Is puppy getting a little stinky? That’s natural. He’s running around a lot and getting sweaty. It may be time for a bath.
Note: If your puppy is younger than 7-8 weeks, you should hold off on that first bath. Wait a while. His little body isn’t ready to self-regulate his body temperature just yet. But you can wipe your puppy down with a warm cloth if you need to give him a quick clean.
If your puppy is over 8 weeks, how often you bathe him depends on several factors: Is it winter or summer? Does your puppy spend a lot of time outdoors? Does he have a longer coat that may get dirty quicker than shorthaired breeds?
A good rule of thumb is that you should bathe your dog once a month. Of course, if he rolls around in the mud, you can bathe him more often. Or if your puppy is prone to dry skin, you can wait longer between baths. Just be sure to choose a puppy shampoo that is gentle on his skin!
Follow these tips for a successful bath that won’t leave you soaking wet:
1. Start Soon. Get your puppy used to bathing by starting early, and praising him as much as possible.
2. Pick a Spot. Sinks are perfect for bathing puppies. A hose or a kiddie pool in the backyard works great in the summer, too. Give your puppy something to grip on to, like a rubber mat, to make him more secure. Gather all your supplies pre-bath, and never leave your puppy unattended. Chasing a wet puppy around the house is no fun for anyone involved. Use lukewarm water, and save your puppy’s head for last to minimize his desire to shake.
3. Make it Fun. Your puppy is more likely to cooperate at bath time if he’s having fun. Toss his favorite toy in the tub, or just give him lots of love!
4. Rinse Well. Once you’ve massaged a specially formulated puppy shampoo into your puppy’s coat, be sure to rinse your puppy thoroughly. Just like in humans, leftover shampoo will leave your puppy’s skin dry, flaky and itchy. Don’t get water in his ears or eyes!
5. Steer Clear of the Shake. After a bath, puppies love to shake dry. To avoid water on your walls, toss a towel over your puppy and dry thoroughly. If the weather is cold, keep your puppy indoors until he’s fully dry. You can speed up the process with a hair dryer on a warm or cool setting.
Brush your puppy regularly between baths to keep his hair from getting tangled or matted.