Raising a puppy is always a blast, but there's one aspect of it that can be especially challenging: grooming. It doesn't matter if you're planning on doing the work yourself or hiring someone else to do it; knowing what to expect and how best to prepare will make everything go more smoothly for both you and the newest four-legged member of your family.
This article provides an overview for dog parents who are raising their new puppies and want some insights into proper grooming techniques. You'll learn about all the basics: from getting your pup ready for its first bath, through choosing the right tools, bathing with shampoo and conditioner, brushing teeth, and even trimming nails! The best part? You never have to do it alone! Pawsh connects pet parents like you with top-rated groomers in the area who are more than happy to take over the entire grooming process if you'd like.
But in the meantime, let's get started with everything you should know about puppy grooming in the first year!
When should I start grooming my pup?
Puppies are generally ready for their grist grooming session between 10 and 12 weeks of age. We know how exciting it can be to bring your new puppy home for the very first time. It's all too easy to want to play with him, cuddle him and take tons of photos every time he does something new. However, one of the most important things you can do for your dog is teach it how to enjoy bath time properly. For many dogs, bath time just isn't a very enjoyable experience. However, if they are exposed to a bathtime ritual early in life, they can grow up to love the entire grooming experience.
Get your puppy used to grooming tools as early as possible
Even though your puppy may not be ready for a bath until 12 weeks, you can still expose them to grooming tools and processes to help get them comfortable. One way to do this is by gently massaging your pup with a warm, wet towel. This will help your puppy get used to the sensation of being touched and groomed. You can also start getting them used to the sound of clippers, scissors and other grooming tools by playing recordings of these noises at a low volume.
Another great way to begin exposure is by letting them play with certain grooming items and then rewarding them for positive behavior.
To get your puppy used to the grooming experience, try:
- Touching their paws
- Holding their paws
- Playing with their ears
- Lifting one of their legs up
You or a groomer will do these things during the grooming process. So practice these as games with your puppy, so they see these activities as enjoyable experiences.
Choosing the Right Grooming Tools
Knowing which grooming tools you need will depend on the type of puppy that you have. For example, dogs with thin coats may need a small, fine-tooth comb, while dogs with thick coats might need a rake or wire brush.
In addition to brushes, some other tools that you will need include:
- Nail clippers or nail file
- Towels for drying
- Cotton balls for cleaning the ears
How Often Should I Bathe My Pup?
There's no strict rule outlining how often you should bathe your puppy. Some dogs may only need a bath every few months, while others may need one every week. It really depends on the type of dog, the environment it lives in and how dirty it gets.
If you're unsure about how often your pup needs a bath, consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to give you tips specific to your dog's breed and lifestyle.
How to Bathe a Puppy
Now that you know when to start bathing your pup, as well as what tools you will need, it's time to learn how to do it!
The best way to bathe a puppy is in a small sink or bathtub. This will help contain the mess and will also give your pup a place to stand so they can't slip or fall.
You will want to fill the sink or tub with about 3 inches of lukewarm water. It's important not to use hot water because it could be dangerous for your dog. Some dogs may not even like cold water either, so make sure that the water is comfortable for your pup.
Before putting your pup in the water, wet them down with a hose or spray bottle. This will help get their fur wet and make the bathing process a lot easier. Then, put them in the sink or tub and start washing them with shampoo. Be sure to avoid getting any soap in their eyes.
When you're finished washing them, rinse them off with warm water. Then, repeat the process with the conditioner.
When you're done, use a towel to dry them off. Lastly, finish up by trimming their nails, brushing their teeth and cleaning their ears gently with a cotton ball.
You can help make bath time a positive experience for your pup that they will look forward to every week by giving your pup treats and lots of love during and after the experience.
Choose a Trusted Grooming Partner
While most pet parents begin by wanting to clean their pup themselves, sometimes it's just easier to call in a professional. That's where Pawsh comes in!
Pash connects pet parents with qualified, top-rated groomers in their area. These loving groomers provide everything from baths and nail trims to hair cuts and ear cleanings.
Best of all, Pawsh groomers take the time to get to know each pet and create a unique grooming routine that will keep them looking and feeling their best.
If you're looking for a trusted grooming partner, Pawsh is here to help. Visit us online today and find a groomer near you!