Pups should stay with their mothers for at least 8 weeks after their birth. During this time, their mothers clean them up regularly. Once they're old enough to be taken to their forever homes, you'll notice that pups like to get dirty. Here's how you take over cleaning duties from their mothers:
- Use Puppy Wipes: Until your pets have had their second round of vaccinations, it is best not to give them a bath. Instead, wipe them down regularly with puppy wipes. These are moist and pre-packed hygienically to reduce the risk of infections.
- Get your pet used to touch: The first step to making your pets comfortable with you grooming them is to get them used to touch. Gently massage their paws, ears, face, tail, and body for a few minutes every day. If you notice that your pet is pulling away from you, it's probably because you're moving too fast or the pressure you're applying is painful.
- Stick to a routine: If you generally clean your pet's ears before you get to their paws, stick to the same order. Knowing what comes next will make your pets less nervous.
- First bath: Contrary to the common stereotype that dogs hate baths, many dogs are not difficult during bath time. It usually depends on their past experience. If they get scared or have an unpleasant experience during previous baths, it is likely that they will be frightened of it in the future. We recommend that you take your pup to a trusted groomer who can introduce your pup to a comfortable bath. This will make grooming them much easier in the future.
- Use puppy products: Make sure that the products you are using are for puppies. It is best to use tearless shampoos for their face as they are much milder and don't irritate the eyes. They have very sensitive skin at this stage and puppy products would have been formulated to be very mild and suit their delicate skin and coat.
- Drying your pup: If you're using a dryer to dry your pet post bath, make sure it is on a 'warm' setting rather than 'hot'. Also, make sure the strength of the dryer is not too high, this could frighten your pet. Use a towel or an ear muff to cover your pet's ears for this. It will help block out some of the noise. To distract them during the process, give them a chew and talk to them calmly.
Make sure your pet is completely dry otherwise, they may fall ill. If you're using a towel, employ the 'squeegee' method. Gently press the towel against the wet coat so it soaks up all the water. Once the towel is completely wet, use another one and so on. Microfibre towels tend to soak water up very quickly and can be squeezed dry after.
- Dry shampoos and brushes: Between baths, you can always use dry shampoos to refresh your pet's coat. All you have to do is spray it in the coat and brush through. There are different brushes to suit different coats. Long-haired pups need a different coat from short haired pups. Speak to your pet groomer about the right one for yours.
Regular grooming prevents infections, tick infestations, and other issues. Spending some time at home to carry out even a basic grooming routine will keep your pet healthier and happier. You can always speak to a trusted pet groomer to learn these techniques and when it is done right, these grooming sessions become a lovely way to bond with your pet.
- Rashi Sanon Narang from Heads Up For Tails