How often should you bath your puppy
The hygiene of a puppy is paramount in any household. A clean puppy translates to a clean and happy family. Considering a puppy could be your kids best friend, extra care and diligence should be exercised at all times to ensure it stays as clean, well groomed and hygienic as possible. Unfortunately, many dog owners are yet to come to terms with the possible health implications a puppy may pose to your family if not well taken care of. Furthermore, many disregard puppy hygiene because of the notion ‘it’s just a dog’. Even those who are conscious of puppy cleanliness still find it hard to fix a schedule for bathing them. Many people bathe their puppies when they feel they are free to do nothing else, while some do it perhaps only when they pick up some puppy poo smell. The question therefore is, ‘how often should you bath your puppy? Well, let’s take a look.
Many responsible puppy owners have elaborate schedules that properly capture the frequency with which a puppy should be bathed. That is indeed a wise move that should be lauded by all. As a general rule however, a puppy should be bathed as and when the occasion calls for it. How exactly would one therefore determine the rightness of the occasion? Here are a few insights on how to do so;
Does it look really dirty?
Puppies have different playful tendencies and behaviors. While some enjoy rolling in the mud and mucking through the garbage, some pups prefer a quieter lifestyle and would rarely be seen outdoors. Irrespective of the level of activity, all pups are bound to get dirty one way of the other. It is when the dirt is evident on their hair that a bathe should be done.
Does it smell?
There are many reasons that can cause a puppy to smell. It could be soiled in its own pee or poo, or it could be sick. As a pup owner, it is important you establish the cause of the smell before determining how to go about the bath. A pee or poo smell is generally easier to make, and that given, it shouldn’t be difficult either to know that your puppy has an infection. Any other smell that does not feel like that of a pee or a poo might be indicative of a serious infection. Once you establish the smell is due to an infection, then you know you have to use a proper antiseptic shampoo to bathe the puppy.
Does it scratch?
Scratch is a mere sign of itchiness, but itchiness can be broad. A puppy may scratch itself to suggest possible flea infection or an allergic response. If scratching is not checked as soon as it’s noticed, it may become destructive and leave your pup with blisters and open sores. In this case, medicinal bath is recommended.
Does it have a skin condition?
It is not unusual to find pups with skin infections. Some are born with the conditions while some acquire them. These conditions generally last, and require keen attention to ensure they do not escalate into full-blown infections. A skin condition may influence the way a puppy is bathed. If the condition is only present on the hair, for example, then occasional baths followed by shedding is recommended. For some pups, the condition may be more pronounced on the skin and in such cases, a gentle skin bath followed by grooming using a perfect hair conditioner would do. By extension, certain skin conditions may make your pup hydrophobic and greatly reduce the frequency with which the pup would normally be bathed. In such cases, you can opt for alternatives to bathing, such as grooming. Always remember that these are chronic conditions and whenever they get worse, you may have to take your pup to a vet.
Note these golden rules
So, there is a general agreement as regards to those factors that determine the frequency with which your pup should be bathed. What if none of these factors were at play? Well, in that case, here are the golden rules on how often you should bathe your pup;
Rule #1 – A pup with normal skin should be bathed between once a month and once every three months. Due to the fact that a dog’s coat contains its natural oils that is necessary for it to remain soft and silky and also to keep it from getting brittle or damaged, more frequent puppy bath would erode these oils, thereby exposing its skin to multiple infections. However, some puppies may still require more occasional baths if the puppy is long-haired. Whatever the case, in the event a more frequent puppy bath is necessary, then it is recommended that a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo be used as it will prevent the skin from becoming dry by keeping the oils intact.
Rule #2 -Always use lukewarm water. Cold water is known not to lather easily with shampoo. As a result, its inefficiency to rinse the shampoo from the dog’s skin may cause the dog to develop itchiness which in effect may contribute to hydrophobia. Hot water on the other hand is not recommended due to the fact it will erode the much needed oils from your pup’s skin, as well as shrink its hair. Lukewarm water therefore passes as the best for use when bathing your puppy, for the reason it lathers easily with shampoo.
Rule #3 – Choose your shampoo carefully. A puppy shampoo, as opposed to grown dog or human shampoo is the most preferred for use when bathing a puppy. This is because human and grown dog shampoos tend to have a greater pH value than the skin of a pup. If these shampoos are used on the pup’s skin therefore, they may cause itchiness that may lead to destructive scratching due to the strong chemicals found in them. Another reason against the use these shampoos on pups, is because most of the chemicals found in them have teary effects. As you are getting your puppy to get used to bathing, using a teary shampoo may just work against that idea.
Read the review of the best puppy shampoo
In conclusion, all puppies deserve a bath once in a while. Whether as the pup owner, you choose to do it weekly or monthly, will solely depend upon certain conditions, all of which have been sufficiently explained here.