Grooming tips for puppies!
Here at Woodlot we pride ourselves on every detail of the breeding process and as we all know puppies have a way of getting dirty pretty quickly! Between wresting their siblings, exploring outside, or walking on poop with their clumsy paws- keeping these little canine kids clean and sanitary is a top priority.
Since many of our buyers reach out to Gladys and ask ‘how do I bathe my puppy?’ along with more questions on the products we use, it is high time we wrote a blog post to address our most frequently asked questions on this particular topic.
The Puppy’s First Bath
When the puppies are first born, their mama takes care of grooming immediately. The birthing process is messy and even canines have an amazing maternal instinct that kicks in as soon as the babies are delivered which is similar to delivering a human baby.
The puppies first ‘bath’ is the equivalent to a sponge bath that involves the mama dog’s tongue after she has chewed off the umbilical cord. And from there, mom takes care of everything for several weeks- from licking poop off of a butt to showing the puppies how she grooms herself so that they can see how it’s done, the most intuitive mothers will keep their kids squeaky clean! It’s amazing how animals have a natural instinct for survival and know keeping their babies clean reduces their chances of death or sickness.
When can I safely bathe my puppy?
Your puppy’s first real bath occurred around 4 weeks, and they get bathed again at 6 weeks for photo shoots, then again at 8 weeks before they go to their forever home. So if your puppy acts like it’s never seen water before or starts acting like a cat- just know the drama is all for show!
We try to make the bathing process a relaxing experience and a way for us to have healthy human interaction with the dogs. Keeping clean will always be a part of their lives so thankfully by the time you get them your puppy should be a champion in the tub!
What is the best shampoo for puppies?
After using a myriad of shampoos over the years, we have finally found our preferred products. Many clients have asked us what we use because they LOVE the way their puppy smells when they pick them up or delivered which is why we wanted to share this information with you! We hope that you will keep up a good hygiene regimen for your new family member- and we hope the scents of these products make them remember their first ‘home’ with us!
We just love the smell of this shampoo and clearly love the brand! They have other scents to try as well- but this is the one we use here at Woodlot Companions.
Isle of Dogs Everyday Deep Cleaning Shampoo for Dogs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00867287W/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_QEHRE3BRJ49S5BD7883Q
Unfortunately for you, the conditioner we use only comes in a bulk professional version which may not be ideal for a 1 puppy home. There are other Isle of Dogs conditioners that are available in smaller retail sizes that also have rave reviews!
How to get rid of puppy odor between baths
This product is the real crème de la crème grooming secret for sending out our scrumptious smelling puppies and a great deodorizing spritz for between baths. This spray truly does a great job at neutralizing puppy odors and stays on their fur for several days!
Isle of Dogs Replascents Odor Neutralizing Spray, Red Berries & Champagne, 8 Ounce https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ISSCB80/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_BHPGR3WQE091A2Y7M57G
When should I take my puppy to the groomer?
Sometimes home grooming can be overwhelming or just not ideal for new puppy owners. The idea of making a mess in a bathroom or a kitchen sink could be repulsive or bathing a puppy isn’t possible due to physical limitations. Perhaps you are looking for that perfectly groomed look complete with little bows or bandanas to show off your dog to your family and friends. Either way you should be aware that most commercial groomers won’t take puppies until they have been fully vaccinated. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, dog groomers in our area had a tough time as many people opted to do grooming at home. With the closures and limited hours of other dog grooming facilities, it has put a strain on other grooming businesses to pick up all the other clients that now want services again.
Booking an appointment for your puppy could take weeks or even months to find availability for new or even existing clients so make sure you call around or even consider a mobile pet wash. Local pet stores often offer self-wash doggie stations so that you don’t have to worry about the post bath mess left in your bathroom.
Should I blow dry my puppy after a bath?
It’s not necessary to always blow dry a puppy after a bath if you are short on time AND it’s warm enough outside that they can still go out to potty being damp and not harm their lungs or body temperature. However, you should be fully warned that skipping blow drying in winter months can be deadly to your puppy if they are still damp and wander outside in cooler fall and winter temperatures.
Blow drying your puppy is a great way to get them used to the sounds and sensations of being at the groomer so that when they do go, it’s less likely to be a traumatic experience. Your groomer will appreciate your efforts too because it really does make a difference!
Do not use the high heat setting on your puppy! You can burn skin or even damage fur if the settings are too high and too close to their body. We recommend the low setting for heat and medium setting for air speed. Having a nozzle on your dryer to direct air flow is also helpful.
If your puppy is afraid of the blow dryer put it on the lowest air flow setting and hold your puppy as you blow dry. This is far easier when there are 2 people present- one holding the dog, the other brushing and blow drying!
What are the best brushes to use for grooming a puppy?
While your puppy is still growing, this slicker brush should be sufficient for everyday use as well post bath time. If you only get one brush, this one is great!
Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush, Groom Like a Professional, Fluff Detangle Style, Saves Time Energy, Coral, Large https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KAJQJ74/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_WSYDQ8DY7VKGGA9XWGE9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
A de-shedding brush is great for our English Cream Golden Retrievers and other pure breed dogs who are prone to shedding to remove loose hairs and the undercoat.
SleekEZ Deshedding Grooming Tool for Dogs, Cats & Horses – Patented Undercoat Brush for Short & Long Hair – Painlessly Remove 95% of Loose Hair, Fur & Dirt https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VC8DQX2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_1QTQV3RXJGG1JB89RJDY?psc=1
A de-matting tool may be necessary if you waited too long between brushings or even professional groomings. Any poodle mix dog is prone to their fur matting if they are not brushed regularly. Please do not use this on puppies. This tool is for adult dogs only. If your puppy gets matting in their fur, please take them to a professional groomer as soon as possible!
GoPets Dematting Comb with 2 Sided Professional Grooming Rake for Cats & Dogs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OIOB90E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_GJ1T0579HZ8MARZ5A10T?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
We love seeing our puppies after they have been professionally groomed for the first time! Please send us your photos or tag us on Instagram (@woodlotcompanions) so that we can see how beautiful or handsome your new fur baby looks!