You just got a new adorable furry friend, and you’re ready to take the best care of it you can. You’ve got the food, the bed, and you are prepared for the responsibility. But should you wash your new puppy yet? That depends on a couple of factors. Before you introduce your new puppy to bath time and shampoo it, some important factors to consider are its age and how hard bath time is on puppies.
How old is your puppy?
Washing a puppy seems like a no-brainer. Shouldn’t you wash your dog frequently? But vets and groomers both don’t recommend shampooing your puppy immediately. If it’s younger than 8 weeks, shampooing your little puppy might hurt its sensitive skin. Already dogs have sensitive skin in comparison to ours. But puppies are especially sensitive to ingredients in shampoo before 8 weeks. Fragrances can and probably will irritate a puppy’s skin. Even gentle formulas will be too potent for a young puppy. If your little puppy has soiled himself, then it’s for the best to go ahead and use some shampoo to get it off. But just for general grooming, then it’s better to wait.
Again, if you have to wash your puppy right now, then using a puppy shampoo is your best option. They have anti-inflammatories and silk proteins to help with a puppy’s sensitive skin. But be even more gentle than you usually would and consider diluting the shampoo with water.
Bath Time Is a Stressful Time
When your dog gets its first bath, it’s doubtful to have a great time, but it is likely to be very stressed. Dogs generally don’t like bath time as the loud running water and weird substances get rubbed on them. Dogs don’t fully understand what’s happening, and it’s a stressful experience when they are rubbed on their paws and faces. Some dogs may be the exception and leap into the bath. But most are stressed from start to finish. There are ways to remedy some of the stress, but some dogs never fully get over the fear. When your doggy gets stressed, use treats and slow down to keep them comfortable.
Not only is their skin super sensitive, but they also make life-long associations as a puppy. Suppose your young puppy gets exceptionally stressed during bath time. In that case, it will make the life-long association that bath time is the worst thing ever created and should be avoided. For example, your puppy will learn to be deeply afraid of shampoo if it gets some in its eye and its eye starts to burn.
So, be careful when you introduce bath time or anything which is high stress when they are puppies.
Puppy Washing Etiquette
Bath time eventually comes, even for a puppy younger than 8 weeks. While they can’t have shampoo on their body, dogs have some alternatives. You can use a warm rag or washcloth. And once you get your warm rag, you can gently rub their body with the rag. This teaches them to associate bath time as a normal experience rather than a stress-inducing mess. Using a warm rag is also how you will clean its face when it grows up.
A consistent and gentle grooming habit allows your puppy to get used to bathing early. All without the consequences of burning their newborn skin. And it even continues to help them later when you have to rub their face with a washcloth later in life. Washcloths coming at a dog’s eyes when it isn’t used to the cloth yet will make for a confused and scared doggy. And a confused and scared pup is also one that is ready to jump out and run around the house! So, rather than being stressed, you can get your puppy to associate bath time as good or even fun with proper washing etiquette.
Patience Is a Virtue
While washing your young puppies sounds like a pleasant pampering experience, bath time can be frightening for a confused dog. Even if you use gentle shampoos, you can hurt a puppy younger than 8 weeks old. Introducing your puppy to bath time early can be a really good thing because it keeps bath time from being a stressful and new experience. But bathing too early can be just as bad. Using a warm washcloth and gently rubbing your puppy is the best option if you need to bathe it earlier than 8 weeks. But after 8 weeks and lots of treats and affection, your furry friend will be fine.