When can you give a puppy its first bath? It is such an exciting experience to have a new puppy, so you want to make sure you do everything right!
Puppies are rather fragile creatures straight from the womb. Utmost care must be taken to make sure that they are safe and healthy during this important development process. This makes sure that they grow into healthy adult dogs with minimal health issues.
If you are wondering when you will be able to give your puppy a bath, check out the information we have ready below!
Why Should You Wait To Give A Puppy Its First Bath
At a young age, puppies are not able to properly regulate heat. They need to be kept properly warm with external sources. You will notice puppies tucking into their mother – this is for their survival and not just an act of affection or comfort!
Puppies actually need to break into their normal adult temperature. This could be a difference of 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit or around 2 degrees Celsius. Seems like a really small difference, right? But it could actually be a matter of life and death.
If puppies come into contact with cold water or soap, this could be very harmful to them, indeed. They could experience hypothermia if the water is too cold. Their skin is too thin and sensitive for soaps, even if they are supposed to be a gentle formula.
When Can You Give A Puppy Its First Bath?
The best time to give a puppy its first proper bath is after it can reach its adult temperature. This may be as soon as four weeks, but to be safe, eight weeks or two months is when people would consider it the best time. This is also the standard that the American Kennel Club, and any puppy under six months old should be handled with care.
In order to be safe and sure, you should get the temperature of the puppy regularly starting around seven weeks of age. When it starts moving away from the mother, it’s likely that they’re already able to regulate their body temperature.
What If My Puppy Gets Dirty In Its First Few Weeks?
If there was an accident that unfortunately got your puppy quite dirty, don’t rush them to the bathroom just yet. Their mother can clean them just fine.
If the mother is not around or the puppy is orphaned, this is another matter altogether. If the mess cannot be ignored or can potentially harm the puppy, do your best to get rid of it using spot cleaning. For this, you need to have two washcloths – one that will get wet and one that will stay dry.
Dip one towel in properly warm water. Make sure that the temperature of the water is not too cold. When the towel for application is wet, wring the towel and make sure there is no excess water.
Wipe the foreign material from the body of the puppy. Use gentle strokes or dab at the stain. Try to pick up as much of the dirt as possible with gentle swipes of the warm towel.
After you finish wiping off the offending dirt, dry the area with another towel. Pick up any moisture gently from the puppy.
As soon as possible, get your puppy into a warm spot. If the mother is not available, you can swaddle your puppy in a cloth and keep them close to your body. Sharing your body heat will help them regulate their temperature in the absence of the mother.
Steps To Give Your Puppy A Bath
Monitor the growth, progress, and temperature of your puppy. Once your puppy is old enough and ready to receive its first bath, you can take the following steps:
- First, gather all your necessary supplies. Pick a soap or shampoo that is formulated for puppies, so that you are able to make sure no irritation or dryness will occur. Never use what is available at home for human use.
- Prepare a tub for the puppy as well as warm water to use for the bath.
- Next, gently pour water over their body, making sure to avoid their eyes and ears. You can prevent water from entering the face by using a shield, like your hand or other tools, to cup their face.
- Add the puppy cleaning agent. Be careful not to use too much that would require you to spend a long time trying to rinse out. Don’t scrub the cleaning agent, use gentle hand motions instead.
- When rinsing, use gentle hand motions as well. If your puppy has a thick coat, take extra care to rinse out the suds and make sure none are left when the bath is over.
- Once done, remove your puppy from the tub. This will be their cue to shake off all the water. Watch out – you may get in the way of the splash zone! After they are satisfied with the shake, use a towel to help them dry off. Don’t leave your puppy out dripping wet!
For dogs with longer, unruly coats, you can use a comb or brush before the bath so that you don’t have to deal with knots while they are wet. It is good to work smart when dealing with a young puppy!
How Often Should You Give A Puppy A Bath?
You should not give a puppy a bath too often, even if the puppy goes out. Regular baths are more important for older dogs. It is more likely that they need a bath or smell once they are older, after all!
This is because the bodies of puppies are still developing. Putting them through a whole bath – complete with soap or shampoo – can get rid of the essential oils on their skin. This is also true of humans, so we need to be mindful of our dogs.
Are you now ready to give your puppies a bath? Do you have any tips and tricks to make the process even easier? Let us know in the comments below!
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