When can you bathe a puppy?

When you collect your puppy from their breeder, they may be a bit smelly so you could be tempted to bath them. But is this a good time?

How early can I bath my puppy?

Beware of bathing your puppy before they are 7-8 weeks old. When they are this young, puppies can’t control their own temperature and can’t warm up afterwards. They could become ill.

The general rule is to bathe your puppy once a month once they are over eight weeks old. 

Keep them warm and make sure they are totally dry before they go outside, especially in winter. If it’s cold or they spend a lot of time outdoors, limit the number of baths you give them.

Top Tips for puppy bath time!

When it comes to teaching your puppy about bath time, the earlier your start, the better!

  • Think about where you will bathe them. If your puppy is small, the kitchen sink is perfect. Or you can use your bath. In the summer, a kid’s paddling pool in the garden can work well.
  • Until your puppy gets used to bath time, they may find the whole process a bit of a trauma. Get prepared so it goes as smoothly as possible. Get your towels and shampoo ready. Lay something with a grip in the bottom of the bath or sink to help your puppy stand up.
  • Start by washing their body first and their head last. Use lukewarm water. Try to prevent water from going down their ears. If you do, this is when they will start an all-over body shake, soaking everyone and everything in the process!
  • Buy a good quality puppy shampoo. It is designed for use on puppy skin and hopefully shouldn’t cause any dryness or irritation. Rinse off your puppy properly and avoid getting water in their eyes and ears.
  • Use an old towel to give them an excellent drying off. Next, you can use your hair dryer at a low setting. Some dogs love the warmth of a hairdryer but some don’t! See what your puppy thinks.
  • Lastly, make the whole experience fun! Throw their favourite squeaky toy in the bath and hand out plenty of treats. Bath time should be a positive experience for your puppy.

With a Kennel Club Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.