How to Clean a 1 Week Old Puppy

Easy
5 - 10 Minute
1 Month

Introduction

If your 1-week old puppy has already found himself getting into puppy mischief and getting dirty, you might be considering giving him a bath. You should know that most puppies have mothers who will bathe them and keep them clean on her own. You should also know newborn puppies don't typically require baths. However, sometimes things happen, and your tiny puppy must get clean. You will need to avoid bathing your puppy until he's a little older, at least in a bathtub or a sink. Consider just a spot cleaning your week-old puppy. After all, his eyes may not even be open yet, how dirty could he be? 

Dog's Perspective

Your 1-week old puppy might be a little shaky, scared, and nervous. If mama dog is around, try not to take him too far from her for his quick cleaning. The best reward you can give your little puppy when that time is over is to snuggle with it littermates or his mother when you are done. Refrain from offering him a treat as a reward.

The Spot Clean Method

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Towel
Step
1
Warm washcloth
Soak a washcloth in warm water. Do not use any soap in the water. Your puppy's skin is extremely sensitive at this age, he does not need soap.
Step
2
Wring
Wring out the excess water.
Step
3
Wipe
Gently wipe the spot areas you would like to clean on your 1-week-old puppy. Do not rub is skin very hard as it is sensitive. You can gently wipe his face and around his eyes. Try not to get him wet in areas that do not need to be wet.
Step
4
Dry
Dry your puppy’s fur and skin with a warm, soft towel. Leave him wrapped in the towel until he is fully dry. Because you are spot cleaning, only some areas should be a little damp. Your young puppy should not be soaking wet.
Step
5
Warm
As soon as you are done spot cleaning your week-old puppy, get him to a warm place. The best place for your pup to be is with his mother. However, if his mother is not around, keep him tightly wrapped or swaddled like a baby in a warm soft towel and keep him close to your body.
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The Always Warm Method

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Towel
Step
1
Warm a room
Go into a room you can keep warm. This might be a room with its own thermostat or even a bathroom you can heat by turning on hot water letting the room warm up and then turning off the water before bringing your puppy into the room with you.
Step
2
Wet a washcloth
Wet a washcloth with warm water and wring out all of the excess water. You should be left with a damp, warm cloth.
Step
3
Wipe clean
Wipe your puppy clean in the areas where he needs to be cleaned. If you do not need to bathe your entire puppy, don't bother. At this age he shouldn't be too dirty and submerging him and water could cause more harm than do good. Do not use any soaps for your 1-week-old puppy. He only needs warm water and a soft cloth.
Step
4
Dry
Dry any area where your puppy may have gotten wet or damp from his bathing.
Step
5
Warmth
Reunite your pup with his mother as soon as you can. If the mother is not around, keep your puppy warm in a soft blanket up against your skin. If you are your puppy's only caregiver, try to keep him close to your chest and your core heat for as long as you can.
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Caution & Considerations

  • Never submerge your 1-week-old puppy in water.
  • Your 1-week-old puppy is in danger of hypothermia if he becomes cold.
  • Before deciding to bathe your 1-week-old puppy, determine if a bath or even a spot clean is really necessary.
  • If your puppy's mother is around, give the puppy to her for cleaning.
  • The only time you should attempt to even spot clean your 1-week old puppy is if his mother is not available or unable to do so and he's in desperate need.
  • Most puppies do not need to be bathed until they are at least 4 weeks old. Even after 4 weeks of age, unless your puppy is filthy, he could probably wait until he's several months old for a bath.
  • If you must clean your week-old puppy, consider just spot cleaning the areas that are dirty. For instance, your puppy may have milk stains around his mouth or in his folds around his neck. This could be wiped out easily with a dry cloth or a warm washcloth.
  •  Be sure the first thing you do after your puppy's spot bath is to find him warmth.
  •  Staying warm for a week-old puppy will mean the difference between life and death for him.
  •  Remember, if your 1-week-old puppy isn't offensively dirty, it can probably wait a few more weeks.

Conclusion

Your one-week-old puppy might be starting to show his puppy dog tails personality and getting into trouble. But until his eyes are open and he's maneuvering the big world on his own, he doesn't need a bath. Don't get into the doghouse with Mama dog. If she is able, let her do all the cleaning until her puppy is ready to leave her side.

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