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Tips on keeping your puppy clean

Updated on April 18, 2008

Puppies may prove challenging to stay clean


Puppies are simply just like toddlers, they are adorable, somewhat clumsy and both are quite yet not potty trained. Keeping your puppy clean therefore may be quite a challenge, but once your puppy is clean rejoice of his immaculate fur and fragrant smell, as this will definitely not last long!

Puppies get dirty in various ways. If you keep them crated they may still have accidents in their crate and it will not take long for them to get number 1 and number 2 all over their fur.

When eating they can be quite messy especially if they are on cannned food. Puppies with long hair may easily get food all over their fur around their mouth, paws or near their neck.

Puppies may regurgitate often and get themselves dirty this way. While an occasional vomiting episode may be normal due to eating too fast or too much, if this seems to happen often it is best to have the puppy checked.

Puppies simply love to get dirty! If you take them out and it is muddy outside they likely will roll over the mud and get it all caked on their fur. This is especially annoying when you have a light haired or white puppy.

We know it, puppies just get messy all the time and the best way to get them clean again is to give them a bath. The great thing is that if you make bath time a pleasurable experience, very likely your dog will love water once as an adult. This is great because many dogs that were not bathed much as puppies may be very reluctant to take a bath and turn out very uncooperative, shifting a fun time into a major hassle.

Here are some guidelines to ensure your puppy will enjoy bath time:


1) Do not make a big deal out of bath time. Do not announce it or give any clues that it is approaching. Just act normally so the puppy is relaxed when time comes. Dogs can easily sense cues from us that suggest something not pleasurable is coming. It is vital as well to keep calm and not get disappointed with the puppy if he turns out to be not the best bather.

2) Make sure the water is at an ideal temperature. Test it yourself, put your hand in the water for a minute or two and ask yourself if you would be comfortable in it. It takes just a bath with water too hot or too cold to turn bath time into an undesirable event. Also do not overfill the tub, rather keep the water shallow. You do not want your puppy to get traumatized if he would slip and find himself underwater.

3)Add Rubber ducky. Toss in the tub a couple of your puppy's favorite waterproof toys. Familiar toys in an unfamiliar surrounding may help the puppy feel more comfortable.

4) Canine eau de toilette. Use only pet approved shampoo that is delicate enough and preferably that will not burn if it accidentally goes into your puppy's eyes.You can find good shampoo at your veterinarian office. Puppies dislike having shampoo and water get into their eyes and ears and on their face as well. You can fit a cotton ball in each of your puppy's ears to prevent water from getting in.

5) Slip proof. Make the tub unslippery. Puppies do not like the sensation of feeling unsteady on their feet. This is mostly true if slipping could mean ending under the water. Try to use a slip free math or slip free bath adhesives. After all, a slip proof bathtub is good safety measure for humans as well.

6) Close the faucet. Many puppies are bothered by the faucet running. It is loud and it seems like a large scary amount of water to them. Rather, use a pitcher to pour water evenly and gently over your puppy and avoid the poured water to make too much noise.

7)Massage. Massage your puppy's favorite spots, it will make you bond more and turn the bath into a pleasurable event. Talk to your puppy with a calm, soothing voice, and let him now how proud you are of him standing so stoically in the water.

8)Give a favorite treat. You want him to associate bathing with something really good. Praise him and give the treat.

9) Use towels. Hair drying can be too scary for most puppies. Not only, many have also suffered burns from it. If however, you decide to hair dry use a pet hair dryer and let the puppy get used to the noise first and never direct it towards the face. Towels usually are safer, less traumatic and puppies seem to enjoy the rubbing part.

10)Find out if your puppy is a bath tub or shower fan. Many times dogs like showers more as it mimics rain and they feel less confined than in a bath tub. Find out whichever your puppy prefers and stick with that method.

Now your puppy is nice and clean. You can clean his ears now, brush his teeth and give him a good nail trim if you wish. When you are done, make sure he is well dry before letting him out the room. Never bath a puppy that is younger than 5 weeks old. Do not bath too often or the skin can turn dry. Brush him daily to help maintain him clean.

Do not get discouraged if your puppy was uncooperative and scared. Your puppy should get better and better at bath time each time as long as you turn it into a fun routine and never forget to reward!


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