How and When to Bathe Your Puppy - Cooper & Gracie™ Limited

Learning how and how often to bathe your puppy can be tricky. As a puppy parent, you’ll naturally want the best for your pup. Their grooming routine is an essential part of their care to ensure their skin and coat are clean and healthy. Bath-time is a great way to check for any potential health issues, too, like bites, bumps, dry skin or scratches.

As it’s such a vital part of your pup’s routine, it can be stressful for both of you when they don’t enjoy it. We’ve explored some of our top tips and answered some common bathing questions to ensure your pup loves baths!

When should a puppy have their first bath?

New-born puppies can’t regulate their body temperature, which can lead to hypothermia and other health risks. So, wait until your puppy is at least 8 weeks old before giving them their first bath.

How often can puppies have a bath?

brindle and white french bulldog close up

There are no strict rules on how often puppies can have a bath. How frequently you bathe them will be influenced by the length of their coat, their activity levels and toilet training. In the first few days to weeks, your puppy will likely need some extra TLC after accidents in the house to keep them clean and healthy.

Don’t be afraid to bathe your puppy when they need a good clean, as this is natural. But make sure you use a gentle shampoo designed for puppies. Some shampoos can contain irritants that can dry out the skin and strip the coat of its natural oils. Our natural puppy shampoo contains a unique blend of essential oils to nourish the coat and protect sensitive puppy skin.

Once your puppy is toilet trained, a proper bath once a month should be plenty. Although muddy pups may need a quick rinse after walks to clean their feet and ensure their fur is free from dirt and bacteria. A weekly bath can follow this to keep their skin and coat fresh and healthy (provided you stick to a gentle shampoo).

For mischievous pups from 12 weeks, try a deodorising spray between baths. Our wet dog deodorising spray neutralises stinky, wet dog smells. It’s perfect for smelly pups in between baths to clean their coat and leave it smelling fresh again.

How to bathe your puppy at home

poodle cross puppy standing against sofa

Bathing can be a stressful experience for young pups. It’s essential to make it an enjoyable and relaxing experience from the very first time. With the proper preparation and techniques, your puppy may even grow to love them!

Here are our top tips for how to bathe your puppy at home:

Remove any tangles

Water tightens knots and tangles, so try to brush through longer fur before bathing. If your puppy isn’t a fan of grooming, take a break before bathing to reduce anxiety and keep them calm.

Set up your bathing station

You will need; a puppy shampoo, an absorbent towel and a bath or puppy-sized container. And don’t forget to put on some old clothes you don’t mind getting wet or dirty!

Wet your puppy's coat

Wetting your puppy’s coat will make it easier to lather the shampoo. Make sure you use lukewarm water to protect your pup’s sensitive skin.

Massage shampoo into the coat

Once the coat is wet through, add a small amount of shampoo and massage it into your puppy’s skin, being careful near their eyes.

Rinse thoroughly

Shampoo residue can cause itchy skin, so take extra care to rinse your pup’s coat thoroughly.

Towel dry

Dry your puppy by pressing the towel firmly to absorb the water. Avoid rubbing the fur vigorously, as this can cause knots and mats in long-haired breeds.

Top tips for a bath your puppy will love

Building up positive associations can help to reduce stress and keep your puppy calm. Here are some simple ways to turn bath-time into the perfect pamper:

  • Pre-bath walk or play – an excitable puppy and bath-time don’t mix. Try a short walk or play with a toy before bath time to keep them calm.
black, white and tan puppy sitting on grass
  • Use tasty treats – nothing gives off positive vibes more than a handful of tasty treats. Ensure you reward your pup for being good during their bath with gentle treats.
  • Praise your puppy throughout – keep calm to show your puppy there’s nothing to worry about, and praise them when they stand or sit in place.

  • Bathe and dry them in a warm room – if you can, make sure your home is warm so your puppy doesn’t get cold during or after their bath.

  • Build up to using a hairdryer – if you're drying your puppy with a hairdryer, make sure you build up to using it gradually. Use it on the coolest setting and get your pup used to it before introducing it into their grooming routine.

Explore our full range of puppy grooming products for healthy skin and a glossy coat. All 100% natural, cruelty-free and suitable for even the most sensitive skin.