Puppies and Grooming


BATHINGPuppy bath

So you just brought that new family member home and you are wondering about bathing it.  Maybe it smells a little like... well, like puppy smell !  Yes you can bathe even a very young pup and often a good bath really perks them up and helps to rid them of any dirt, stool or food that has hidden itself in the puppy's coat.

You can purchase puppy shampoo (get the tearless kind, it doesn't sting if it gets in the eyes) and wet the pup down completely.  Lather up the shampoo all over.  When you rinse the shampoo off, be sure that you get all of it off!  Even a little shampoo left on the coat can irritate the skin later on.  Rinse twice as long as you think you need to.  You do not have to put anything in the eyes prior to the bath... just try not to get any soap in the eyes.

You can put little cotton plugs in the ear canals to help keep the water and shampoo out of the ear canals, but this isn't absolutely necessary.  When you rinse be sure the water is warm and comfortable.   The surest way to make the pup hate a bath is to use water that is too cold or too hot.

Now that the pup has been rinsed off well, just wrap the little rascal in a big towel and gently rub the puppy dry.   You can also use a blow dryer but try not to scare the heck out of the pup if you are going to use one.  If it is warm outside a good run after a bath is an absolute delight for a dog.  Watch out, though, they usually head straight for the dirt or mud to roll around in!  (All dogs have been born with some sort of agreement among themselves to do this!)

HOW OFTEN?  You can bathe a dog whenever it really needs to be cleaned up.  In general, though, a bath every three weeks is about right.  And some breeds like Dobes, Boston Terriers and others with short coats may rarely need a bath.  Old English Sheepdogs and Collies are a different story!

WHAT KIND?  In general just use a mild dog/puppy shampoo.  A professional groomer can tell you if your dog needs a special formula to alleviate dry skin, allergic dermatitis or very sensitive skin.  

In short haired dogs just use a soft brush and sweep it over the coat in the direction of hair growth.  Long haired dogs and dogs with a double coat (short fuzzy hairs underneath long coarse hairs) can tolerate short wire brushes and steel combs.  Always be certain that when using the wire brushes that you are not scratching the dog's skin! Some dogs really need to be brushed out every day.  Others may never need a brushing because their coats are so short and tight to the skin.

There are amount of useful information about dogs health on www.thepetcenter.com/


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