Giving your puppy a bath for the first time can be anxiety provoking if like me you've got a big scared Border collie called Chester that doesn't love bath time and your determined to make bathtime for your new puppy less daunting and hopefully enjoyable. Or it can be daunting if it's your first puppy and you've never bathed a puppy before. Check out our step by step guide below of how I approached Crumbles first bath time!
Bath time is a great bonding experience and important to build trust with your new puppy while helping to reduce skin irritations and avoid infection, as well as leaving your pup clean and smelling delightful. Puppys/Dogs don’t need bathing every day like us humans do. Their skin is different to humans. Giving your puppy a bath too often can remove the natural oils from their skin and coat, leaving them with itchy or dry skin problems this can be also true if you don't wash them often enough. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your puppy once every two weeks. But if they do the fox poo roll of shame or dig up the garden after torrential rain then it’s fine/necessary to pop them in the bath sooner.
Your puppy’s first bath should be an fun experience but before you start bathing your puppy, you'll need to figure out what kind of coat they have so you can purchase a suitable shampoo for them. Crumble obviously doesn't have the same the same coat as Chester but as she's still a puppy most puppy shampoos are suitable until they get older and develop their adult coat which for Crumble should be around 6-8 months old. Furrish has a section on their website where you can select your coat type and it will show you the best products for that coat you can find it here.
Both are suitable for puppies and for all dog with sensitive skin. Nice & Gentle is fragrance free which is perfect for the baths when they don't smell and are just a bit dirty! While the pretty pup is more suitable for getting rid of the stink! It is however a subtle fragrance.
Here are the steps I took to introduce Crumble to her first bath. Although her breeder is a groomer and she had her first official bath at 8 weeks old but this is based on her first bath at home with us!
Step 1: Let Your Puppy Explore The Bath:
Most pet parents wonder at what age you can bathe a puppy, well the answer to it is simple, as early as 10 weeks! Since it is a habit that you want to inculcate for the rest of the puppy's life, it is never a bad idea to begin early - however with caution. The first session of grooming puppies does not necessarily involve water. You should allow your pup to explore and become familiarised with the bathroom. You could give your pup some treats and cuddles of reassurance to make it understand that the bathroom is not someplace to be scared of.
Step 2: Introduce your Puppy to Lukewarm Water & The Shower
Bath time begins before the bathtub! It is important to familiarise your puppy with water before there first wash so that your puppy does not feel scared or traumatised. Since it is your puppy’s first bath and could be their first interaction with water, it is best to keep the water lukewarm this keeps the experience comfortable for the puppy. You can use a clean cloth or towel. Dip it in the water and gently clean the coat and face of the puppy. Crumble experienced water for the first time with her breeder which I was so pleased with and she is so confident with water. At this point I also introduced Crumble to the shower head on the bath so the noise didn't scare her. I simply let her wander round the bathroom while I turned it on, she wanted to know what it was almost immediately and wasn't phased by it.
Step 3: Products to Use:
Puppy shampoo is mild and specially made for young pups and their coats which is essential to keep your puppies coat in the best condition. After shampooing you can use the Furrish Knot at All detangling spray to condition your puppy's coat and reduce the time spent grooming post bath. The detangling spray also keeps your puppy's coat shiny and soft. Finnish with a Cologne of your choice after blow drying for a delightfully scent pup!
Step 4: Time for the Bath
Now it's time to actually wash your puppy in the bath, with all your products prepared.
A very important step that needs to be followed while bathing puppies is being gentle, this will reassure the puppy that bath-time is not a punishment and a time to be enjoyed which helps bonding. While washing, make sure you are not rough with them, check that the water stream is soft and is a nice temperature. To help with washing your puppy's feet I run a shallow bath for Crumble with some shampoo diluted through the water. Let this out and make sure to rinse the shampoo off thoroughly, If any residue of the shampoo is left behind, it can irritate the skin and leave a residue on the dry fur. If you don't wash off the shampoo completely, the aim of your puppy’s first bath is to defeated. Be mindful that the shampoo does not get into the puppy’s eyes, ears, and nose.
Step 5: Drying your Puppy after Bathing
Finally, once bath-time is over, wrap them in a giant towel and give them lots of cuddles! make sure to towel-dry thoroughly but gently. Once you have take off as much water as you can with the towel use a blow-dryer, grooming blaster or I recommend the dyson air wrap with the hair-dryer attachment on low heat and low blower setting from a moderate distance to dry off the rest of the wet hair! Once dry, spritz with a cologne to make them smell even better we use the Furrish Baby Powder Cologne, it smells amazing!
Thanks for reading
Sarah, Chester and Crumble