How to Bathe a Puppy & Use Lotions

Keep your puppy calm by talking or singing during bath time.

Keep your puppy calm by talking or singing during bath time.

Puppy baths can go smoothly if you introduce your pup to the idea of bath time, keep it quick, and shower him with treats and praise. Curious pups get dirty and smelly when walking or playing, so let your eyes and nose tell you when it's time for that bath.

Allow your puppy to sniff the bathroom, bathtub, grooming tools and hair dryer so he can get used to the bath and bathing tools.

Prep your pup for the bath by brushing his coat with a rubber brush and working through any tangles or mats. Remove any burrs or other debris on your pup before the bath.

Close the bathtub drain and begin to fill the tub with warm water, talking or singing to your puppy to keep him calm. Make sure the water isn't too hot or too cold.

Place your puppy in the bath and pour warm water over him to wet his coat. You may use a shower nozzle or pour water over your pet with a pitcher.

Lather your pooch up with doggie shampoo, which is specially formulated for your pet's skin. Human shampoo does not have the right pH concentration for your dog and can dry out his skin. If you wish, use a rubber brush to push the suds into your pet's coat. Avoid spraying water or getting shampoo in the eye region. Wash your pet's face with a washcloth instead.

Rinse off your pet using warm water. Keep rinsing until the puppy is completely free of soap and the water coming off his body runs clear.

Apply moisturizing lotion to your puppy's wet body, rubbing it into the fur and skin.

Lift your pet from the bath. Towel dry him with a gentle rub. You can blow your pet dry with a hair dryer or allow him to air dry.

Items you will need

  • Rubber brush
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Pitcher (optional)
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog moisturizing lotion
  • Towels


  • You can wash puppies up to once a week if they need it, but of course you can get by with less frequent bathing. Wait until your pet is 5 weeks or older before giving him the first bath.
  • You may wash your puppy in a large plastic tub instead of in your bathtub. However, large pups will grow too big for this.

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