How Soon Can You Bathe Puppies?

The time will come when you will want to bathe your Husky puppy. No doubt your little ball of fluffy mischief is getting into some messy puppy business, and he or she needs a spruce-up.

How soon can you bathe puppies?

Read on to find out.

How Often Should You Bathe A Puppy?

Current advice on this topic states that you SHOULD NOT bathe your puppy until they are at least 8 weeks old.

If your puppy gets dirty from feeding or playing before this age, then it is best practice to wipe your puppy down with a warm, damp cloth, rather than giving them a full bath.

How Often Do I Bathe A Puppy?

How often you bathe your puppy will depend on how dirty they are, what the temperature is like where you live, and the thickness of the puppy’s coat.

Generally speaking, bathing your puppy once a month will be plenty. 

If you live somewhere very cold, and/or it will take a long time for your puppy’s coat to dry after a bath, then bathe them less often. 

Obviously, a dog that is muddy or really stinky will need a bath ASAP!

Bathing a Puppy

Depending on the age of your puppy you may be able to fit him or her in your laundry trough/sink. This is a good option, as the trough is waist height so you will not need to bend over. This will prevent you from hurting your back when trying to manage a squirming, slippery puppy!

Can Puppies Shower?

If you do not have a bath in your home, yet do have a shower, you may be tempted to give your puppy a shower.

This is absolutely fine, it really depends on how you feel about using your shower to bathe your puppy.

If you do decide to take the shower option, here is some advice to make it run smoothly if you have never done this before.

 puppies shower

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Be Prepared

Purchase some dog shampoo, or use baby shampoo if you are in a pinch as it has a milder formula. Never use human adult shampoo on a dog.

Have lots of old and dry towels on hand. Expect water to get pretty much everywhere!

Ensure you have non-slip surfaces to work on, so put down rubber bath mats, for example.

Disinfect your own bath or shower after you have washed your puppy, and ensure you remove the dog fur from the plughole or drain afterward. The last thing you want is clogged drains!

Be Careful

Do not get soap in your puppy’s eyes, nose, mouth, or ears. Just wipe the face and head with a warm and damp cloth instead.

Pay special attention to ‘dirtier’ areas, so underneath the tail for example. But be gentle. You may wish to wear rubber gloves for your own protection.

Be kind, patient, and encouraging. Offer food rewards for good behavior.

Have some toys on hand and, if possible, another person. They can keep the dog distracted and hold the puppy still while you bathe them.

For older dogs, a collar and leash will be required to keep your pet still during washing.

Try and establish a positive bathing experience for your puppy right from the start so that they do not run away or misbehave when you need to bathe them in the coming months and years.

Other Bathing Options

Many commercial dog wash businesses exist where you can tie your dog into a trough and use a shower arm and dryer to wash and dry your pooch. This is a good option if you do not fancy having your dog in your own bathroom!

You can also wash your dog outdoors if the weather is hot, with buckets of warm soapy water to wash, and lots of clean water to rinse. Wash your dog in a part of your yard that has good drainage. Wear waterproof, non-slip shoes for your own safety.

These two options are better for adult dogs though. For young puppies, bathing them in the laundry trough/sink or in your own bath or shower will be less intimidating for them.

Drying Off

The last thing you want is a cold wet dog outside. This is not fun for them at all!

Once you have towel dried your pup, expect that they will shake off excess water, so wait with them in the bathroom or other tiled room in the house until they have done this.

Then expect that they will roll around on your carpet to remove even more water. If the dog is clean this should not make your carpet messy at all. This is better than having them roll in the grass and dirt outside, in which case you will be back to square one!

Do not let your pup outside again until it is completely dry, especially if the weather is cold.

Once your puppy’s coat is dry, give them a gentle brush to remove any loose hairs.

In Summary:

  • Do not bathe a puppy that is younger than 8 weeks old. Wipe a very young puppy down with a warm, damp cloth instead – but only if really necessary
  • A bath, laundry trough/sink, or shower at home is fine to bath your puppy in
  • Be prepared with towels and toys and possibly treats 
  • Make bath time a fun and positive experience for your pup
  • For older dogs, commercial dog wash venues or outdoor bathing may be an option
  • Do not put a wet dog outside in cold weather
  • Ensure that your pup is completely dry after their bath, and follow up with a gentle brush
  • Protect yourself by disinfecting your bathroom, wearing rubber gloves, and non-slip shoes when you give your puppy a bath

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