and get super dirty or roll in some poo? You don’t need to give them a full on bath. Just take a wash cloth, soak it in warm water, and wipe em on down! With the water, you want to be a little careful to make sure it’s not too hot. Just like you would with a baby, take the running water and run it over your elbow. That’s how you know if the water is too hot for your pup.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Puppy?

There are a few different factors that go into how often you should bathe your puppy. The first is the length of your pup’s coat. Long coats tend to get dirtier quicker than short coats. Another factor is what time of year it is. During the winter, your pup most likely spends more time inside which means it’ll take longer for him to get dirty. The opposite is true for the summer. It also depends on how much time your pup spends outside. A pup that spends more time outside will naturally get a little smelly quicker. A good rule of thumb to stick to with most pups is to wash them about once a month.

There are exceptions to this generalized rule. Your pupparoni could have dry skin problems. If that’s the case, you’ll want to wait longer between bath times as his skin will dry out each time you give him one. If your dog has a skin infection, you’ll want to give little fido a bath more often. The last exception I can think of off the top of my head is if your little rascal rolls in a pile of poo. I don’t know about you, but when that happens I like to think it’s a good time to give him a bath.

What To Wash A Puppy With?

First, just to throw this out there, you should never use human shampoo or conditioner on your pup. The reason why? Humans and canines have different pH levels. A shampoo that is built for a human head caters to a different pH level. So with that in mind, we have to figure out what kind of dog shampoo will work best for your pup.

As with many other things, choosing a shampoo isn’t really a one size fits all kind of thing. For puppies, it’s really a good idea to stick with a shampoo that is gentle on the skin. There are plenty of shampoos that built with puppies in mind and it’s a good idea to get one of those. You also want to make sure that the formula in the shampoo is tear-less as well. This will prevent any kind of irritation to the eyes. To be on the safe side, their are a few ingredients that you want to avoid as well. They are:

  • Artificial Colors
  • Cocomide
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Fragrances
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Isopropyl (SD-40)
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Methylparaben
  • Mineral Oil
  • Phthalates
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Polysorbates
  • Propyene Glycol
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate

It’s a good idea to check the ingredients label to make sure that none of these are in the shampoo. Some are more common than others. There are plenty of great shampoos out there, but there are also a good amount of companies that like to try and save a buck.

Where To Bathe A Puppy

Well this one’s pretty easy. In a bath! But in all seriousness, you have several options pertaining to where you can give little fido a bath. So obviously the first one is a bath. If you pup is small enough, you can also use a sink. Don’t have a small pup or a bath? No need to worry. You can get a small pool to fill up when it’s bath time. They are relatively cheap depending on your level of fanciness. But all you have to do is fill it up when it’s bath time and dump it when your done. They fit in most small spaces and are easy to hide. Lastly, I wouldn’t recommend this but it’s do-able. Grab a bucket and fill it with warm water. Also, get a cup or something to pour water on your pup with. Take everything outside and get to work. The reason I don’t recommend this is because it’s just about the most difficult way to wash a pup.

How To Bathe A Puppy

Now to the good stuff. How to give your pup a bath! With this, we’re going to assume that you’re using a bath tub. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • A pup!
  • Treats
  • Shampoo
  • A towel
  1. First, before you even bring your pup into the bathroom, go ahead and fill the bathtub with warm water. Stick your elbow in the water to make sure that it is not too hot. If it’s unbearable for your elbow, it’ll be unbearable for your pup as well. Why do we fill the tub before bringing your pup into the room? Well bath time is already stressful enough for a pup. The sound of the faucet will typically scare your pup and make things worse. So it’s better just to avoid the extra stress. You should fill the tub up enough to the point where it’s almost at your pup’s stomach.
  2. Bring your pup into the room and plop him in the tub! Just kidding, don’t plop him. Slowly let him down in it. Then give him a treat. This is not the time to skimp on the treats. You need to show him that bath time is fun and enjoyable!
  3. Rinse off your pupparoo. Make sure to get all his fur wet. Be careful around his ears as bath time is one of the most common culprits for ear infections.
  4. It’s treat time! Take your time. Allow your pup to get to bath time. It’s important to be patient with this. Your pup will be able to tell that you’re getting annoyed and it will put him off from bath time.
  5. Now it’s time to lather that bad boy up! Make sure to get everywhere. I typically avoid lathering up the face and ears just because it’s super difficult to get the soap off without causing discomfort.
  6. You know what time it is. Treat time!
  7. Finally, you’ll want to rise off all that shampoo. If you’ve used an oatmeal shampoo, you might want to let the shampoo soak in for about 15 minutes. Don’t splash your pup around with the water. As tempting as that could be, we’ll just chalk it up to a bad idea. Just make sure you’ve rinsed all the shampoo out of little fido’s fur.
  8. Treat time!
  9. Dry off ya doogy dog with your towel now. Get him as dry as possible. He’s going to try and shake it all off. To prevent it from going everywhere, cover that sucka with a towel first.
  10. Treat time!

Overall it’s a pretty easy process. You just have to be careful of a few things. Make sure you don’t accidentally give your pup an ear infection but most importantly, be patient. Your pup will notice if you’re getting annoyed with him and that will only make things more difficult.


Leave a Reply