We all know that eight-week-old puppies tend to make a mess of themselves, especially right before you
present them to a customer. Keeping them clean for any period of time is a challenge and some tips and best practices are in order.
It starts with good housekeeping when the puppies are at a young age. When the puppies start to eat solid foods, the mother dog will typically stop cleaning up after the puppies. If you get your mother dog on a bathroom schedule there is a good chance that the puppies will follow. Do this by giving the dog access to a meadow for twenty minutes in the morning and evening. This will keep feces in the puppy area to a minimum.
Despite your best efforts at prevention, the puppies still need to be bathed regularly. You’ll need warm water, a tub, a hose with a soft spray nozzle, gentle comb for brushing, treats, shampoo, mixing bottle, and drying towels (we like the microfiber type). A blow dryer is also a huge plus.
Prepare a large clean area in the yard or pen with paper bedding to avoid dust sticking to wet coats.
Place your supplies within arm’s reach before you start. Most puppies don’t enjoy being bathed so be ready and keep one hand on the puppy to avoid any surprises. Before bathing, brush or comb the puppy to remove dirt, tangles, and matted hair from their coat. Prepare the shampoo by mixing it with water, then spread it evenly on the body, legs and tail. Be careful not to get it into the eyes and ears. Using your fingers, gently massage the shampoo into the coat. Next rinse the puppy, making sure to remove all the shampoo. Dry the puppy by:
- Scraping water off the puppy by hand.
- Quickly blowing off remaining water with blow dryer.
- Drying with a towel (this reduces drying time). Wipe in a circular motion starting at the face.
- Finish drying with the blow dryer.
Blow drying to finish will produce a much fluffier coat. If you want to add any scents or fragrances now would be the time to do it. Reward your puppy with a treat when you’re done.
Now that your puppy is clean, how do we keep him clean?
• Overcrowding is a common problem when trying to maintain cleanliness so keep the puppies in a large area.
• If you have a scheduled visit with a customer, take food away three hours before customer arrives.
• Give your puppy plenty of exercise before the bath to encourage a bowel movement before you bath him.
• Touch up with scented wipes or a damp cloth to maintain cleanliness
• Clean up! Frequent checkups for fresh feces are the best way to keep everyone clean.
PRO TIP: If your puppies are afraid of the blow dryer try introducing a small dryer to them at a young age. You can place it on the floor, then slowly let them feel the air. With lots of treats, you can convince them it’s nothing to worry about.