Hygiene in dogs


Veterinarians do not recommend bathing puppies before three months, when they have finished their vaccination schedule, but the bathtub and water temperature must be adjusted

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Last update: July 6, 2016

Veterinarians recommend that the puppy's first bath be at three months of age, when the dog has already finished his first vaccination schedule. However, other experts point out that, with care and drying the puppy well, you can bathe before. This article explains when to bathe a dog puppy and all are given tricks to make your first bath Be a good experience: from adapting the bathtub size and use toys until controlling the water temperature.

At what age can I bathe the dog puppy?

The exact age for the puppy's first bath is a matter about which not all veterinarians agree. The fear that the puppy will cool down and contract the distemper disease explains the reluctance of some animal doctors when it comes to immersing the puppy in soap and water before finishing its vaccination schedule, that is, at 12 weeks of life or three months. But others argue that, with proper care and drying the dog completely, there is no risk of contracting distemper.

The veterinarian Alfonso Risoto states that the age to bathe a puppy must be which minimizes the danger to the health of the dog. Therefore, it is recommended "not to bathe the puppy before 12 weeks or to finish the vaccination, provided that this toilet can be the cause of a cooling in the dog".

"It is advisable not to bathe the puppy before finishing the vaccines if the bath can be the source of the offspring to cool down"

The general advice? Do not bathe the puppy before finishing the vaccines, if the bath may be the source of the offspring to cool. And is that "the cooling of the puppy can lower its defenses and make it constipate," says Risoto. If the dog dries well, with the help of a towel and a dryer (30 centimeters from the dog's body, to prevent the skin from getting burned) there is no need for constipation problems.

In any case, the veterinarian prefers "caution" and does not expose the puppy to an "unnecessary" risk situation. The distemper or constipado will lower the animal's defenses and force the interruption of the vaccination schedule undertaken. The calendar of Puppy vaccination usually begins before eight weeks of age. But, to get a correct immunity, you have to make a second and even a third application in the first 15 weeks of life.

Tricks to bathe a puppy

The bathroom can be a bad experience for the puppy that experiences it for the first time. It is not uncommon for his legs to slide in the bottom of the bathtub or the battery in contact with the soap, which causes helplessness and anxiety in the little one. And skating is not the only problem a puppy faces. Cleaning time, however, should not become a distressing moment. Taking into account some tips can transform the canine bath into a pleasant habit for the animal, but also for its owner.

    Small bathtubs

The bathtub can be a place too big for a puppy. Why not use a site more similar to yours, such as the sink sink or basin?

Water at 39 ºC

Bath water should be hot: at a temperature of around 39 ºC, similar to that of the dog's body.


Transform the bath place into a game Zone It can be a good idea to inspire confidence in the puppy. And use some of his toys and toys Rubber during the toilet will give you a pleasant feeling.

Dry baths when it's cold

When the dog is very small, there are times when avoiding water and soap can be a good idea. In the market there are preparations that allow to give dry baths to the canine young. These products are applied on the fur of the animal, they are left to act according to the indications and they are eliminated through brushing. In winterWhen the outside temperature is low, dry baths seem a good alternative to try to minimize the chances of the puppy getting a constipation.

Puppy bathing routine

The routine of the bath of the small dog does not differ in substance from that made to an adult: it is recommended to start grooming in the area of ​​the head, with the help of a towel dampened in warm and slightly soapy water, apply the product for the rest of the body and distribute it with the help of a light massage so that the shampoo acts properly with the skin and fur of the puppy.

Ensure that no water or soap comes into contact with the eyes or the inner part of the child's ear is essential, as it can cause irritation and some infections (otitis). In any case, a specific soap, soft, for puppies. The veterinarian can advise on which one is best for the animal.

Avoid baths with soap and water in puppies before finishing their vaccination schedule whenever there is a risk of the child getting cold.

The bathtub can be a place too big for a dog. Try a site more similar to yours, such as the sink sink or a basin.

The bathing water of the puppy, like that of the adult dog, must be hot: with a temperature of around 39 ºC.

Transforming the bathing place into a play area can be a good idea to inspire confidence in the puppy.

Puppy grooming requires a specific mild shampoo: check with your veterinarian.

When the puppy is very small, it is convenient to use a dry bath product. Avoid the risk of cooling.


Since our small dogs, and not so small, have become fond of our bed or sofa (sometimes, even banishing us to the floor) it has become essential that they have a body odor and hygiene similar to ours. In addition, in order to maintain a healthy and shiny hair, it is very important to make the bathroom something routine in our pets, but in this area, not everything is valid, we must follow certain guidelines when creating a bathing routine and do it with specific products to properly maintain dog hygiene.

How often would bathing be recommended in dogs?

This is a question with several answers, since it depends a lot on the lifestyle that our pet has, that is, a dog that lives in the countryside will need a more periodic toilet that one who lives in a flat in a city, similarly a long-haired dog should bathe more regularly than one with short hair.

A long-haired dog who lives in flat may need a bath a month, while if it's short hair, a bath would be enough every 2 months or every 3, since a long-haired cloak has a greater tendency to get dirty.
But nevertheless, a dog that inhabits a more rural environment, may need a bath every 15-20 days, since in these areas they are more likely to get dirty by having more contact with dirt, mud ..., although yes, if later you will not occupy a hole in our room, perhaps it would be better to bathe it less frequently.

There are certain special cases in which the periodicity of the bath should be increased, as in skin problems diagnosed by your veterinarian, in which the pet should be bathed with a specific shampoo every 2-3 days, but these are more concrete cases in which your trusted veterinarian will prescribe the shampoo and the times per week to bathe.

What problems can my dog ​​bathe too often?

In this part of the article, someone @ will be thinking that every two or three months, that I bathe him, that his pet is washed day by day, day also because if not, there is no one who can snatch them at night. Well, for a long time, and even today, Veterinarians have advised you to bathe the dog as little as possible to protect a layer of fat They have all over their skin. But for a while now It has been shown that this "layer" regenerates in about 24 hours and that if an appropriate shampoo is used, you can bathe as many times as you want. This is the moment when you have more appreciation for the whole article.

On the other hand, and so you don't appreciate me so much, Keep in mind that the bathroom reduces the dog's body odor, which represents an advantage for the owners, but an inconvenience for our pets, since the smell marks his identity in front of the pack, that is, the odorous particles that the dog's body secretes are characteristic of each one of them, and help them to communicate with other dogs, so that an excess of baths can cause the social relationships of our furry companions to be affected . I know, the social relationship that worries you most is the one with you…. But for you to have all the information.

Tips when bathing a dog

At the time of his first bath, we have two options: the quick one, which consists of catching the dog by force, putting it in the bathtub full of water, fighting with him to try to drown him while he tries to survive us and then drying it for 10 seconds with the dryer while trying to eat it and the rest at room temperature ... .. option that I do not recommend, although it is quite a lot, or the slow one, which, as the name implies, is slower and requires more work and training but in the long run you It will give much more satisfaction to both. In this option, you should accustom your dog to the dryer daily from a distance and as if it were ambient music, and then gradually approach it and focus the jet of the air. You can also go wetting it little by little as if it were a game and massaging it with the towel, all this accompanied by patience, love and many prizes. Thus, when your first bath arrives and all those that remain in the future, everything will be much faster and more pleasant.
A typical question is, When should I start bathing my dog?, as well, the ideal is from the application of the last puppy vaccine, although if it comes from the field, dirty or with parasites, and you are forced by hygiene to bathe it, by statistics of all those clients that already come with the bathed dog, it is quite unlikely that something bad will happen to you.

The water temperature should be about 39ºC, and it would be convenient to start the bath in the head area.

We should not use shampoos intended for people, but specific to them, since the pH of their skin is different from ours and we could have some problem. There are many varieties of shampoos intended for use in the pet, if you have any questions, your veterinarian can advise you on which is the best.

It is necessary to dry our pet's hair well after the bath, so that there is no loss of temperature or secondary infections occur in the skin or acquisition of parasites, but yes, be very careful with the dryer, since very hot air is not recommended for the skin.

Other hygiene tips

If your dog is long-haired, and more for areas like Elche and surroundings, it is convenient that at least in the hottest times, you take it to a dog groomer to get a good peel. Just make sure they don't use a blade that is too short because that could injure their skin.

Brushing the dog's hair becomes essential as a daily grooming in our pets. In long-haired breeds it is convenient to brush once a day, while in short-haired ones, 1-2 times per week will suffice.
Brushing our dog removes all dead hair, as well as dust and other dirt, which, if accumulated, could cause injuries and even skin diseases. In addition, knots are avoided, and so, when they go through a dog grooming salon, it does not become a real involuntary torture by the hairdresser.

The hygiene of the ears is important to avoid the accumulation of earwax, it will be enough to moisten a gauze with physiological serum and clean the auricular pavilion where the finger reaches, never use sticks, since we could introduce the dirt inside and cause them pain if we introduce it a lot or if they move the head when we are using it. If your dog's ears are always clean, don't touch them! It will not be necessary.

To clean the legañas we will perform a process similar to the cleaning of the ears, with a gauze moistened with physiological serum, we pass it repeatedly are soft through the eye, to soften the legaña and remove it without causing any damage. And in white-haired dogs, especially if you do not like the two brown markings in the lacrimal area, there are some products that do not work at all badly to bleach these areas.

In summary, as part of the family they are, today they need basic care so that their hygiene and body odor are as appropriate as possible. You should spend all or almost every day on your hair, ears and around your eyes, and brushing will prevent future problems and pulls at the hairdresser. Finally, although I know what you liked the most, whenever you use a guarantee shampoo, bathe everything that makes you both happy.

The right time for the first bath

Puppies are living beings very fragile, susceptible to suffer any disease that resides in the environment and is that your immune system is not fully developed. For that reason, the colostrum (or breast milk) provided by your parent is full of nutrients and antibodies that will help you overcome any disease.

Until a month and a half and even up to two months of life, a puppy should not be separated from his mother under any circumstances. She assures her survival and during this time we must provide tranquility and comfort in an isolated "nest". It's very important do not bathe the puppy before weaning since, if so, we could cause a rejection in the mother that would not identify the smell of the puppy as familiar.

On the other hand, the vaccination schedule of the dog before the first bath should also be taken into account. Occasionally, the dog suffers a stress situation when performing the first bath, which can lead to a bad immune response to the vaccine.

For that reason, veterinarians recommend wait 1 or 2 weeks after each vaccine. The calendar gives vaccines of a puppy is as follows:

  • 6 weeks - Primovaccination
  • 8 weeks - Multi-purpose
  • 12 weeks - Multi-purpose
  • 16 weeks - Rage
  • Annually - Reminders

How to bathe a puppy for the first time

Once we are clear when to bathe a puppy for the first time, we will proceed with the appropriate material:

  • Warm room temperature
  • Positive and relaxed atmosphere
  • Specific shampoo for puppies
  • Sponge
  • Rubber dog comb (soft)
  • A bucket with warm water
  • Towels and dryer

It is very convenient to prepare everything before starting the puppy's bath. We must provide a warm environment that does not cause a thermal shock in the dog If it is winter, we will put the heating on a while before starting this experience.

We must emphasize that the bath is probably one of the most important moments of the puppy since it is directly related to socialization, the process in which we present to the puppy all kinds of stimuli and experiences. Therefore, so that in its adult stage it is a dog that accepts to bathe without problem, we will try to make it a pleasant and positive experience for him.

We will start filling the bucket or bathtub with warm water. It is important that the height of the water does not cover you too much so that you do not suffer stress or feel a choking sensation. Then, we will wet the puppy completely, avoiding the head. Never wet your eyes and ears. During this time it is advisable to play with water and even add a toy to make the experience better and more fun.

Once the puppy is soaked in water we can proceed to apply the shampoo for puppies dogs. It is very important that it be so since the specific shampoos for puppy dogs are more delicate with their dermis, hydrate and protect them properly. Shampoos for adult dogs are not recommended at all.

During the bath we will use the sponge and the rubber comb to reach every corner, helping to apply it correctly. When we finish, we must rinse very well and remove all the remains of the shampoo.

To finish, we will use one or two towels to completely wrap the puppy. This point is very important: the puppy should not be dismantled. Once the towels absorb the water well we will proceed to use the dryer at low power and with a low heat so that the dog does not panic or feel uncomfortable. Everything must remain very pleasant for him.

Antiparasitic or emergency baths

In the first point, we explained when to bathe a puppy for the first time taking into account an ideal situation for its development. However, some puppies lose their mothers, they are collected in shelters or suffer an accident that makes them dirty. If this is your case, do not worry, we will help you with some advice about it.

The main insistence on respecting the times is to avoid a possible cold, the rejection of the mother or the effectiveness of the vaccines. However, if we promote a stress-free bath, you don't have to suffer a bad reaction. These problems usually occur in puppies that suffer from poor nutrition, deplorable hygienic situations, extreme temperatures etc.

What to do if the puppy has fleas or other parasites?

If your dog has suffered an infestation of fleas, ticks or you think it may suffer from the appearance of internal parasites will be very important go to the vet as soon as possible.

Puppy dogs are susceptible to getting sick very quickly and parasites can be carriers of various diseases, for that reason a professional assessment is highly recommended for our specific case.

It is important to understand that there are no antiparasitic treatments for puppies. Chemical compounds can make a very adverse reaction in them such as vomiting, allergy, diarrhea and severe breathing problems. Never use an antiparasitic with your puppy.

If you can not go to the veterinarian momentarily it will be essential to act and provide a bath to the puppy dog, in the same way as we told you in the previous point. However, in this case you are going to get a anti-lice brush for children and you will pass it until your dog is totally free of parasites. Check well the areas of the armpits, crotch, ears and all those "warm" and little exposed places of the puppy. Don't forget that you are going to have to kill all parasites so that they do not infect the puppy dog ​​again. Spend all the time you need to this process.

On the other hand, internal parasites are treatable. Go to the vet to offer you a pill to deworm puppy dogs, specific to these delicate animals.

What to do if the puppy has become dirty?

In this case we recommend you to assess whether it is really necessary to bathe completely. For example, if the dog has become dirty in a specific area, we can get wet wipes and rub in dirty area. Also exist dry wash shampoos Specific for puppies.

However, if your puppy is really dirty and smells bad it will be essential to bathe it. Make sure the process is the best possible and observe their behavior after the bath to make sure everything is fine and healthy.

Puppy Bath Frequency

After bathing a puppy for the first time, we can start bathing on a regular basis whenever it is dirty or smells bad. However, the ideal time for the bathroom would be around between 20 and 60 days. That is because dogs have a layer of fat that protects their skin. If we abuse the bathroom we will be destroying its protective layer.

To prevent that from happening, it will be highly recommended to get a puppy shampoomoisturizing, that protects your skin well from regular contact with water, thus preventing it from drying out. Discover in ExpertAnimal also other ways to hydrate your dog's skin.

Do not forget that regular brushing helps remove dead hair and dirt and should be one of the main hygienic routines of the dog.

If you want to read more articles similar to When to bathe a puppy for the first time, we recommend you enter our Beauty Tips section.