While puppies are in their mum’s care, she cleans them up by licking and grooming them. Once they have left her and reached your house, they need your help to stay clean.
Those little paws are bound to go exploring and come back covered in all sorts of scents and sights. Sometimes, instead of just the mouth, you may find all of that tiny enthusiastic body emerged in the food bowl. In such cases, a bath is a good idea. However, a spot here or a food evidence there can be easily taken care of by cleaning your pup with a warm cloth or wet wipes.
FACTORS DETERMINING BATHING NEEDS
Once your pup has crossed the 8 weeks mark (bathing before that is not a good idea), how often you should bathe him depends on a few key factors:
- Weather conditions: Your pup definitely needs more baths during summer to combat the heat than in winter season when keeping warm is top priority.
- Hair length: If you have a long-haired dog, you will definitely know when it’s time for a bath – the grime and smell will give it away. Short- haired dogs, in comparison, are less susceptible to getting dirty and hence, will reach the ‘urgent bath required’ stage at a slower pace.
- Skin: Certain pups have skin conditions that make them prone to either more or less baths. For eg, dry skin calls for less frequent grooming sessions.
- Activity level: Indoor pups who prefer to keep to themselves are less likely to get dirty as opposed to active, inquisitive pups who spend a lot of their time digging holes, sticking their snout in questionable places, and just being carefree.
In case you don’t want to only be guided by your instincts, here’s a general puppy bathing schedule that you can follow:
- Once a week until three months old
- Once a month until six months old
- Twice a year thereafter or as necessary
Other than making your pup look and feel good, a bath has many other benefits. It is a good way to check for bumps, fleas, scratches, etc. as a flat wet coat makes it easier to spot abnormalities (if any). When your pup needs to be treated for certain allergies or has an encounter with a foul smell that clings on to him, a bath will save the day.
Bathing your little one once in a while is also important for no apparent reason. After all, you want to get your puppy accustomed to water, to being scrubbed, and to all that comes with a happy bath, right from the start. If you bathe your dog for the first time when he is 4 years old, he might not take to it kindly. Avoid giving your full-grown dog a traumatic experience by simply raising a pup who enjoys a good ‘ol bath every now and then.
Whatever your choice of frequency (don’t overdo it though), just always make sure your pup leaves his bath looking forward to the next one. Happy bathing!