Nothing is better than a clean, happy puppy. But how does one get such a pet? Most puppies are notorious for wriggling and shaking water all over the place during a bath. Other young dogs might be terrified of water and confused about what, exactly, you’re trying to force on them.
How can you possibly wash mud and grime off your pup when he’s constantly trying to get away? How are you even going to get him into the bath when he starts shaking and whining every time you bring him near the water? Here are a few tips to make the bathing experience a little easier on you and your puppy.
Take a Walk Before Bathing
Puppies have a seemingly endless amount of energy, but it tends to come in spurts. One moment, they’ll be racing around the house. The next moment, you’ll find them passed out behind the couch. Depending on your puppy’s age, she might need multiple walks a day, or just one long one to make sure she’s getting the proper amount of exercise.
You can use this activity to your advantage–to make bath time easier. Take your puppy for a walk before you run the bath. This will give her a chance to expel some energy and dive into any dirt piles before you get her all clean. Plus, nothing is worse than having to take a just washed puppy outside to potty only minutes after her bath has concluded. Once she’s tired herself out a little, you may find that she’s a lot less wiggly when it comes time to wash the muck and grime off.
Brush Your Puppy Beforehand
It might seem unnecessary to brush your dog before giving him a bath, as opposed to after, but you’d be surprised how much easier this pre-bath grooming can make the entire process. Taking a few minutes to run a brush through your dog’s coat can mean the difference between an easy, uneventful bath and a bath filled with loose dog hair! Additionally, brushing will help remove any knots and tangles that a bath might make worse.
Depending on the breed of your puppy, you may only need to bathe him about once every three months. But you should still be brushing him once a week–more if he has long fur. Taking care of your furry friend’s coat in between baths will make your life a lot easier, and your puppy much more likely to go along with bathing when it doesn’t include tugging at painful mats.
Make Bath Time a Fun Time
How would you feel if someone picked you up and unceremoniously dumped you into a tub (or sink) full of water? Probably not very happy. If you’re having trouble bathing your dog, take a step back and examine her behavior for some clues. Is she whining or shaking? Barking at the water? Doing everything possible to get away from it? Your puppy might be scared!
Depending on your puppy’s breed and personality, she may never turn into the kind of dog that you can’t keep out of the water. But you can make bath time much more tolerable for the both of you by familiarizing her with the practice and showing her she doesn’t need to be afraid. Keep your furry friend calm during the bathing process by petting her and reassuring her verbally. Give her some time to get accustomed to the water and sink or tub before you suddenly start scrubbing her.
If you have a puppy that gets incredibly anxious and agitated despite your efforts to keep him calm, you may need to back things up a step. Let your dog explore the bathing area without all the water and shampoo. While it may feel a little silly to watch him investigate an empty kiddie pool or dry sink, just having him in the area can do wonders for his comfort levels. Introduce the water and other parts of the bath slowly, with plenty of treats and reassuring pats in between to let him know he’s doing a good job.
Use the Right Kind of Soap
You might love your mango and papaya-scented shampoo, but chances are that your puppy won’t. While shampoos made for people aren’t necessarily toxic to dogs, they might include fragrances or chemicals that can irritate your dog’s skin, and the last thing you want is for a bath to make things more uncomfortable for your pup.
Instead of reaching for your personal hair care products, choose a shampoo specially formulated for dogs. If you’re not sure what product you should be using, you can get an expert’s opinion. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet to find out what kind of shampoo is best for your dog, particularly when you’re just beginning to bathe your new puppy. Your vet can recommend a good brand of shampoo. He or she can also check your dog for any skin problems or sensitivities that might require a special shampoo.
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It’s never too early to think about how you’re going to ensure your dog lives a long, healthy, happy life. At Wapiti Labs, we’re dedicated to your pets’ health. Our supplements utilize natural ingredients such as elk velvet antler to support a variety of functions in your dog, from strength to flexibility.
Even perfectly healthy pups can benefit from a little extra boost. Whether you’re looking to promote your puppy’s healthy development or get better informed on what your dog will need as he enters old age, we have the supplement that’s right for your pup. Contact us today to find out more about our natural products and how they can help your puppy live a happy, energetic life.