How To Wash A Puppy: Safe Ways That Every Dog Owner Should Know

The puppy stage is the most fragile stage for any dog. Similar to babies, our puppies might get sick or might not feel well if we don’t know how to bathe them. Thus, if you’re getting a puppy for the first time, learn how to wash a puppy first before considering the idea.

Usually, the best way to go about this is to know what items you’ll need. What kind of shampoo and dog soap are you going to use? Where are you going to bathe your puppy? Moreover, how often should you wash your puppy? These are some of the questions that you should ask first.



What You’ll Need

  • Dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Dog soap
  • Anti-flea powder
  • Soft towel
  • Dog brush
  • Treats
  • Lukewarm water
  • Water scooper/Shower

The Procedure

Step 1: Prepare all of your washing items


Washing a puppy is an experience that differs. It can be a fun and cute experience with your calm puppy, or it can be stressful. It’s really a coin toss on whether your dogs will like the water or not. In my experience, my pug and collies loved the water. However, my Shih Tzu and Terriers did not.

This is why you need to be organized. An unorganized set of washing tools and materials can further worsen your puppy’s bathing experience. Make sure the shampoos, soaps, and towels are ready to reach. Remember, your puppy can go into a frenzy while getting bathed. The last thing you want is to leave your puppy to get the materials!

Step 2: Decide on a place to wash your puppy


Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Similarly, your puppies too. Some puppies are already as big as grown up breeds. For example, my collie was as big as my adult pug when it was only 6 months old. Thus, it’s important to take note of their comfortability in the size you’re going to wash them.

For starters, consider these three areas: your backyard, a bathtub, or a sink. These three are optimal choices depending on the breed. For one, medium-sized dogs like beagles, sheepdogs, and dalmatians are good to be bathed in a tub. If you’re going to use a tub, be sure that it has a rubber mat to prevent your dog from slipping.

As for the backyard, it’s appropriate to use if you have large-to-giant breeds like the German Shepherd, Boxer, or Great Dane. It’s best to accustom your pooch to where he’s going to be taking baths early.


Even though your Labrador can fit in a tub as a puppy, it’s better to wash him outside instead. That way he’ll familiarize his area.

Lastly, use the sink for teacup breeds like the Maltese, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians. If your dog tends to be too energetic, opt for the tub instead. This is because it can get dangerous. However, a calm puppy is good and convenient for the sink.

Step 3: Introduce the bathing area positively


At this stage, you’re about to place your puppy in either of the three we talked about. To lessen his nervousness, make the place comfy for him. The best way to do so is to give him treats if he’s showing signs of calming down. Always pet him as well if he’s behaving properly.

Another good technique is to add dog toys in the water. Rubber ducks and other chewable toys should do the trick. However, if your dog is getting too distracted from it, then you’ll need to remove it once you start washing him.

Step 4: Slowly wet your puppy with water first


Before adding any soapy mixture, start with lukewarm water first. You can wash your puppy with either a shower head, faucet (if you’re using the sink), a water hose, or a water scooper. Some puppies don’t like the spraying effect of shower heads

If that’s the case, then opt for a water scooper and pour water gently to your pup.

Remember, the most important idea here is to always start with low-pressure water. The last thing you want is to blast your dog with pressurized water. That’s going to give trauma to your puppy and it will cause you further problems in the future.

If you’re about to wash your puppy’s head, think first of your options. Their heads are usually the most fragile, so it’s best to use a small cup to scoop and pour the water. Don’t pour the water directly on the ears, nose, or eyes of your puppy. Just align it on top of his head and let it trickle down gently.

Step 5: Apply shampoo and soap


Once your puppy is all wet, get small amounts of shampoo and/or soap. Never use a washing ingredient that’s not designed for dogs. This can cause illnesses to your puppy, and it can make their fur or coat go bad.

Always start with a small squeeze of shampoo. Start with your puppy’s torso, and slowly rub it on his arms until you reach his paws. Be gentle with the paws because this is a sensitive part of your dog. Also, rub soap on his belly and pits.

Once you’re done with that apply shampoo on your dog’s neck and chest, rubbing it as you go by. Finally, gently add shampoo to the head and tail.

Don’t let the shampoo thicken and spread out to your dog’s face. Once you added it to his forehead, give it a quick rinse immediately.

Step 6: Wait and rinse your puppy

how to wash a puppy

It’s important to let the shampoo and soap rest for awhile. This will ensure that the product will deliver its benefits be it anti-flea or for shinier coats. With that said, wait for a few minutes and play with your dog for awhile.

Once it has settled, slowly rinse your puppy again. Repeat the process when you applied shampoo and soap, starting with the body and ending with the head and tails. This is a crucial step because left shampoo can cause a lot of problems.

Thus, rinse your dog and never forget his nooks and crannies. Make sure your hands get to his pits, in between his paws, as well as his wrinkles should he have one.

Step 7: Dry your dog and add flea powder


Lastly, gently lift your dog from the washing area and place him on a soft towel enough to cover him. Place your dog at the center of the towel and flip its sides to pat your dog dry. Be gentle when doing this, but make sure his entire body gets dried with the towel.

Once completely dried, add a puppy-friendly anti-flea powder on his coat. This will prevent your dog from parasites. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also apply dog perfumes. Lastly, give your dog one last treat for a job well done!

Wrapping It Up

A lot of dogs are great with water. Thus, it’s important to let them enjoy it as early as their puppy stage. Washing your pup doesn’t have to seem like a chore. At the end of the day, if you do it correctly, you and your puppy will have a great experience.

Instead of a task, consider this as a great way for you to bond with your pooch. That way, both you and your dog will feel safe and secure in what you do. Remember, it’s all about enjoying the little things with your puppy!

If you found this article informative, don’t forget to leave a comment below and share it with your fellow dog lovers! Good luck!

Roy Jr.

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