Don’t we all love a new puppy. There is something so sweet, adorable, and innocent about puppies that they just naturally engender our parental instincts. We care for and treat them with rapt attention and extra effort to ensure a great home life for our new pups. The question then becomes what’s the best shampoo or cleaning regime for dog.
You can find great information on bathing and what makes a great dog shampoo (add links to other articles), but let’s take a look at the specific differences between puppy and adult bath time.
Young puppies typically require less frequent bath time because their activity level tends to be lower and their size limits what they can do. Bigger, more active breeds will be outside often and will require similar care to their larger, older selves. As a rule, you will need to bathe your puppy in order to remove possible environmental toxins and clear away bacteria that may be present; however, keep in mind the fact that a puppy’s skin will absorb what is placed on it. The ingredients of your puppy shampoo are always a key factor. When bathing, it is best to use a shampoo formulated for dogs to preserve the skin’s acid mantle, so use a product without harsh chemicals—something with natural, safe ingredients. When searching for the best puppy shampoo, always read the label. If the list of ingredients is long and complex, then it’s probably not best option for your puppy. (See more on ingredients below.)
Real Puppy Love Requires a Brush
As we already mentioned, puppies won’t need to be bathed frequently, because they just don’t get exposed to as many toxins, nor are they outdoors as often as adult dogs. Most dog owners are essentially holding that puppy like a baby most of the time. Still, while you may not bathe puppies as frequently as older dogs, you can bond with your new puppy and keep her skin and coat healthy by brushing. Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your puppy’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils through her coat, preventing tangles, and keeping her skin clean and irritant free.
The technique you use to brush your pet—and how often—will largely depend on his or her coat type. Common veterinary guidelines include the following:
Smooth, Short Coats
If your dog has a smooth, short coat like that of a Chihuahua, Boxer or Basset Hound, you only need to brush once a week. Use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin and dirt, then follow up with bristle brush to remove dead hair. Polish your low-maintenance pooch with a chamois cloth and she will be ready to shine!
Short, Dense Fur
If your dog has short, dense fur that’s prone to matting, like that of a retriever, brushing once a week is also fine. Use a slicker brush to remove tangles, then catch dead hair with a bristle brush. Don’t forget to comb her tail!
Long, Silky Coats
If your dog has a long, luxurious coat, such as that of a Yorkshire terrier, she’ll need daily attention. Every day, you’ll need to remove tangles with a slicker brush. Then, brush her coat with a bristle brush. If you have a long-haired dog with a coat like a collie’s or an Afghan hound’s, follow the the same steps as above, but also be sure to comb through the fur and trim the hair around the feet.
Long Hair That’s Frequently Matted
For many long-haired pooches, it’s a good idea to set up a daily grooming routine to remove tangles and prevent mats. Gently tease out tangles with a slicker brush, then follow up with a bristle brush. If matting is particularly dense, you may try clipping the hair, taking care not to come near the skin.
Keep it Simple
Puppies care is different than adult dog grooming. Puppies’ skin is more sensitive and susceptible to irritation. They also require less frequent bathing, but to ensure the safest wash, you should always use a mild, chemical-free shampoo that has been formulated for dogs. To really show love to that puppy, proper brushing should occur regularly so your pet gets used to grooming. This will keep the natural oils in her skin distributed through her coat, keeping her safe and healthy.