Having a puppy is often just like having a baby. They need a lot of attention, despite sleeping most of the time, and due to their early toilet training, accidents are plentiful.
You may find yourself wondering – can you bathe a puppy at 8 weeks?
If so, how often can you wash them? In this article, we will answer these questions for you, and go over the basics for keeping your new puppy clean and healthy.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Is it safe to bath an 8-week-old puppy?
- What will your puppy’s first bath be like?
- Where is the best place to bathe a puppy?
- What do you need to bathe a puppy?
- How to keep a puppy clean in between baths
Is It Safe To bathe An 8-Week-Old Puppy?
At 8 weeks old, your puppy has left its mother and littermates and is stronger than ever. He is adjusting to new environments and embracing new experiences.
With all of this activity and adventure, your little pup is likely to be getting quite mucky! You will be thankful to know that it is perfectly safe to start bathing your puppy at 8 weeks of age.
There a few methods that you can use to keep your mischievous pup clean, and we will explore those in this article.
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Bathing is one of the many important activities that your puppy is going to have to get used to.
So the sooner you can begin to build positive experiences around bath time and familiarise your puppy with the process, the better for everyone.
What Will, Your Puppy’s First Bath, Be Like?
However you decide to bathe your puppy for the first time, whether it is in the bathroom or kitchen sink, in a small tub or the bath at home, the most important thing is to ensure that the experience is not scary for too stressful or your pup.
All of the sights, sounds, and smells will be new for your puppy, and this can be overwhelming, so you should take your time and enjoy the bathing process, providing your puppy with plenty of praise, petting, and even treats if you have them on hand.
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Some dogs take to water quickly, but others are not so keen, so be aware that your puppy may think that bath time is a lot of fun, but most puppies will be nervous, especially if it is the first time.
You must also remember that your puppy is still getting used to not only his new home but also to you, and so he may not be entirely sure if he can trust you yet.
For this reason, you should keep your puppy’s first bathing session as enjoyable and straightforward as possible, and short.
Can You Bathe A Puppy At 8 Weeks?
It should be an opportunity to introduce your pup to the sight and sound of water, and what it feels like to be submerged and wet.
Use small amounts of shampoo, only if necessary, focussing mainly on areas that are heavily soiled like the paws and bottom, so that it is easy to rinse his fur clear of it before your puppy becomes agitated and wants it all to be over.
After bathing, your pup might be cold, and so you should prepare for this, perhaps by having a warm towel to hand or making sure that the house is warm and that your puppy is dry before you let him run free.
Where Is The Best Place To Bathe A Puppy?
All puppies at 8 weeks old are still pretty small, even if you have a larger breed of dog, and so you can consider this when choosing where and how to bathe them.
It can help to have an extra person around to help make sure your puppy is safe, especially if you decide to bathe your puppy up on a high surface like in a sink in your house.
The second pair of hands can ensure that your puppy doesn’t try to get away and fall to the floor while you are busy opening shampoo bottles or adjusting the water.
Alternatively, a small tub or a human baby bath can be useful at this stage to get your pup used to bathe and stay safer, feeling more secure close to the ground.
You should choose a room that is easy to keep warm so that your puppy doesn’t get cold either during his bath or afterward during drying.
The place should be quiet, without distractions, so that you and your puppy can focus on the task at hand, making the experience relaxing and peaceful.
Maybe even consider putting on some relaxing classical musical to get you both in the mood.
You might also want to consider using a room that is easy to wash and dry afterward to avoid accidents or slips of wet surfaces. Laying towels down around the bathing area is a great way to keep you and your puppy safe.
What Do You Need To Bathe A Puppy?
You don’t need many things to bathe your puppy. Here is an essential checklist to help you prepare.
- Shallow tub or baby bath – If you decide not to use the home bathtub, shower, or sinks, then a separate tub is perfect for washing your small puppy in until they grow out of it. Later on, when your dog is bigger, older, and hardier, you may decide to invest in an outdoor tub.
- Puppy shampoo – A pure tearless shampoo that has been designed especially for puppies is perfect for cleansing your puppy and leaving them smelling great gently. Go for high-quality products when it comes to your dog, as these will be less likely to irritate their skin by drying it out.
- Brushes and combs – If you have a long-haired dog breed, then getting your puppy used to being groomed is essential as they will need regular grooming as an adult dog to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy. You should brush tangles out of your puppy’s fur before bathing, and comb through again to remove knots once dry.
- Towels and a pet blow dryer – When your puppy is young, a few absorbent towels will probably be enough to dry them after bathing. It is a good idea to get your young puppy accustomed to a pet blow dryer so that these can be used without causing your dog stress as they get older, mainly if your dog’s coat is long or thick, or you know that they will be visiting a professional grooming salon regularly.
- Cotton buds and ear cleaner – Often, cotton buds and warm water is enough to keep your puppy’s ears clean. It would help if you practiced ear cleaning, whether they need it or not, as it will help to familiarise them with the whole grooming process. Always focus on cleaning the visible parts on the ear only, avoiding sticking anything into the ear canal.
- Nail clippers – Trimming your puppy’s nails are so important when they are young to keep them short, and also allow your dog to become accustomed to having his nails trims so that it doesn’t turn into a stressful ordeal later on in your dog’s life.
How To Keep A Puppy Clean In Between Baths
Puppies do like to get into all sorts of filthy situations, whether they are soiling themselves in a puppy crate or bed, getting messy with soft foods at mealtimes, or just enjoying themselves out in the muddy garden or parks.
You probably won’t want to keep having to give your puppy several baths a week, though, just so that he can run free in the house without ruining your carpet or furniture.
Here are a few tips to help you manage your puppy’s hygiene in between baths:
- Keep a towel and paw wipes near your front and back door so that you can get your puppy used to having their paws cleaned after walks and playtime in the garden. This will not only help to keep your house and pet bedding clean, but it will also ensure that your pup’s toes and nail beds are kept dry so that they don’t develop unpleasant fungal infections in wet weather.
- Get your pup used to have “sponge baths.” A great place to sponge-wash your puppy is in the bathroom, either in the bathtub or on a bath mat. You can use a wet sponge or cloth to wipe your puppy down, removing any visible dirt. This is also useful if your dog has rolled in something in the grass, and it has smeared down one side on him, apply a small bit of shampoo to that side and use a sponge and warm water to rinse clean.
- Regular brushing is a great way to loosen up any mud or soil that has dried in your dog’s fur and redistribute its natural oils. A quick sweep or hoover of the area afterward, and you have avoided having to give your dog a full bath!
- Use pet-friendly sprays and wipes to refresh your dog’s coats and lift any doggy or puppy smell that is bothering you in between washes. These are great when you have guests coming over, to give you peace of mind that your gorgeous pup is clean and presentable, and ready for loving and adoring by your visitors.