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Best Puppy Shampoo & Bathing Tips

by Lea
best puppy shampoo and bath tips

Grooming a puppy and maintaining a healthy, shiny coat is an important part for dog owners to keep their pup’s skin and hair healthy. Having at least some bath time as a puppy will also help your dog be more comfortable with the process when washing him as an adult. For new dog parents finding the best puppy shampoo can be a long search. You might also have questions as to how to bath your puppy and how often. DoggyAdvice has answers to many of your questions as well as compiled a list of our top puppy shampoos.

Why Do I Need A Puppy Shampoo?

Puppy’s skin and hair is more sensitive than an adult dog’s skin and hair. The hair is also usually softer. Over time their coat changes, which sometimes you can visibly observe. Puppy shampoo is gentler and uses ingredients that shouldn’t irritate your dog’s skin. It is formulated specifically for puppy skin pH levels.

Can I Use Adult Dog Shampoo?

As long as the adult dog shampoo doesn’t contain harmful ingredients, they should also be fine for puppies. Make sure it does not contain medications and is in similar pH levels as a puppy shampoo.

Can I Use Human Baby Shampoo?

While regular human shampoo for adults is a really bad idea because it can cause irritation and other skin problems, human baby shampoo might be an ok-ish option. It is not necessarily recommended but as long as the ingredients are natural, you could try it. The tricky thing is that human skin is more acidic than a dog’s skin and human shampoos are designed keeping that in mind. Puppy shampoos are geared to the more alkaline skin of dogs.

With any shampoo you use, look out for itchiness and redness on your puppy’s skin.

Our Top Picks

Burt's Bees Dog Shampoo for Puppies, 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Buttermilk and Linseed Oil, 16 Oz
  • SOOTHES AND SOFTENS — Burts Bees Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner cleans, soothes, softens, and conditions your puppy's skin and coat
  • MADE WITH THE HIGHEST QUALITY INGREDIENTS — All natural ingredients include buttermilk, which soothes skin and softens hair and linseed oil, which deeply conditions your puppy's coat
  • DIRECTIONS — Apply to dog's wet coat. Work from head to tail and rinse, carefully avoiding eyes. Shampoo will have a light lather as this solution is made with only natural ingredients that are safe and effective for your pet. Store in a cool, dry place
Cleansing Dog Shampoo for Smelly Dogs - Refreshing Colloidal Oatmeal Dog Shampoo for Dry Skin and Dog Bath Soap - Moisturizing Dog Shampoo Oatmeal Lavender Formula for Great Smelling Dog Wash
  • Dog Oatmeal Shampoo - Try one of the best dog shampoo formulas handcrafted to cleanse and moisturize dry skin and fur for a pet shampoo for dogs that’s a dog grooming supplies and pet bath staple
  • Deodorizing Dog Shampoo - You can trust our dog body wash and oatmeal shampoo for dogs for a pet deodorizer that removes dirt and odors thanks to potent lavender oil for dogs in our dog odor shampoo
  • Big and Small - Whether looking for the best puppy shampoo for small dogs or a gentle dog cleaner for older dogs we got you covered with our versatile oatmeal lavender dog shampoo for all dogs
BioSilk for Dogs Silk Therapy Puppy Tearless Shampoo for Dogs | Best Shampoo for Puppies and Great for All Dogs and Breeds| 12 Ounce Bottle of Dog Shampoo
  • CLEANS, SOFTENS, CONDITIONS — Best puppy shampoo that cleans, softens, and conditions, leaving your puppy's skin and coat silky, shiny, and soft. Floral-inspired Jasmine scent leaves your puppy smelling fresh and clean
  • MADE IN THE USA — Made in the USA with the same classic ingredients as the original Biosilk line for humans
  • EASY TO USE — Using warm water, wet coat thoroughly. Apply shampoo from back of ears to tail, carefully avoiding eyes. Lather and gently massage deep into coat and skin. Rinse well
PET CARE Sciences Dog Shampoo, Naturally Derived Dog and Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner, 5 in 1 Formula with Coconut, Aloe and Oatmeal, Tear Free Dog Shampoo for Sensitive Skin, Made in The USA,16 floz
  • Effective and Safe: Highest quality professional grade formula dog shampoo and conditioner in one. Leaves your dog smelling great with their coat in wonderful condition. Also this is the best dog shampoo for smelly dogs on the market !
  • Naturally Derived Formula: Made from coconut oil. Beware of cheap synthetic shampoos. Some Oatmeal shampoos are only 2% naturally derived but ours is 96% !
  • Gentle: No Sulfate, Parabens, Phosphate, MEA or DEA. The Very Best Ingredients In a Shampoo For your Dogs Over 12 weeks.

How Often Should I Bath My Puppy?

There is no one fits all answer to this. It definitely shouldn’t be a daily regimen. Puppies of course can get dirty when playing but you don’t have to wash them every time with shampoo. Use a wet towel to get most of the dirt off for most of the time.

Until they are 6 months to a year old you could wash them once a month.

Once they are an adult once or twice a year is fine for most dogs.

Some people might never clean their puppies and their fur and skin are healthy. Of course, there may be times when you really do need to give your puppy a bath.

If your dog has an infection, lice or other medical conditions, you need to consult with your vet but you may need to bathe him.

Depending on your dog’s breed he might be more prone to strong odor. Also, older dogs often have a stronger smell to them.

To prepare for those times when you might want or need to bathe your dog more, it is advisable to have gone through the process or bathing your pup before, so he is familiar and comfortable with it.

Don’t Overdo It

When becoming an adult dog, your pup will start creating natural oils on his skin similar to our natural oils on our hair. As you might guess, those natural oils are actually good for your dog just as they are good for us, and shampoo gets rid of those oils.

Tips For Bathing

  • Have everything you need near you.
    • You may need a cup if you don’t have a detachable shower head.
    • For some dogs that don’t like bath time, treats or a mat with peanut butter on it can be a helpful distraction.
    • You’ll need a towel or two to dry him afterwards.
    • And of course, puppy shampoo.
  • If your dog is wet and shakes himself, it will sprinkle onto you and your surroundings. So don’t wear something you don’t want to get wet and have towels ready.
  • Giving the bath.
    • Test the water temperature so it is warm-ish, not too hot and not too cold.
    • Throughout the process give your dog treats.
    • Wet your dog’s coat all over.
    • Add the shampoo to your dog’s fur. You can place it directly on the fur or rub it in your hands first to make spreading it easier.
    • Work it into the body but avoid his face, especially his eyes.
    • Rinse, rinse, rinse.
    • Make sure that all of the shampoo is washed out.


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