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 he's ever been. It is possible at eight weeks he is a new addition to your home in the family and is no longer with his mother and littermates. Or you may have a puppy with the mother and his mates. Either way, your 8-week-old puppy is really starting to grow and change at this point. He is learning, playing, and exploring. This could mean he's also getting quite dirty. It is safe to give your 8-week old puppy a bath. If he's 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, once you bathe him you will still need to dry him thoroughly before letting him lose to play or letting him outside. He may be cold after his bath so be sure to keep him bundled and warm while drying him. If bath time is new to your puppy, he 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 pup and reward him for his good behavior with a nice tasty treat once he's clean.

The Calm Bath Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Exercise and play
Before you give your 8-week old puppy a bath, wear him 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 him. You’ll want him worn out before bath time. Be sure to take him 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, he may love it or hate it. Keep talking to him to encourage him and build his 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 his eyes or water in his ears. Rubbing your puppy’s fur with small circular motion will help to get him clean. Be sure to wash his potty areas and his 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 him warm. You can continue to dry him with the dry towel.
Step
8
Treat
End your puppy’s bath with a tasty treat. This will reward him for good behavior and end the bath on a positive note.
Recommend grooming method?

The Warm Bath Method

Effective
0 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 anxieties.
Step
3
Puppy shampoo
Using a quarter size amount of puppy shampoo in your hands, lather your puppy from his neck to his 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 his face is clean.
Step
6
Warmth
Lift your little guy from the tub and wrap him in a warm towel to start the drying process. Try to towel dry as much of your puppy as you can. Once he’s towel dry, you may need to wrap him in a second dry towel to keep him 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 him warm while he dries in a blanket or dry towel. Do not let your puppy outside while wet or damp.
Step
8
Rewards
Be sure to give your little guy a nice tasty treat as a reward once you are done. If your puppy has long fur, he could benefit from a good brushing as well. Offering treats after his bath and during his brushing will help to make clean up time a positive time.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If you choose to use a puppy shampoo, choose one that is not only good for his skin but also a tearless shampoo.
  • If you're giving your 8-week old puppy a bath or he will be wet after a warm washcloth wipe down, be sure to brush him out thoroughly once you are done cleaning him.
  • 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 his skin are much different than humans and human shampoo or other soaps, such as dish soap, can dry his skin and cause itching and redness.
  • If you use a washcloth on your puppy, be sure to start with his face first. You can wipe his face down and avoid using any shampoo near his eyes.
  • Wiping your puppy's face down first before wiping his potty areas will ensure bacteria from potty areas does not get into his eyes, nose, or his mouth.

Conclusion

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

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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