Everyone knows the joy dogs bring. But taking care of another life is a big responsibility. You want to give them the best. Especially when they are still a puppy, want to keep them happy and healthy. Little pups are often curious and energetic, and that can lead to some big messes. You know what I mean. Puppies love to get dirty, and that means bath time.
Now, some dogs love bath time, and to those owners: I envy you! But if you’re a dog parent who is not even sure what to wash a puppy with, I am here to ease your mind and give you some answers.
So,What to Wash A Puppy With?
The answer is simply puppy shampoo. At your local pet shop, you will find shampoo, conditioner, detanglers and other products specifically for young pups. These range from shampoos against fleas to sensitive skin shampoos.
Unsure of which type of shampoo to go for? When it doubt, always go for the mild smelling or sensitive skin shampoos.
When it comes to puppy bath time, there is so much more to it. I’m sure you have many more questions. Why are there so many options of puppy shampoo and which is the best? Is there a safe alternative for emergencies? There are many factors to consider when it comes to caring for your new companion. That includes understanding their hygiene needs and how to keep them clean and healthy. Let me talk you through the most common concerns.
Can You Bathe A Puppy
It is technically safe to wash puppies of any age. However, you should not be washing puppies daily. This is because your puppy’s skin has a PH level that keeps its skin oily to a certain extent.
Let’s break this down.
The oil protects the puppy’s skin and fur and allows for friendly bacteria to balance this PH level. Shampoo removes this oil and can cause it to have easily irritable or sensitive skin. Remember that dirt or food spillage can just be wiped away with a damp washcloth or sponge. If you want to keep a regular washing schedule, bimonthly or monthly should be just fine.
When Can I Start Bathing My Puppy
There is no specific age at which to start washing your puppy but try to avoid this until they are about 12 weeks old. Even then you want to find a balance between keeping them smelling fresh but also letting the natural skin oils do their job of protecting them and supporting a healthy coat.
How To Bathe A Puppy
So you have decided it’s finally time to give your little dirtball a much-needed wash. There are a few simple ways to avoid wash time being exhausting for you and traumatising for your pup. To start you will need:
- A tub/baby bath
- puppy shampoo
- a small washcloth
- a towel.
Once you have decided on location, start filling the tub with some lukewarm water. Puppies are quite temperature sensitive. Don’t overfill the tub, deep water can cause anxiety.
Take your comb and brush their coat. This is soothing and removes loose dirt from their fur. Once done, you can place your pup into the tub and begin covering them in warm water, avoiding the face. Make sure they are thoroughly damp before applying shampoo.
Always follow the instructions on the back of the shampoo bottle. Some may need to be left in for a while. Others, especially medical ones, need to be diluted before applying.
Whatever the method, lather up your pup and make sure to be thorough, keeping away from their face. Get in between those adorable paws and behind the ears.
Use the washcloth for your puppy’s face. Dip it in some soap-less warm water and clean around the eyes gently.
Now that your puppy is soapy it’s time for a rinse. Drain the soapy water in the tub and start with fresh warm water. You will need to do this a few times to make sure there is no soap left in their fur as it can lead to irritation later. Once they connect bath time to itchy skin, you’ll never get them back in that tub!
The hardest part is done, but your puppy might still be a little shaken up. Get them wrapped in a towel and gently rub them dry. Let them play in the towel and leave them in a warm room to dry out naturally. Most importantly, give them a cuddle, praise them, and give them a treat.
With some time and patience, your puppy will be loving bath time in no time!
What Is The Best Puppy Shampoo?
Simple is definitely the best when it comes to puppy shampoos ,Choose shampoos that do not have many ingredients to them and are labeled for sensitive skin . A good choice would be shampoo such as Burt’s Bees Puppy Tearless 2-in-1 Shampoo which was voted best puppy shampoo of 2020 for their gentle formula and natural ingredients.
Make sure to keep reading to check out some DIY shampooch recipes!
Can I Use Dawn Dish Soap To Wash My Puppy?
You should never use any type of dish soap on dogs as they are harmful. They are specifically formulated to remove oil and cut through grease, and we have learned that puppies need the oil on their skin for healthy fur and to avoid skin irritation. In the world of puppy shampoo alternatives, Dawn dish soap or any other kind of dish soap is not an option.
Can I Use Human Shampoo On My Puppy?
For similar reasons, you should absolutely not use human shampoo on your dogs. The human skin has a completely different PH level to dogs and puppies. Puppy shampoo has moisturizing elements to replace the protective layer on their skin once the shampoo has inevitably stripped the oils from it, human shampoo would not do that for them.
Can You Wash Puppies With Baby Shampoo?
Baby shampoo is the only safe alternative to puppy shampoo and I would like to put the emphasis on alternative. If you are in a pinch and desperately need to give your smelly pup a wash, use baby shampoo. However, it is not recommended for regular use and could still be harmful to your pup if used long term. But we all have those days that call for an emergency, and in an emergency baby shampoo is the best backup. For the puppy moms and dads who have a knack for DIY-ing, there is always the option to make some homemade shampoo too.
Homemade Puppy Shampoo Recipe
Making your own natural puppy shampoo is a great way to be more sustainable, save a little money, and be a little more in control of what type of chemicals your puppy is introduced to. It’s also super easy!
To make all purpose puppy shampoo you need it:
- ½ cup grated castile soap
- ¾ cup distilled water
- ¼ cup soft or melted coconut oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, transfer to a container and its ready to go!
Remember to avoid using essential oils if your dog has any health conditions or is pregnant.
Lavender is a safe essential oil to use around pets. Other safe EO’s include peppermint and chamomile.
You can find out more information on essential oils and pets here
When can you start showering a puppy? Puppies can technically start being showered at any age,
thought it is suggested to start at 12 weeks. You want to avoid showering and stick to bathing them gently in a tub. Playful hose showering should be reserved for when your puppy is older and is no longer afraid of bath time.
What do you bathe puppies with? You’ll need a tub, a comb, a towel, a washcloth, and most importantly some puppy shampoo. Additionally, you’ll need lots of love, patience, and clothes you don’t mind getting wet.
However you decide to wash your pup, all that matters is that your puppy is safe, healthy, and comfortable. If you are ever unsure, you can always ask for help or advise. And finally, treat these bathing sessions as bonding opportunities, and show your puppy all the love it deserves.