How to Clean an 8 Week Old Puppy

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
4 Weeks

Introduction

Your 8-week-old puppy is so much stronger than they've ever been. It is possible that at 8 weeks of age, your pup is a new addition to your family and is no longer with their mother and littermates. Alternatively, your puppy may still be with their mother and siblings. 

Either way, your 8-week-old puppy is really starting to grow and change at this point. Your pup is learning, playing, and exploring. This could also mean your fur-baby is getting quite dirty. 

The good news is that it is safe to give your 8-week-old puppy a bath. If your pupper is not extremely dirty and just needs a gentle wipe down, you can still use a warm washcloth with a very little bit of puppy shampoo or even baking soda and water to help with any puppy odor. 

Dog's Perspective

Even though your 8-week-old puppy is stronger than in the earliest weeks of life, once you bathe them you will still need to dry them thoroughly before letting them loose to play or go outside. Your pup may be cold after their bath, so be sure to keep them bundled and warm while you are drying them. 

If bath time is new to your puppy, they may be a bit hesitant about getting in the water, being submerged and wet, or even the sound of running water. Start training now while bathing or cleaning your pup and reward them for their good behavior with a nice, tasty treat once they're clean.

Does your pup hate baths? Let someone else take on the stressful chore of cleaning them and book a Grooming service with a Pet Caregiver near you on the Wag! app today.

The Calm Bath Method

Most Recommended
6 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Exercise and play
Before you give your 8-week-old puppy a bath, wear them out with some exercise and playtime. Take your 8-week-old puppy for a walk or play tug of war with a toy rope with them. You’ll want your pup worn out before bath time. Be sure to take them outside to go potty before bath time too.
Step
2
Warm room
Create a warm room for your puppy’s bath. If you’re bathing in a bathroom, run the shower on hot before filling the tub to heat the room. Leave the door closed. Once the room is toasty warm, turn the shower off and fill the tub with enough warm water for your puppy to bathe.
Step
3
Prep the tub
Use a towel or a non-skid mat in your bathtub to keep your puppy in place. Slipping and sliding in the bathtub could cause injury. Have two dry towels within arm's reach and your puppy shampoo ready for bathing.
Step
4
Puppy
Bring the puppy into the warm bathroom. Keep the door closed. When you place your puppy in the tub, plan to stay close by. Do not leave your 8-week-old puppy unattended in the tub. If this is your puppy’s first bath, they may love it or hate it. Keep talking to your pup to encourage them and build their sense of security.
Step
5
Quick bath
Using the puppy shampoo, bathe your puppy from head to tail. Be cautious not to get shampoo in their eyes or water in their ears. Rubbing your puppy’s fur with small, circular motions will help to get them clean. Be sure to wash your pup's potty areas and their paws. If you use a washcloth, always start with the face and end with the potty areas so as not to distribute bacteria to the face.
Step
6
Rinse
Empty the tub and rinse your 8-week-old puppy with a warm water rinse. You can use a cup or a handheld sprayer to do this. Try to be quick and efficient to keep your pup warm.
Step
7
Dry
With one towel, dry your puppy with gentle yet vigorous motion to soak up as much water as possible. When your puppy is towel dry, use the second dry towel to keep them warm. You can continue to dry your pup with the dry towel.
Step
8
Treat
End your puppy’s bath with a tasty treat. This will reward them for good behavior and end the bath on a positive note.
Recommend grooming method?

The Warm Bath Method

Effective
5 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Fill
Fill your tub with enough warm water to cover your 8-week-old puppy’s legs. If the water is deep enough, your puppy will likely try to drink it. Placing a towel on the bottom of the tub will keep your pup from slipping.
Step
2
Rinse
Start with a warm water rinse. To do this, you can use a cup or a handheld sprayer. Be sure to use warm water and soak your puppy’s coat thoroughly. Holding the cup or sprayer close to your puppy’s skin will keep the splashing down. This might help ease their anxiety.
Step
3
Puppy shampoo
Using a quarter-size amount of puppy shampoo in your hands, lather your puppy from neck to tail.
Step
4
Rinse
Give your puppy a clean water rinse with a cup or hand-held sprayer and warm running water. Be sure to rinse off all the shampoo from your puppy. Leaving shampoo on to dry could cause itching.
Step
5
Face
Wipe your puppy’s face with a warm washcloth. Unless you see visible dirt, you should not need shampoo there. Use the same cloth for a rinse wipe down once your pup's face is clean.
Step
6
Warmth
Lift your fur-baby from the tub and wrap them in a warm towel to start the drying process. Try to towel dry as much of your puppy as you can. Once your pup is towel dry, you may need to wrap them in a second dry towel to keep them warm.
Step
7
Dry
Use a hair dryer on warm or cool, not hot, to finish drying your puppy. If you do not wish to use a hair dryer or the sound scares your puppy, keep them warm while they dry in a blanket or dry towel. Do not let your puppy outside while wet or damp.
Step
8
Rewards
Be sure to give your pup a nice, tasty treat as a reward once you are done. If your puppy has long fur, they could benefit from a good brushing as well. Offering treats after the bath and during brushing will help to make clean-up time a positive experience.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If you choose to use a puppy shampoo, choose one that is not only good for your pup's skin but also a tearless shampoo.
  • If you're giving your 8-week-old puppy a bath or they will be wet after a warm washcloth wipe down, be sure to brush them out thoroughly once you are done cleaning them.
  • If your young puppy is taking a full bath, be sure to add a towel or a non-slip mat to the bathtub or sink to avoid slipping injuries.
  • At this age, avoid using a flea and tick shampoo without the direction of your veterinarian.
  • Do not use human shampoos on your puppy. The pH levels on your pup's skin are different to humans and human shampoo or other soaps, such as dish soap, can dry your pet's skin and cause itching and redness.
  • If you use a washcloth on your puppy, be sure to start with their face first. You can wipe their face down and avoid using any shampoo near their eyes.
  • Wiping your puppy's face down first before wiping their potty areas will ensure bacteria from potty areas does not get into your pup's eyes, nose, or mouth.

Conclusion

Your 8-week-old puppy is a cute, cuddly ball of energy. They're going to get pawsitively dirty at times. It’s a safe time to give your puppy a bath, but just be sure to keep your pampered pooch dry and warm once you are done. Use simple ingredients to get your pup clean so you can get back to cuddling or playing together quickly.

If you'd rather let someone else take on the messy chore of giving your dog a bath, book a Grooming service with a Pet Caregiver near you today.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Sadie
Mix breed
4 Weeks
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Sadie
Mix breed
4 Weeks

I got my daughter a puppy about 2 weeks ago. She was the runt of the litter and the mother rejected her. We found her outside the kennel on a very cold morning halfway breathing. We have been feeding her replacement milk formula for puppies, and giving her a bath every 2 or 3 days. She has the house smelling very loud and she seems to pee a lot. Can you please inform me on what may be the problem?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, this is a question best posed to a veterinarian, especially since little Sadie is so young. It's best for her to be checked to make sure that her health is as it should be. You can pose a question to a vet here: https://wagwalking.com/wag-health, but please call your veterinarian as soon as possible. The fact that the urine smells may mean a medical issue. All the best to little Sadie!

I know other people will search for this and find this, sooo

I feel as if the response to Sadie’s question might’ve been misunderstood and not given a solid on the spot answer.

Sadie, a puppy shares similarities with a baby…
In that they’ll just pee and poop all the time.

They will get pretty gross, and frankly, if you let a <8mo puppy do that inside of your 4 walls, itll smell loud and stanky.

My assumption would be that it is because they are both physically and mentally learning how to control their new bodies…

But, also they need to eat a lot of nutrients to do that growing…so that means taking dookies all over the place.

I suggest you find and/or make a safe, weather proof, thermally insulated place for them under a covered, preferably screened in, pest free area in a porch or similar.

My question would be this:
“How dirty is too dirty for a 0-8 month old puppy?”

Where the vets at tho

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