Pregnant dogs need grooming and baths, just like any other dog, to keep their coats tangle-free, clean, and to remove debris, oils and dirt. No one wants a smelly dog, whether they are pregnant or not! Also, keeping your pregnant dog clean prior to birthing will make her more hygienic when the puppies are born, and removal of debris and dead hair by bathing will make it easier for puppies to safely nurse in a clean environment.
There are a few issues that need to be considered when bathing a pregnant dog. How you handle and pick up your expectant mother is important; you do not want to put any undue pressure on the abdominal area. You will also want to make sure there is no chance of your dog slipping or falling when being bathed, or cause her undue stress if she does not like water and baths. One more thing to think about is the kind of shampoo you use. Most antiparasitic or flea shampoos are not appropriate for bathing a pregnant dog, as contents can be toxic to puppies, and absorbed through the skin or residue left on the hair and skin that can contaminate nursing puppies. Check the label of any dog shampoo to ascertain ingredients, and determine whether it is appropriate for pregnant dogs. Many detergents and dog shampoos may contain ingredients not recommended for pregnant dogs that are about to have puppies.
Your pregnant dog may or may not be too fussy about being handed and bathed. Some dogs love baths, and are not stressed or phased by baths when pregnant. However, a dog that does not like baths in the first place, and is not used to being handled or picked up, may be even more reticent when they are pregnant. Remember that due to hormone fluctuations and increasing size, your momma dog may experience personality changes and can be irritated or even aggressive when handled for a bath. When bathing your pregnant dog, go slow, move at her pace and see what is and what is not comfortable for her--adjust accordingly.
Momma dogs want to look nice too! Your pregnant dogs also wants to be clean and comfortable when her puppies come. Although mother dogs will groom themselves, regular bathing during pregnancy to keep their coats and skin debris and bacteria-free is recommended in most cases. Just be careful, use the right products and adjust as necessary for your expectant mom's comfort.