Bathing Your Puppy
Even dogs who love the water rarely enjoy being given a bath. Since this is going to be something your pup will have to live with and undergo fairly regularly, you want to make the experience as pleasant as possible. The best way to do this is to have everything prepared before you bring your pup to the sink or tub (depending on how big she is). Have extra towels on hand, the shampoo, a conditioner if you’re going to use one, a large plastic pitcher for pour- ing water over the pup, and a slip lead that can help you steady the pup but not interfere with the bath. Run the water until you know it’ll be warm when you turn it on. Place a nonskid surface on the bottom of the tub or sink. With everything prepared, leash your dog, bring her into the bathroom and close the door so she can’t beat a hasty retreat. Working calmly and using pleasant and soothing tones, place your dog in the tub and turn on the water so it’s running gen- tly. Use the pitcher or a detachable shower attachment to wet the pup all over. Then start with a big gob of shampoo on your hands and work from the base of the neck along the body toward the tail, rubbing in a circular motion. Don’t be too rough. Make sure to work the dog thoroughly under the chest and his
hindquarters. Make sure you get the tail. You don’t want to use too much shampoo as it will take forever to rinse; use just enough to lather and clean. Be sure to wet his head before applying a small amount of shampoo that you have rubbed be- tween your hands. Do his ears, forehead, and snout gently. Once you’ve lathered him all over, begin rinsing. Use your pitcher or the shower at- tachment, and be sure the water isn’t too hot or cold. As you rinse, run your hands over your pup to push off the soapy water. Use as much water as you need to in order to thoroughly rinse the soap out of his fur. Not getting it all out can make your puppy itchy. Don’t pour or spray excessive water on her face. You may want to use a washcloth around her eyes, ears, and nose. When rinsed, you can scoop up your pup in a large, dry towel, and put her on the bath mat to begin toweling her off. Get as much of the water off her fur as possible with towels. Your pup will be excited to be out of the sink or tub, and will want to shake and play. Rub her down with a towel at least once before she shakes or the whole bathroom can get wet. Your pup deserves a good shake or two, though, so let her do it and tell her what a good girl she’s been.
Depending on how long your pup’s fur is or the time of year, you can complete the drying process naturally or with a hair dryer. If you choose the first route, just be sure your pup won’t go roll in the mud while she’s still damp. Put her in the kitchen with a baby gate up to confine her until she’s dry.
When your dog is dry, brush and comb him out so he looks extra special. Consider putting a bow in the hair or a bandanna around his neck. Give your pup a special treat and tell him how great he looks.