How to Clean a 3 Week Old Puppy

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

Your three-week-old puppy is really starting to grow and move around. His eyes should be open or opening soon. If he’s with his mother and littermates, he’s playing a bit more and still nursing. Your three-week-old puppy is learning to go potty on his own without his mother helping him along, and hopefully, you are beginning to make a separate area from his bedding area to go potty. Even with this separation, your young puppy might still get dirty either from milk, play with his littermates, or from going potty or accidents. If you need to clean him, you should know he’s still too young for a full bath but is not as fragile as he was just a week ago.

Dog's Perspective

Baths and running water can be scary for some dogs, especially the very young pups. Your three-week-old puppy’s body temperature is still not yet regulated by him, so he still needs to be kept warm from the time you take his out of his nest to the time you return him. Any shaking could be from fear or from being extremely cold, both of which are dangerous for your puppy.

The Wipe Down Method

Effective
0 Votes
Towel
Step
1
Soft cloth
Find a soft cloth you will use only for cleaning your puppies. Make sure it is clean each time you use it. Dampen this soft cloth with warm water. You don’t want any water dripping from the cloth. Make sure it is not too hot nor too cold.
Step
2
Wipe
Use your warm damp soft cloth to wipe any areas on your puppy needing to be cleaned.
Step
3
Face
Start with his face so you are not transferring any bacteria from other areas into his eyes. Avoid getting any water in his ears.
Step
4
Body
Wipe down areas of his body that need to be cleaned. If they do not need to be cleaned, it’s best to leave them until he’s older.
Step
5
Potty area
Clean your three-week-old puppy’s potty area last. This will ensure you are not transferring any bacteria from this area to other parts of his body. Doing so may cause infection.
Step
6
Dry
Dry your three-week-old puppy with a warm soft towel. Though your pup is a bit older now, he is still unable to regulate his body temperature, so make sure he is dry with a warm towel or blanket and not left to air dry alone
Step
7
Back to bedding
Return your pup to his bedding as soon as possible. If he is with his mother and littermates, they will all keep him warm. He will also build his sense of security when he is home with his mother and mates at this age. She will be weaning him soon enough. Until then, let him bond.
Recommend grooming method?

The Small Areas Method

Effective
0 Votes
Towel
Step
1
Spot check
Look at your little three-week-old puppy closely for dirty areas. Remember the most common filth on him might be in his potty area or between the folds of his skin if he’s a wrinkled pup.
Step
2
Wipe
Use puppy wipes or a soft cloth to dry or damp wipe dirty areas. Be sure to use a different wipe or different area of the cloth when you clean your puppy’s potty area.
Step
3
Dry areas
Use a clean dry towel or receiving blanket to dry the areas you just cleaned. Do not leave even damp areas to dry on their own just yet. Your puppy needs to be warm all the time.
Step
4
Blanket wrap
Wrap your puppy in a soft warm blanket to keep him warm as you place him back in his bedding with his mother and littermates.
Step
5
Bedding
Be sure you are keeping your pup’s bedding cleaned every day. As your puppies are growing older, they are going potty more often and need a potty area separate from their sleeping, playing, and nursing areas. Be sure to keep this area clean each time they go or at least throughout the day.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Your three-week-old puppy isn’t ready for a bath just yet.
  • Take in his sweet puppy smell. He might be a bit dirty, but at this age, he still smells like a sweet puppy.
  • The most common areas you will have to clean on your three-week-old puppy are his potty areas and his face.
  • Do not yet submerge your three-week-old puppy in water.
  • He will be ready for a bath in another week or two, but only if truly necessary even then.
  • If your puppy’s mother is around still, she is the best way to get your pup clean.
  • Be sure to begin to make separate areas for potty within the puppy’s whelping area. Your puppies won’t want to go potty and sleep in the same area unless they are forced to.
  • Keeping a separate potty area will help keep your puppy cleaner.
  • Your three-week-old puppy cannot yet regulate his temperature. You will need to keep him warm before, during, and after any cleaning you do.
  • Be sure not to use water too hot to moisten the cloth. Also, be sure the cloth is not left too long to cool. You want it to be warm, so it is comfortable on his skin as you wipe him clean.

Conclusion

 Enjoy these early moments of a sweet smelling puppy. It’ll be some time before your three-week-old pup smalls like a dog and is ready for a bath. Don’t put yourself in the doghouse with your puppy’s mother. Let her do most of the cleaning while you keep the bedding clean for the entire litter. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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