Bathing Your Puppy: Wet and Wild

To Bathe or Not to Bathe

It was once believed that dogs should be bathed only when dirty, but that was back when shampoos for dogs were much harsher. If a gentle shampoo is used, a dog can be bathed weekly without drying out his coat.

Bathing your dog can pose a challenge -- if you neglected to show your pet at an early age that a bath can be enjoyable, even fun. The key is to slowly introduce your puppy to being wet and pampered. Treats and toys can be helpful additions to bath time.

As your puppy grows into an adult, you’ll want to brush your dog thoroughly before bathing to remove dead hair and mats that will tangle when wet.
 

golden retriever getting a bath


Gather everything you need for the bath—shampoo, towels, cotton balls to place in the ears so water won’t run into them—then get your pup.

Place the dog in the tub (or wherever you are going to bathe him), and wet him to the skin with warm water. Lather with a gentle dog shampoo (never use shampoo made for people), then rinse thoroughly with warm water. It’s very important to rinse out every bit of soap. To help in combing out afterward, some people apply a small amount of conditioner, which is rinsed out as well.

Squeeze as much water as you can out of the coat, then absorb more water with a towel. Brush your pup dry and use a blow dryer (made for dogs) set on a warm, gentle setting to speed the process. Hold the dryer at least a foot away from your pup so you don’t burn his skin. Keep him in a warm place until he is completely dry.
 


Bonus Tip:


The best way to remove salt, mud, tree sap, burrs, or paint from your dog’s coat is to apply vegetable or mineral oil to the affected area for 24 hours, then wash away with soap and water. If necessary, clip away the damaged hair.

In addition to your dog's coat, it's also important to keep their teeth clean. Learn how in the video below.