It’s important to bathe your puppy properly because you’re setting the tone for how he’ll feel about baths for the rest of his life. If you want a dog who enjoys his baths and behaves well, follow these steps.
Don’t give up if bathing your puppy is proving to be a challenge. The way you bathe them now will shape their bath-time habits for the rest of their life, so it’s important to make sure you’re teaching them good habits from the start. If you want an adult dog that behaves well and actually likes baths, follow these steps.
Before you start, gather all the supplies you’ll need. This is especially important if it’s your first time bathing a puppy. You’ll need:
– A nylon collar and leash
– Coat-conditioning spray (for long-haired dogs)
– A natural-bristle brush
– A slicker brush (for times of heavy shedding)
– A large towel for your dog
Now that you have everything you need, put it within reach of the tub or sink where you’re going to bathe your puppy. Some people prefer to use the bathtub, but smaller dogs fit perfectly in a kitchen sink. This can also be easier on your back if you’re not as young as you used to be. If you have a really big dog, you may want to bathe them outside using the garden hose on the porch or driveway.
It’s bath time for your puppy! Here’s everything you need to know to make the experience fun and stress-free. First, gather some supplies: some of your pup’s favorite treats, a nylon collar and leash, and a brush and comb. It’s best to bathe your pup when he’s hungry, so don’t feed him for at least 6 hours before the bath.
Start by putting on some clothes you don’t mind getting wet. Then, call your puppy over to you and offer him a treat. Take off his regular collar and put on the nylon collar and leash. Give him a few more treats and tell him something like, “We’re going to have a bath! Won’t this be fun?” Bring your pup into the bathroom and show him a favorite toy. Play around in the bathroom for a bit to make the experience fun.
Before you turn on the water, it’s time to give your pup a thorough brush-and-comb. Any knots or tangles in his coat will tighten and become worse when wet, so you want to remove them now. For long coats, spray on some conditioner and brush thoroughly from end to end. Comb through the coat, making sure you get all the way down to the skin. Now you’re ready to start the bath!
When you’re giving your dog a bath, pay extra attention to the areas behind their ears and under their tail, where mats are more likely to form. Keep treats handy to reward them throughout the process. To keep your puppy from escaping, put a nonskid mat on the bottom of the tub or pool and loop a leash around something sturdy nearby. Show them their toy and let them play with it for a bit before turning on the water. Test the water to make sure it’s not too hot or cold before wetting your pup. If they have sensitive eyes, use baby shampoo on their head area. Remember to reward them throughout each new step so they don’t get scared of the bath. Now you’re going to want to soak the coat in water. You can avoid the eyes and ears, and keep praising them during this process. Once the coat is soaked, put some shampoo in your palms and rub them together, or apply some directly to the middle of your dog’s back. Apply the shampoo to their coat by massaging in circles for short coats, or massaging in long strokes with the growth of hair in long coats, to prevent tangling. Using the scrub brush, work the shampoo in, again using a circular motion on short coats and long brushstrokes on long coats. As you scrub and soap your puppy, they will probably shake their coat and soak you. This is a natural reaction in dogs when they get wet. If they do this, do not scold them! Next, it’s time to rinse. If you leave the shampoo in the coat, it can attract dirt and cause tangles, making your dog look worse than before you washed him. Using the sprayer attachment or a pitcher, rinse out all the soap from along the back, under the belly, between paw pads, etc. Make sure to rinse your dog thoroughly after using soap, as there may still be residue left behind. You can never be too careful! After rinsing, finish with a conditioner made specifically for dogs.
When you’re done bathing your puppy, wrap him in a big, soft towel and blot the water from his coat. Don’t rub the coat as wet hair tangles easily. Once you’ve dried your puppy off, he’ll shake again to get rid of any remaining water. Just go with it and stay happy. If you want your dog to air dry, a wire crate works best.
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