Use The Right Water Temperature
Never use burning hot water to bathe a dog. It will burn your dog’s skin.
So, can I bathe my dog in cold water?
It’s not recommended, and most dogs don’t find it fun. Lukewarm water is ideal and will ensure your puppy’s time in the tub is positive. What it’s optimal for bathing a newborn baby should work perfectly for your puppy. Bishop-Jenkins, an internationally certified master groomer, says, “dogs’ body temperatures run higher than ours. Their experience with temperature is different from ours.” This is why it’s important to have the appropriate water temperature when bathing Fido.
Step 2: Provide Treats and Cuddles
Bishop-Jenkins encourages her clients to start bathing their puppies as young as eight weeks old, as it establishes a life-long routine. But take it one step at a time. A puppy’s first visit to the groomer often doesn’t even consist of bathing. It simply serves to teach them that grooming isn’t scary.
“We let the puppy run loose,” she explains. “We put them up on the table, put on a loud clipper, and run a light brush over them. There’s lots of treats, swaddling, and cuddling. We make them feel safe.”
Brush Your Puppy
Often overlooked by pet parents, brushing your puppy is one of the essential parts of puppy bath time. Before even turning on the water, brush your puppy thoroughly to remove tangles and knots. Be gentle when brushing, specifically in areas such as the armpits, groin, or ears. The fur in those areas tends to create firm knots. Brushing without looking can hurt your dog.
If a foreign object (i.e., gum) is stuck on your dog’s fur, use scissors to trim it—cut away from the skin to avoid accidents.
Pro Tip: Brushing time is also the perfect opportunity to check for bumps, wounds, fleas, and other abnormalities that could mean a bigger health issue.