When Can I Bathe My Puppy?

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Wait until a puppy is old enough to be adopted before bathing it. Use diluted shampoo and keep the water temperature lukewarm when bathing a dog. Learn more about avoiding over-bathing a puppy with information from a professional dog trainer in this free video on puppies.

Part of the Video Series: Dog & Puppy Care
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Video Transcript

When can you bathe your puppy? Well, that's probably a good question for your veterinarian. If your if your dog is very, very young it might be good to wait to a certain age. If you're bringing home a puppy from a breeder they are probably old enough to bathe. Again, you can ask questions of people around you; especially your veterinarian and the breeder. You want to be careful to brush out your dog's coat, your puppy's coat. You don't want to bathe and dry any mats or tangles, because that'll make it harder to get those out in the future. You also want to be very careful to keep water and shampoo away from your puppy's face. A good idea is to use a baby shampoo that is not caustic to the eye, won't cause the eye to burn if you do get a little bit in into your puppy's eye. But, it might be a better idea initially until your puppy's a little older to just use a wet rag to wash the face off. Make sure to dilute the shampoo. You want to get all of that soap out of your puppy's coat, so that your puppy doesn't make themselves ill by ingesting it from licking themselves off, which they are pretty sure to do once the bath is over. You want to be careful to give your dog the opportunity to dry thoroughly before you take them out on a windy or a cold day, so that you don't expose them to challenges to their immune system as a puppy. So, keep the temperature comfortable; not too warm, too or too hot. Somewhere in the lukewarm range would be good. And work slowly with your puppy. Maybe initially all you can do is get them into your tub or your sink and wipe them down, and and have them feel comfortable. Handle their paws, their ears, their body, their belly, their tail, so they get used to being handled, and then slowly work up to being able to douse them with water and soap them up, and rinse them off very well. But work slowly, because this is a lifelong commitment for your dog to be able to be bathed on a regular basis. One final tip is to probably resist bathing your puppy more often than every couple of weeks, so that your your puppy's natural oils in their skin aren't overly depleted.

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