How Old Do Puppies Have to Be to Get a Bath – And How to Bathe Them Safely

So you’re a first-time fur parent – congratulations! The new responsibility will be overwhelming at first, but the love and devotion you get from your new puppy make it worth it.

Now, one of the most common questions that we get from new dog owners is this: how old do puppies have to be to get a bath? To address this finally, we decided to write this article to share everything you need to know to make your puppy’s first bath a memorable one.

How Old Do Puppies Have to Be to Get a Bath

How Old Do Puppies Have to Be to Get a Bath?

The ideal age to bathe puppies is at 8 weeks old. At this age, the puppy becomes stronger and more playful, so he can already handle bath time like a champ.

According to some experts, you can also start bathing younger puppies at 4 weeks old. But, it seems like at this age, puppies can’t regulate their body temperature yet, so even a warm bath would shock his little body. This might result in chills, which can be uncomfortable for the puppies.

How to Bathe Puppies for the First Time

Now that you know the right age for puppies to take a bath for the first time, we’ll start discussing the proper way to bathe them.

  1. Start by gathering everything you need for the bath. Depending on the size of the dog, you can bathe him in the sink or the tub. Either way, make sure that there’s a non-slip mat underneath to keep him in place.

Also, make sure that you have at least two dry towels at arms’ length, so he won’t get cold after taking him out of the water. As for the shampoo, make sure that it’s a puppy-friendly formula since adult dog shampoos can be too strong for him.

And finally, prepare the lukewarm water for his bath.

  1. The next step is to brush your puppy’s coat before putting him in the water. This step gets rid of tangles, shed fur, debris, and dirt, so bathing him can go smoothly. And that is especially true for long-coat breeds.
  2. Now, let’s proceed to bath time. Slowly lower the puppy onto the lukewarm water. Since it’s his first time taking a bath, this can be stressful for him. By making sure that you won’t leave his side during this period, he won’t feel as stressed during this new activity in his life.

Once he’s comfortably in the water, use warm water to wet him all over.

  1. The next step is to clean him from head to paws with puppy-friendly shampoo. Lightly massage the shampoo all over his body to create the lather while avoiding his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.

Puppies tend to be curious, so he might want to lick some of it off. You have to pay extra attention to him during this step.

  1. At this point, all that’s left is to rinse him. Similarly use warm water to wash away the lather. Lightly give him a massage as the water runs through his body to ensure that no shampoo residue will stay on his fur.
  2. As soon as you’ve rinsed him, take him out of the water and immediately cover him with the dry towel. Make sure that it’s made of soft materials so it won’t hurt him as you dry him off.

And that’s all there is to it – now you know how to give a puppy his first bath.

Throughout the bathing process, it’s important to make your puppy feel like he’s safe during bath time. As you all know, puppies end up liking or hating their first bath, and he’ll carry that memory with him until he becomes an adult, so, it’s best to associate bath time with happy memories so he looks forward to it every time.

We also recommend giving him a treat after his bath. That will let him associate bathing with a reward, so he won’t find it as unpleasant.

How to Clean Younger Puppies

Earlier, we shared that puppies should be at least 8 weeks old to be given a bath. Any age younger than that, he might not be able to regulate his body temperature yet.

But let’s face it – young puppies can be playful. They can make a mess, and get themselves dirty in the process. If you don’t bathe them at this age, they’ll surely start to smell.

So at this stage of their lives, instead of bathing them, you can simply clean them with a cloth soaked in warm water. The following are the steps you have to follow for this puppy cleaning method.

  1. Fill a bowl or basin with warm water and soak a clean washcloth in it.
  2. After the washcloth is all soaked up, wring it to get rid of the excess water.
  3. Now, wash the puppy by thoroughly wiping his body with the warm washcloth. In doing so, only make light wiping motions so as not to rub it too harshly on his skin. He’s still a baby, after all. Also, pay extra attention to areas where he might be extra dirty like his paws and belly.
  4. Once you’ve already wiped him clean, grab a clean towel and pat him down to dry. Make sure that you do this step as soon as possible to prevent the puppy from getting cold.
  5. As much as possible, make sure that the room stays warm throughout the wash. This will keep the puppy from experiencing chills.

And that’s it – you now have a fresh and clean puppy! You don’t have to wait for weeks just to get him cleaned.

Final Thoughts

Puppies will always bring great joy to the family. Their cute faces and tiny bodies can surely help us relax after a tiring day.

But, always remember that having puppies is a big responsibility. You don’t just feed them – you have to play with them, walk them, and give them baths. A dirty coat makes him susceptible to nasty conditions, and you don’t want that to happen to your beloved canine friend.

Fortunately, bathing them is not a challenge. As long as you follow everything we’ve laid down in this article, then there’s nothing to worry about. You can even make bath time a fun time for both of you.

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